Opinion: It’s vital you use your vote

Original article written by Stephen Fear for the Bristol Post on 4th May 2017 (also featured on SouthWestBusiness.co.uk on 3rd May 2017):

Stephen Fear has been thinking about the forthcoming elections

WE ALL suffer from election overload at some point during general elections but the importance of voting is paramount and cannot be stressed too stringently.

Young people in particular often do not vote but they, above all people, should. It is, after all, going to be their world. They are the people who will be working longest and have to live with the consequences of which government takes over on June 8th.

Whatever party you support, it is essential that you exercise your democratic right to vote in the way you see fit.

I always read all the party manifestos before I vote – how else can one make a balanced and considered opinion?

Whether your interest is in making sure our country stays safe from an increasing terrorist threat, dealing with tough Brexit negotiations or making sure our wonderful NHS is well funded, you have a given right to vote the way you feel appropriate. Use it!

Britain is the world’s oldest continuous democracy which is protected by what many world observers consider the best security service on earth. MI5 and MI6 have worked diligently for many decades to protect British citizens and have a network of contacts throughout the world to ensure that this continues.

I expect successful security works as most other businesses do, by developing and nurturing an ecosystem of connections and observers who can infiltrate potential threats before they become real.

Britain’s Security Service, and its Police and Armed Forces, are particularly good at this and deserve the utmost respect from all citizens.

In my opinion, the British Security Service can aid our Brexit negotiations. We can offer to our former European partners an export that just isn’t available elsewhere. We can offer top level assistance in all matters of security on mainland Europe.

This clearly should not be used as a bargaining chip but as a given, just as we hope they will guarantee certain concessions to our great nation too.

Regardless of the posturing from some politicians, we will be leaving the European Union and I just cannot see how intervention by former Prime Minister Tony Blair is helping make our important negotiations easier.

It is essential for both the EU and the UK that we go into these negotiations with a positive and friendly outlook.

Some politicians, on both sides of the debate, have behaved pretty appallingly so far. I don’t wish to name names but it is clear that some, but for the EU, would merely be ministers in tiny nations where the opportunity to be heard on the world stage would be very limited.

The European Union gives them the opportunity to appear more powerful than they otherwise might. To ensure that other nations like France, Italy, and even Germany don’t force their own referendums, they appear determined to make Britain’s exit more difficult than it might be in different circumstances.

Let’s hope, for the sake of both the UK and the EU, that common sense prevails.

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