We are a group of Quakers who hope that UK will remain a member of the European Union.
Quakers are formally known as the Religious Society of Friends. We are not speaking on behalf of all Quakers, nor as Britain Yearly Meeting, nor as the Quaker Council for European Affairs (QCEA). While many of us are separately involved with both QCEA and Britain Yearly Meeting, we are publishing this document as a group of individuals acting in an entirely personal capacity.
Quakers for Europe
The upcoming EU referendum in the United Kingdom asks us to make an important decision. We hope to give clear and straightforward information about what that decision could mean.
We believe that this referendum is about much more than economic pluses and minuses. The consequences of the decision, especially a vote to leave the EU, are profound for both the UK and for the rest of Europe. This booklet doesn’t cover every issue that might affect your vote, but focuses on areas that aren’t being dealt with elsewhere.
While we are unashamedly for the EU, we do not try to spin the facts and we recognise that it is not perfect.
We ask for a European Union which welcomes refugees. We look to the EU to become more democratic and transparent, and less militaristic. We look to the UK to play a supportive role in building a better Europe, along with other member states. We value the practical links the EU gives us to other European countries, which allows us to better understand our neighbours and recognise our shared humanity.
The EU may not be what Quakers would have designed, but it is the result of decades of negotiation, agreement and compromise among European nations. It is a peace process in a continent that was for the last thousand years probably the bloodiest in the world, and peace isn’t perfect and peace is messy.
The key question we believe people should ask themselves when they vote is whether we think we will make more progress towards seeing the peaceful, sustainable world we want by being in the EU or out of it.