I see EU debate through the prism of risk management

Aileen Quinton
Aileen Quinton

My professional background is not in politics or economics but in risk management.

My professional background is not in politics or economics but in risk management.

Despite its name, as an integral part of strategic decision-making, it should be as much about taking advantages of opportunities, often the key to progress, as it is about managing threats.

Evolving the terminology from risk can get people to thinking in terms of uncertainty and on to possibilities.

The big decision to be made now is about the EU. My gut feelings are negative. I don’t like how undemocratic it is and how it has gained more and more power over my life.

Even if it was just the trading club it was initially sold as, I am not comfortable with the exclusion of the Commonwealth and the Developing World. How does it make sense to give poorer countries aid whilst disadvantaging them in terms of trade?

I don’t have anything against other European countries. SEFF, my victims group, is building relationships with Spanish victims of ETA. I hope to see these continue along with links with victims of Gadaffi in Libya.

I did have a few concerns about leaving the EU that I needed to think through. For example, uneasiness about “isolation” was quelled by realising that a strong and effective UN and NATO was the answer, not the EU.

An invitation from Kate Hoey to the Grassroots Out rally in London was a chance to educate myself a bit more about economic issues and impact on small businesses. This tipped me over into being confident that UK outside EU is where the possibilities are.

It isn’t even as if there is a status quo option. I believe that the EU is insatiable, with a dynamic to take more and more power. We need to cut mother’s apron strings. This is a mother that wants to control us without having our interests at heart. This is Mommy Dearest.

I do not think that the EU has created a society where the vulnerable are adequately catered for. Has Greece being put on the naughty step done much for the vulnerable there?

No, I can’t promise that the problems will be resolved with Brexit. I do believe though, that a prosperous country has more flexibility to connect to its moral and social conscience.

At the Belfast Go rally last Friday I heard a lot of talk about TTIP and what bad news it was. I started Googling. From one article “The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership is a series of trade negotiations being carried out mostly in secret between the EU and US.”

What I read about it worries me greatly. Now I could be reading all the wrong articles and it may be the best thing since sliced bread. However, the potential for such things to be agreed and implemented with little scrutiny, without the agreement of our UK elected representatives and in the knowledge that the voting public can hold them to account for it, should concern us all.

Something very important in implementing change successfully is to identify any baby in the bathwater and protect it. I am sure that in amongst the EU regulations that annoy me, like not being able to have a powerful vacuum cleaner, there are some good ones.

Well let’s have them in post Brexit UK. Yes we may have to campaign for them and persuade others as to their merit. Lets make it worthwhile to campaign for and against legislation.

There have been a lot of calls to spell out what UK would be like after Brexit. The whole point is that it will be what we make of it.

There are too many possibilities to pin it down. Freedom tends to have more uncertainty and possibilities than serfdom. I hope we take the step to take back management of those possibilities.

• Aileen Quinton, whose mother was murdered in the 1987 IRA Enniskillen bomb, is involved with the victims group South East Fermanagh Foundation