#Brexit: David Cameron is playing a political game to appease Eurosceptics in his own party

The big risk of Brexit for Northern Ireland - and for Derry in particular - is the creation of border controls.

Ultimately, the decision of whether to create border controls after a Brexit might not be in the hands of the UK and Irish governments.

It could be a decision of the EU, made in relation to all EU external boundaries.

A border control between the North and the South would be damaging and absurd for Derry. We are a cross-border city.

Muff, Bridgend, Burnfoot and Killea are effectively suburbs of Derry.

A physical border could add significantly to journey times for commuters and for business transportation, adding costs and limiting the size of travel to work areas. Many people who live in Derry work in Letterkenny and elsewhere in Donegal - and even more people who live in Donegal work in Derry.

Border controls could be seriously damaging to large local employers. Cross border retail trade would be likely to drop substantially.

The proposed changes to the relationship with the EU are superficial.

David Cameron is playing a political game which is intended to appease Eurosceptics in his own party and undermine support for UKIP. It seems as if it may have the opposite effect. The proposals are based on limited objectives, which do not address critics’ real concerns.

I am deeply critical of the EU under its current leadership, but this does not mean I believe we should leave the EU.

I believe that in the last decade or so, the EU has been transformed from an organ of European solidarity and support for a social market (ie a market that respects social values and rights), to becoming an instrument of neo-liberal globalisation.

The so-called ‘rights’ of corporations override the real rights of the citizen. We have a lack of real democracy within the EU. We also have a weak and vision-less leadership of the EU.

We can see this in the way in which Greece was treated, where the interests of German, French, British and US banks were protected, at the expense of the people of Greece. Yet the banks were to blame equally for the over-borrowing by the Greek government. In Ireland, bondholders were protected at the expense of the citizens. Lenders should have been forced to accept substantial responsibility for bad lending in the cases of both Greece and Ireland. Today we have the even more tragic mismanagement of EU affairs through the inability of EU nations and the European Commission to receive refugees from war, or to take decisions on how refugees should be supported and protected.

But the UK leaving the EU would not solve these problems - though the UK has been a negative influence on these decisions under the Conservative and coalition governments. The UK has abjectly failed in its moral obligations towards refugees.

The UK leaving the EU would clearly be a problem for Northern Ireland. I believe that it would damage our economic relations with the rest of the EU, including the Irish Republic. What would happen to freedom of movement for individuals? Many of us travel freely and frequently across the EU.

What would happen to the millions of UK citizens living in other EU countries? And would the intention of the anti-EU movement be to remove citizens of other EU nations to their native countries? In which case presumably UK citizens in those countries would be evicted. Where would the millions of people affected live?

We must also remember the reason why the EU was created. Its original leadership was determined not to have a World War Three fought in Europe. Our current EU leadership was not alive during the Second World War and seems to have overlooked the lessons of European history.

I am not optimistic, whether the UK votes to retain EU membership or not. I think the EU will unravel.

The most relevant questions are whether the Eurozone can survive, whether the EU can survive - and, if it does, in what form?