So, at the anode of a fuel cell hydrogen is split into a positively charged proton and an electron. Then, there is the membrane which can let only protons through to the cathode, whereas electrons need to follow external circuit (effectively powering it).
Question: why do we need any other reaction on the cathode? Isn't the fact that positively charged ions travel through the membrane to the cathode enough to create the EMF?
Trying to solve it I assume that the reaction is there to actually apply some kind of force to move the ions though the membrane to the cathode, otherwise they'd just stay and reunite with electrons on the anode. What is that force and how does it work?