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This is perhaps one of the most difficult articles I’ve had to write. This is because I do not want to bias our readers, or aim to influence you in any way. However our future in the EU is an important issue, which merits writing about and actually telling you, our readers, what I think of the issue.
So let’s get started, the first point I want to stress is that I am still undecided on which way to vote. My initial thoughts were to vote leave, but I feel that there is insufficient information available in the general media as well as from the government to make a real informed decision.
The government, which is mostly pushing for a vote to remain, and the Brexit campaigners alike are letting the public down, as there is hardly any information available other than scare mongering. This is making it difficult to choose how to exercise our rights on one of the most important votes in our lifetime.
So let’s start with the side in favour of remaining in the EU. The government has in the last few weeks come up with many various statistics. Looking back at government forecasts in the last few years, they have generally been over optimistic when talking about the economy, and very low when talking about issues such as immigration etc.
Some Pro-EU Claims include:
British households are £3,000 ($4,300) a year better off thanks to the U.K.’s EU membership. I am not sure how this is exactly quantified, however it comes from a Confederation of British Industry (CBI) study published in 2013.
Some three million jobs depend on Britain’s membership of the EU. A statement used often by government, but plenty in the business world disagree with this. International company Unilever has said its 7,500 workforce would be unaffected by an exit from Europe.
The EU buys over 50 per cent of UK exports – is this really going to change? Let’s get realistic, will companies such as Mercedes, BMW stop buying UK goods to be used in their cars – the answer is probably a no.
1.4 million British people live abroad in the EU. I actually think this is a valid concern, what will happen to this people with properties in Spain, France, etc.? I think ownership will not be affected, but in essence there could be issues when selling such as tax. Overall the world is a much smaller place than it once was, and many people transact and own properties worldwide. It will be interesting to see what happens here if we were to leave.
Equal pay and non-discrimination are some examples of positive steps taken by the EU to make living in Europe easier and fairer. I do not think the government would take away such legislation which is now embedded in constitution, but we might lose out in the UK on future legislation in the EU which is positive and brings about positive change in society.
Some Pro-Brexit arguments include:
Britain would win much greater control over its borders by leaving the EU. Is this really going to happen? The issue is we should be doing something about borders now, not waiting for a Brexit to do so. Yes we could say those from Eastern Europe will have to get a visa, but then so will British people looking to work abroad.
A Brexit will allow us to ‘Make Britain great again’. I think we would be forced to start thinking more seriously about our economic situation, and I agree with what billionaire founder of Hargreaves Lansdown said, which is that a Brexit “would be the biggest stimulus to get our butts in gear,”
No to super nationalism – a very strong argument to leave the EU, because we the British like our democracy and the sovereignty of the U.K, and by leaving it is said we will effectively be in control of our own sovereignty.
Overall, as stated above I am currently undecided. I am watching the debates on television and looking to do my own reading around the subject. I guess my personal view is that even if we do end up leaving, we will still have close ties with Europe. I do not think a Brexit will mean an end to our relationship with Europe because we are too close, and at present too important a member of the European Union.