Should we stay or should we go? This question has divided our country into three: stayers, leavers and really don’t knowers. This is for the people in the latter, the people that either can’t decide where they stand or just don’t know enough to make their decision.
The question of whether to leave or stay in the European Union is one that the majority of Brits are torn between and it’s not just the public.
“Agonisingly difficult” said Boris Johnson when he released his decision to support the Brexit. (The Guardian, 2016)
The pros and cons of the leave are stacked up by both parties for us to attempt to understand but lucky for you this article is here to help.
What is the EU Referendum?
The elections last year came with a promise from David Cameron to hold a referendum deciding Britain’s future in the European Union, this decision is of huge importance for Britain’s long term future and could become a huge mark in British and European history.
This decision; however, comes with great uncertainty of what an exit would mean for Britain. Although other countries such as Switzerland manage well out of the EU with aspects such as trade, nobody knows for sure what the exit could bring for us as a nation.
How would trade be effected?
The main uncertainty of leaving the EU is whether trade will continue to prosper with countries in Europe. It comes with a risk of being isolated from other countries in terms of imports and exports. According to Sky News “50 per cent of our exports go to EU countries”, the leave puts this trade at risk. (Sky News, 2015)
According to David Cameron, leaving the EU would be “a leap in the dark”. (BBC, 2016)
Trade within the EU is also moving to the USA, the union is working on creating trade between Europe and the United States, which would highly benefit British trade. Leaving the EU would deny us access to this deal; however, it is a possibility that the exit wouldn’t have a large effect on trade and deals would not decline between Britain and other countries.
Trade within the EU means that there are no restrictions on deals within the country members, this is known as free-trade. If the referendum decided that we would leave the EU, we would no longer be included in this trading market.
How will money and the economy change?
EU fund contribution:
One of the most attractive aspects of leaving the EU is the money that we spend on the organisation as a country. In the year of 2015, Britain paid a total of £13bn into the EU budget. (The week, 2016)
On the other hand, we do receive money back from the EU for certain things, last year Britain received £4.5bn from the EU fund which although is still a loss of £8.5bn, many people see the money as investments that we get back from free-trade and other aspects of being in the European Union.
Work and pay:
Unemployment in the EU is over 10% (BBC 2016), whereas in the UK it is almost half of that. This pushes the idea that being in the EU brings down the employment rate in Britain. Some believe that leaving the EU could create more jobs and lower migration from the EU would push up wages for the people of the UK.
Others, however; believe that more jobs are created and rely upon the EU and according to Lib Dem chief secretary to the treasury, Danny Alexander more than three million jobs in the UK are linked to trade with the EU. (The Telegraph, 2014)
Will border control be different?
Due to EU law; whilst Britain are in the EU, nobody from another country included in the organisation, can be prevented from living in the country. Leaving the union would mean that we have full control over the UK’s borders. This is attractive to many Britons and off-putting to others as it is understood by many that immigrants contribute to the British economy.
Over a million Britons live in other EU countries. Leaving the EU would also mean that UK citizens may lose the ability to work, live and study within the EU and there is fear that if a Brexit went ahead, there is no guarantee that they would be allowed to stay. On top of this, students that want to study abroad would have more difficulty in doing so if Britain left the European Union.
Will we be safe alone?
That is a question on many British minds when making their decision. With the recent terror attacks on Western Europe, fear of safety is a large decider for some people. The EU provides an extra sense of security for Britain as well as Nato and the United Nations. On the other hand, staying in the EU is seen as putting Britain in more danger as we have less tight control over people entering the country and by leaving we have more control of who enters the UK.
“This open border does not allow us to check and control people that may come and spend time” Ian Duncan Smith – Conservative Party Politician. (BBC, 2016)
What about laws?
Many leavers believe that the EU is holding back Britain from freedom of choice. Leaving the union would give the British government the ability to create and alter laws without taking the choices to meetings in Brussels.
This is attractive to a large amount of the British public that feel the EU has too much control over what happens in the UK.
Ready to vote?
If you’re over 18-years-old, it’s now down to you to make a decision. Don’t forget to register before the 7th June at https://www.eureferendum.gov.uk/register-to-vote/.