You currently cannot go anywhere in the UK without hearing some form of conversation about the EU referendum, more commonly referred to as the Brexit. The referendum will occur on Thursday the 23rd of June, with the last day to sign up to vote being the 1st of June. Reading the newspapers it is clear that the Brexit campaign is something of a political gang war; imagine being in high school and a few people are having an argument; different people are picking sides and now there looking at you and saying:
“whose side are you on?”
Maybe its the scientist in me, or just that fact that I was involved in enough high school arguments to know that each side tells the story differently, but before I answer the question officially i’ve decided to look into both sides of the argument.
Its important to note that the Brexit itself lacks a solid definition and is a purely hypothetical event. There are multiple different ways that leaving the European Union could be done. It is highly likely that the government will attempt to follow the Norwegian’s whom still pay into the EU budget, yet implement block regulations on things they do not want to be involved with. The alternative is a distant relationship mediated by the World Trade Organisation and sounds vaguely like a divorced parents mediation. Thus I think that it impossible to have a complete idea into the impact of the Brexit and believe we are voting on a completely theoretical and unrealistic change. This fluid notion is allowing politicians to make rash statements in an attempt to sway voters and creating a lot of tabloid headlines which should always be read with a hint of skepticism.
In the red corner of our political grudge match is Nigel Farage (of course), Chris Grayling (leader of the house of commons), Conservative MP’s Lord Lawson, Bernard Jenkin, John Redwood, Liam Fox, Owen Paterson, Labour MP’s Kate Hoey, Kevin Hopkins, Graham Stringe and John Mills and interestingly enough my local MP Steve Baker (conservative).
In the blue corner is David Cameron, Alan Johnson, George Osborne, Baroness Karren Brady, and Lord Mandelson
Of course being spineless politicians, there a few who sit upon the fence about the situation and many of these (interestingly enough) are current key political players; Boris Johnson, Micheal Gove, Sajid Javid, Jeremy Corbyn and Nicola Sturgeon (though leaving the EU makes it harder to achieve her dream of Scottish Independence).
David Cameron is championing staying within the EU, stating that the UK is not involved in policies such as no borders, the ever closer union and the euro. Staying in the EU gives us a single trade market and political alliances with help with the countries security. Mr Cameron also warns of the dangers of trying to negotiate an exit effecting the economy, businesses and jobs for as long as seven years after the referendum; this would damage the slow recovering economy that has developed in the last conservative government. Martin Wolf, who is a commentator for the financial times, points out that as we hold less than 1% of the world’s population, and produce less than 3% total output being part of a larger group (EU) allows the UK industry to be more effective.
Though supposedly on the fence about the situation Micheal Gove seemingly championed the Brexit when the referendum was first announced, now I don’t like Mr Gove; mainly from his frankly appalling work with our education system and his ability to make this worse not matter how bad they seem to be already (not biased I promise). If the UK left the European Union we would loose 20% of the current deficit due to gifted contributions to the EU along with gaining the ability to control out own laws and borders. Mr Gove talks largely about the failure of the EU and the Euro and how it is already bringing suffering to many of the countries and looking at Spain and Greece it is easy to see.
There are a million and one different articles and publications outlying the aims, hopes and limitations of a break away from the European Union, most focusing on the economic and immigration issues that have become a big political topic since the refugee issues causing havoc with the Eurostar and the increase publicity into immigration from the general election. I have included a small list at the bottom of this page of articles and publications that I read when doing research for this piece and for my own mind allowing me to thoroughly gage my opinion.
My opinion in conclusion to all the reading I have done when I should have been revising for my exams is that I will likely vote to stay in the EU, not because I agree we should but because the alternative is so insecure. Having no agreement in place means we are voting for an unknown variable, those have a habit of going wrong. Personally I think the vote is flawed but I know a lot of people who will simply vote for an exit because they want stricter immigration laws, well there is no promise of that mentioned anywhere.
So thats a quick summary of the EU referendum that takes place on the 23rd of June, don’t forget that the deadline for voting registration is June 1st it will affect everyone in the future and so you should all vote, the question is what corner are you in.
Financial Times – EU Referendum
Economists back Brexit
A background guide to the Brexit
How the Brexit will effect everyday life – Guardian
The EU will play hardball with post Brexit Britain – Telegraph