The EU: Should We Stay or Should We Go?


The referendum on whether or not the UK stays within the European Union, is now less than one month away and lets be honest, both the Vote Remain and Vote Leave campaign are getting pretty desperate within their arguments, you have Boris Johnson comparing the European Union to Hitler of all things, and then David Cameron and George Osborne saying that if we leave the EU that we will be facing another year long recession, as leaving the EU would cause an "economic shock and slower growth". Then we have the leader of the opposition Jeremy Corbyn, saying that the EU isn't a problem to the UK at all, its just the Conservative Government that's the problem, That's all well and good Jeremy, but we aren't voting in a general election on June 23rd are we? So save the GE campaign tactics for 4 years time, as blaming the Tory's isn't helping people make their mind up on their EU referendum vote. This all just confuses voters, as the scaremongering tactics being used by both sides means that those of us who are voting, have absolutely no idea which way to vote.




Within this blog, I am to try and help everyone clarify these issues, by separating the political propaganda and scaremongering from the actual cold hard facts of the situation and therefore hopefully helping everyone to come to some kind of decision over the EU. Its not my place to tell you how you should be voting, but I can definitely help iron out the key facts.


Immigration/Migration

The first key point that needs covering is the topic of immigration, many would have you believe that if we leave the EU then our overall Net immigration figures will go down, but is this the case?

Camp Brexit believes that this will be the case, with Brexiters saying this:

  • It is impossible to control immigration as a member of the EU
  • Public services are under strain because of the number of migrants
  • High immigration has driven down wages for British workers
  • The official figures underestimate the true level of migration
Whereas Camp Remain believe that this is not the case promoting these key points:
  • Immigrants, especially those from the EU, pay more in taxes than they take out.
  • Cameron's EU deal means in-work benefits for new EU migrant workers will be limited for the first four years.
  • Outside the EU the UK would still have to accept free movement to gain full access to the single market.
  • Immigration is good for the economy.

The Cost of EU Membership

There is much debate surrounding whether our membership to the EU is worth what it costs us on a yearly basis, here are the points of both sides clarified. 

Camp Brexit

  • The gross cost works out at £350m a week.
  • If the UK left, billions of pounds would become available for other priorities.
  • The UK would also be able to decide how to spend the money that the EU transfers back to it.
Camp Remain
  • Economic benefits of EU membership easily outweigh the cost.
  • Other countries contribute more per person than the UK does.
  • After Brexit, the UK would still have to contribute to the EU budget to retain access to the single market.
Trade & The Economy

Over half of the UK's trade comes from and is conducted with the EU and the EU single market allows for the free movement of goods, services and workers. It is also important to note that the EU conducts any trade negotiations with other parts of the world on our behalf, member states do not make their own trade negotiations. 

Here are the points on this matter from both campaigns clarified.

Camp Brexit
  • UK companies would be freed from the burden of EU regulation.
  • Trade with EU countries would continue because we import more from them than we export to them.
  • Britain would be able to negotiate its own trade deals with other countries.
Camp Remain
  • Britain leaving the EU would cause an economic shock and growth would be slower.
  • As a share of exports Britain is more dependent on the rest of the EU than they are on us.
  • The UK would still have to apply EU rules to retain access to the single market.

National Security & Foreign Affairs

Here is what both campaign's have to say about how the EU affects our national security & foreign affairs. 

Camp Brexit
  • Membership of Nato and the UN Security Council are more important to Britain’s defence than the EU.
  • The EU interferes with defence procurement and wants to set up its own army.
  • Britain would have more influence on the world stage as an independent country.
Camp Remain
  • UK needs to be in the EU helping to take big decisions, not sitting on the sidelines.
  • Leaving the EU would diminish Britain’s influence on the world stage.
  • Working with EU neighbours to tackle shared threats has helped keep Britain safer.

In order to try and keep you awake, I tried to keep to the key points, however if anyone wants to read more the BBC have made a handy guide here, which I found really useful when writing this article. 

Please also remember that in order to vote in the EU referendum you do need to be registered specifically for this vote, even if you are already registered to vote in other elections, the referendum requires a specific, separate registration. which can be found here.

I hope that this blog has helped iron out a few of the facts for you, and I hope that you all vote for what you believe in on June 23rd. 

As always thank you for reading. 

Beth x 


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