In 4 months Britain will be making it’s biggest decision over it’s future in many people’s life times. With most issues like this, when asked my opinion I am generally very passive. However this issue is one that I have made my mind up on after many an hour of research and over the course of a few blog posts I hope to inform you of my position, why I am in this position and possibly hope to convince you to vote with me.
So here goes: On the 23rd June I will be voting to remain in the European Union. This doesn’t mean that I believe the EU is perfect, but I believe that we are better off in than we are out. I will hopefully be writing a set of blog posts about this issue, some realistic and current, some utopian and thought provoking, but will ultimately try to be fair and honest.
It is important in the run up to this referendum that we are civil. There seems to be two different types of people in politics. Those who shout their opinion and believe because they are the loudest, they are correct and those who are very passive and fear saying their opinion will receive major backlash. As fun as it is watching people in the first category argue with one another, it does stop open democracy. If you disagree with someone, you don’t shout at them. That won’t change their opinion. What is required is intelligent, calm and open debate. This makes people challenge their own views and allows for people to make an informed opinion, particularly vital in this as we need to vote with out heads not our hearts.
Now I have talked about the politics behind the matter, I will give a brief overview as to why we should remain in the EU. I will look at some of the noted issues in lots more detail (see future blog posts).
Essentially the EU is pivotal for our trade. 50% of our imports and exports go to the EU. This is helped by free movement of goods capital and people. The single market is unique and has allowed for many connections with Germany and France with little hassle.
The links to the EU are an opportunity to bring in investment for research and development and for factories as Britain is part of a free market for 500 million people. There are arguments against this, but I will look at these in a future post. The trade Britain gets creates jobs and the nation won’t work as a closed economy as it is simply not big enough.
Another thing I will discuss in a future post is what Britain would like in the EU. Many pro-independence campaigners claim that we will be able to strike a great deal, however it is unlikely we will be able to pick and choose. This is because most of the problems that campaigners have, have not been resolved in other countries. Those in countries with free trade agreements have to have open borders. Switzerland are in the Schengen zone, meaning that people can enter their country without showing a passport. Free movement of people is a pivotal part of the single market and something the EU is unlikely to compromise on.
But we will be able to have control of our regulations won’t we? No, not if you wish to sell to customers in Europe. You have to meet European standards to trade within the Union. But as you are no longer a member of the Union, you get no say on the laws. The European Union also has many good directives. For example the Working Time Directive is the reason for maximum working days and the reason that you get 4 weeks payed holiday every year.
A euroscepitic’s favourite number is 55 million. It is the first number they think of when they wake up in the morning. This is because it’s the amount that is payed to the EU everyday. However, the UK get £22 million a day back and receive £8 billion over the course of the year through agricultural safeguarding. One of the big questions that provokes many thoughts is “Is the membership fees paid worth the benefits?” Personally I feel that the answer is yes. Part of the reason for this is that the money lost helps countries develop into feasible trading partners to whom we can export in the future.
So this was a very one sided brief overview. Most of these issues I will hopefully look at in more depth. This post was merely a taster.