To Brexit Or Not To Brexit?

On 23rd June 2016 a referendum will be held in the UK to decide whether we will leave the European Union or remain as a member state.

Now I won’t profess to being an expert in politics or even try to convince you that I know a great deal when it comes to the EU, because truth be told my knowledge is fairly limited in those areas. But I stumbled upon an article today that caught my attention and spurred me to write this post. It stated that around 50% of people in the 18-34 age group are likely to abstain from voting in the Brexit referendum. And while that’s quite hard-hitting to read, it’s not all-together surprising.

The majority of us are essentially clueless when it comes to the Brexit debate. We’re bombarded with political propaganda in the form of leaflets through our front doors, YouTube adverts, and televised announcements from the likes of Cameron, Johnson and Farage, not knowing who we can actually trust to give us an objective and honest account of the whole debacle. And so of course the easiest option seems to be to turn a blind eye and do nothing at all. But that would be a big mistake.

The fact of the matter remains, we’re the ones who will have to deal with the outcome of this vote, whether or not we can see that now; it’ll definitely impact on our futures. And so I thought that I’d do a bit of research on the subject in order to educate myself and come to a decision of my own accord.

After trawling the internet for a while it became clear that it’s almost impossible to find a comprehensive list of pros and cons to our membership in the EU from just one source.

And so this is what I’ve gathered from visiting various websites and watching numerous debates: supporters of the Brexit are all about retaining sovereignty and controlling our borders/cutting down on immigration. And those keen to stay in the EU are focusing more on the global trading benefits and easy mobility for Britons around Europe.

At the end of the day I’m not an economist or a business owner and so a lot of the financial-related aspects (including GDP etc) go right over my head. I’m just your average millennial and this is my individual take on the situation: I’ll be voting to stay in the EU and for Cameron to renegotiate a better package for our nation.

I know a number of EU migrants living and working in the UK and if we opt to leave the EU their residential status will become uncertain, as will that of British expats currently residing in EU countries. Furthermore, opportunity for British citizens to work in EU countries will also be impacted. And of course I have more selfish reasons for wanting to remain an EU member state. I don’t want to have to apply for a visa every time I want to visit an EU state, or to have to queue for an extra hour and a half for passport control checks at the airport, or to have to pay more to fly to Italy/Spain/Greece for a long weekend, or to have to pay more to use my mobile phone while I’m out there! Furthermore, at the moment UK driving licenses are recognised and valid in all EU member states, but there’s no guarantee that this will still be the case if we opt to Brexit, plus access to free emergency healthcare while we’re abroad will similarly be put to an end.

But ultimately that’s just my interpretation of the Brexit debate. We’re all entitled to our own opinion (that’s the beauty of freedom of speech!) and I didn’t write this post to force my way of thinking upon anybody, I wrote it to draw attention to the subject at hand. Like I said, numerous polls have shown that people my age are disinterested as to whether we should stay or leave (which I know for a fact is true because most of my friends couldn’t care less about this topic!) and so if this post manages to encourage even just one young person out there to do their research and take an interest, I’ll be over the moon! Forget about all of the propaganda, vote in the way that you think will benefit you as an individual. And remember, regardless of the result two things are crystal clear: not everyone will be happy with the outcome and our relationship with the EU will never be perfect.

11 replies

  1. I think the EU is in a bad spot right now. The Greece thing paired with the UK “Brexit” thing is complicating all the issues involved. It will be interesting to see what happens.

  2. I had no idea. That’s a difficult thing. It wasn’t that long ago where European nations had closed borders, different money, and you had to travel with a passport?

  3. You have the right approach, and the only one that can be recommended to everyone voting in the referendum. Go on what you genuinely know. Not propaganda, media outlets or the opinion of others. I too will be voting to stay, which is largely based on my own experience of many years in import/export. Not being in the EU would make what I do much more difficult and expensive, and I know this to be true of many other businesses in the UK. Others will have had experiences that make them want to leave. If that’s the case than fair enough. I have no issues with anyone voting based on their own experiences. What I hope is that people don’t vote purely on what they hear. But I fear many will.

  4. Since I don’t live in the UK, I don’t feel like I have much room to judge one way or the other. I’m sceptical of all the outside opinions that have been weighing in on the British people for that very reason. Does Obama want the Brexit to not happen because that is what is good for the UK and EU; or because that is what is good for his agenda? That, in all honesty, bothers me about as much as the point you made in that it is difficult to know who to trust when it comes to getting straight information about the issue. What I found VERY refreshing and uplifting about your post, though, is that you actually took your lack of knowledge on the subject and changed it – you informed yourself so that your opinion is not a blind one, based on bandwagon effect – and you wrote that you will be voting your opinion on the issue. I hope more of your peers in your age group will read this and take heart – even if they don’t agree with your conclusions – and inform themselves and vote their own opinions on the matter.

  5. You speak well for your generation. One issue that, as far as I know, has not been debated is the refugee crisis. If a Union means anything it should have brought everyone together on this – much, much, sooner

  6. EU should be a three tier membership, trade, financial and political
    The deeper you’re in, the more control and money you give up but the bigger say you have
    Trade: Economic migrants, EU passport holders can cross borders, the rest we can say no to
    You just have to align laws with EU trade laws
    Financial: You pay into the financial stuff like emergency healthcare, economic insurance in case of financial issues and the rest
    Political: Align laws, completely open borders and a chair at the big table with more power

    Until the EU de-centralise, return powers to sovereign nations and radically rethink it’s border policy, and start thinking like a business organisation the whole system is broke
    To stay and try to fix it, or rejoin when it’s renovated is the current choice
    The choice we should have is to stay or leave a streamlined and fixed EU that works, that’s the real travesty!

  7. Still suffering financially at the hands of a government two elections ago, I don’t think the UK can sustain itself independently. A group working together is always better then just one.
    There will be a huge financial fallout If we leave.. My vote is to stay in. This is not the time to be arrogant as a nation.

  8. Hi, nice blog, keep it going.

    I was looking for some ‘inside opinions’ on the Brexit, because this REALLY NEEDS TO HAPPEN. The EU is a monster and for that one most people don’t see how completely f**ked up it is. We are living in dangerous times: Italian banks are next and they WILL takedown the rest of the finacial ‘system’, Islam IS taking over (with lefties/political concensus); cultures and societies (forgive my English right now 😉 ) are being slaughtered/offered for a Fourth Reich/some other idiotic plan. And I could type on and on… The Dutch press wants to keep us stupid; always take a look at all the press, Youtube, newssites outside your country as well. I learn a lot about Holland by looking at the foreign press and I’m only getting more depressed (and I’m a real optimist). I live at the Dutch/German border (Arnhem; your granddad’s have saved us here once before); I talk to people; it’s spreading.

    This is your change to LEAVE the shithole. This is your chance to stop paying a shitload of politicians whose only job it is to collect their expences and determine how load your vacuumcleaner should be! Who wouldn’t mind if you have to learn Arabic on short notice. Who are busy planning to take your pensionfunds to finance the German and French banks (that’s the shit/thruth behind the Greek ‘problem’, the D/F banks mustn’t collapse because of their own ridiculous investments). But as long as Draghi keeps printing money and buying debts (80 billion a month right now) the show can go on…

    VOTE LEAVE! Rest of Europe wants out as well, this is your golden ticket! You see what they do with our hard fought referenda: ‘please sheeple, fuck off, we shit on you’.

    My plan is to come to Britain (family in Devon/Cornwall, love the UK, been there many times and would love to see the giant hovercrafts return) but if it’s a Remain I’m leaving for the US. On a one way ticket.

    I removed a lot of text I typed at this point because I can go on and on and on. I’m not exagirating (wrong word, I know, to much adrenaline for google right now). I’m an intelligent social hardworking human and wish for each the best but 1984/Orwell is Kindergarten-stuff compared to what’s happening and will happen.

    I hope you all will choose well. Don’t let anyone scare you, remember the EEG?, things will better at warpspeed for the UK (and the following Exits) when you choose your own faith again. Like Lemmy said: Don’t let ’em grind you down, Victory or Die! (that’s two songs combined, I know :-)) ) And I know what Sir Francis Drake, Churchill, Turing, Queen Victoria, you know your people, would have said: FUCK OFF! We don’t need you, you need us! Listen to John Cleese! Thatcher showed the world you don’t take a piece of Britain however small it may be! Ah well, I’m getting angry again; I’ll end this post.

    Have a great weekend, hope to meet you sometime.

    Harry

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