Manchester Historian

Student newspaper for the University of Manchester's History Department

Saturday 22nd July 2017 | Manchester, UK

EU Referendum

The local and mayoral elections a few weeks ago have been suggested by some commentators to be somewhat a ‘non-event’. The really exciting part of the political year arrives on the 23rd of June when Britain votes on whether to remain or leave the European Union. It’s the first time the country has voted on our relationship with the EU since 1975 and it’s going to mean big changes whatever the outcome. So if you’re a little bit confused about what the two different campaigns are saying (and I know most of us are), here’s the basic facts from each side:

According to ‘The 2016 EU Referendum Voting Guide’, recently delivered to every household, the In Campaign argues that, “Britain is stronger, safer and better off in Europe.” EU membership adds £91 billion a year to the UK economy and for every pound we put in we get almost £10 back in lower prices, more jobs and more investments. 3 million of our jobs are tied to the EU and 200,000 UK businesses trade with EU countries. Sounds like it’s a good plan to stay right?

The Leave Campaign argues that if we vote to leave the EU we can regain control over our migration policy, we can organise our own favourable trade deals and choose how to spend our tax money. According to the same leaflet, the EU costs us £350 million a week which could be spent on the NHS or improving other public services and we get less than half of it back. So now it sounds more sensible to leave?

In essence, the In Campaign argues that Britain is stronger in Europe and economically better off. The Leave Campaign argues that we can take back control of our country and increase our freedom if we choose to leave the EU. Still confused? I wouldn’t blame you if you were, one thing that is certain: neither campaign has made it easy to understand what’s going on.

Whichever way the country chooses to vote, and it’s pretty close in the polls, it will mean big changes for our country and possibly, if we choose to leave, big changes for the EU as a whole. In last year’s general election, we were promised a referendum and here it is. If you take nothing else from reading this little article, remember that the most important thing is that you vote on the 23rd of June. It’s a big day for the whole country, so don’t miss out on your chance to have a say and decide what happens next. So, should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?

Comments are closed.