The EU Referendum. June 23rd 2016. We are only 12 days away now, from making the biggest decision the people have made in a generation. Many people I’ve heard discussing why they want Brexit seem to be under the impression that leaving the EU will magically solve the migrant crisis and the UK will be a proud nation again. Sorry, no. I may only be eighteen years old but even I know that magic isn’t real folks.
Now, sorry Brexiters, but this is a one sided post. I just cannot justify the UK leaving the EU. Let me tell you why I’m voting Remain in 12 days time and why I think you should too.
We all love to travel, right? Let’s assume this is the case since around 29 million Brits went on EU holidays last year. Well, not only are UK issued driving licenses valid throughout the 27 other countries in the EU, but roaming charges are low, and are actually being abolished next year, and flights are cheap – around 40% cheaper since the 1990s – meaning that you can hop on a flight to Amsterdam for around twenty quid if you fancy it. No wonder we have around 1.5 million ex-pats living abroad and approximately 15000 students participating in the EU’s Erasmus student exchange programme every year. The EU gives us more freedom to live, study and work abroad.
As an EU member state, the UK has full access to the single market. This makes the EU our biggest trading partner, buying 44% (!!!!!!!) of everything we sell abroad. This single market is comprised of over 500 million customers (!!!!!!) and represents an economy over five times bigger than the UK’s. Remaining inside the EU guarantees FULL access to this wonderful single market that benefits us massively.
(FREE TRADE IS GREAT!)
Similarly, over THREE MILLION UK jobs are linked to exports to other EU countries. Being inside the EU’s single market means that it is more attractive to invest in the UK, meaning more jobs. That’s simple maths, right? That’s good, right?! *breathes heavily and foams from the mouth in disbelief at Brexiters who slam the single market* … Foreign companies have invested an estimated FIVE HUNDRED BILLION GBP £££££ IN THE UK OVER THE LAST DECADE. That is around £140 million every day coming into our nation.
On the topic of money (££££££), you know the argument that EU membership is super expensive? The UK’s annual contribution is around 8 billion pounds. That is literally 0.5% of our GDP. 0.5%. It’s an estimated £228 a year per person. That’s less than a season ticket for a second division team, never mind a Premier League team. Is the EU actually better than football, then? (The answer is no, as I’m more passionate about Liverpool than the EU but you get my point.)
Those of you who get pissy about terrorism and ‘those bloody criminals having the right to stay in our country’, listen up. Get close… YOU’RE WRONG. EU cooperation actually makes it easier to keep terrorists and criminals alike out of the UK. The European Arrest Warrant, since 2004, has been the reason behind 7000 extraditions from the UK.
If you want to become more informed about the EU before the referendum so that you can make a solid, informed choice, I have posted some links down below that you may find of some use. As much as I am pushing the Remain campaign, it is worth taking the Leave campaign into account too. While I admit that the EU isn’t perfect, we are stronger together.