As many other British citizens and foreigners living in the UK did, the first thing I did when I woke up this morning was check how the referendum was going, it hadn’t finished yet when I first checked it… I couldn’t believe it, but it was happening, the United Kingdom had talked and expressed its right to vote. An hour or so later, they had decided that they did not want to be part of the EU anymore.
As you may know if you read our blog regularly, we are an international team made up of different nationalities (Spanish, Portuguese, Turkish… ) so we really understand how you may feel when thinking of coming to the UK to study English or if like us, you came here to find a better job and a prosperous future.
Inevitably this feeling of uncertainty and discomfort is in the air, yes there is an elephant in the room, the economy will take time to adjust and we will soon find out the measures that the UK government and the EU are going to take to go on.
It is certain that there will be no immediate changes to what we do and how we do it, everything is exactly the same and it will take while before the UK actually leave Europe. At WCE we will continue to provide courses, accommodation and work experience programmes to the highest standards in our friendly atmosphere so keep calm and keep dreaming!
And although the UK no longer wants to be in the EU, it cannot escape the fact that we are all part of the same world and need to keep fighting for a better world with a view of creating a better future for all.
The British are now just a week away from making one of biggest decisions in decades – whether to remain or leave the EU. This debate has been built up over two years after UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, felt pressured to reform British membership within the EU by the opposition. Last year we saw the massive boost of votes that UKIP saw during the general election after what seemed like quite a successful campaign for them. Three million people voted for UKIP in last year’s general election even though a lot of UKIP’s stances are quite frankly outrageous. It was very evident in UKIP’s campaign that they clearly disliked everything to do with the European Parliament but obviously enjoy cashing in from it (Yes… because Britain does cash in from the EU despite what everyone else says).
UKIP’s increase in popularity has somewhat reformed the UK’s politics by pushing for tighter laws on immigration and of course, for this IN OR OUT Referendum that will be held next week. Its popularity arose because it attracted some pretty unhappy and bitter supporters of other parties and although, they are right to emphasise the need for tighter regulations on immigration, however some of their campaigns stirred up negatively strong opinions causing many instances of offence and outrage and what’s worse is that the party did not even seem to condemn this. It has continued to opt for simple arguments rather than detailed ones and the party is quick to shoot any reasoned argument down. Unfortunately, these simplistic arguments are what people are interested in and we have continued to see an array of often contradictory arguments from political members throughout the in or out campaign.
So what BREXIT arguments are being used?
Brexit’s main argument is founded on the issue of immigration. The EU is constantly growing and after Croatia joining last year, there are currently five other candidate countries waiting for EU membership such as Serbia and Turkey. According to the Migration Observatory, from 2004 – 2014 annual migration levels ranged around 245,000 people which is almost four times the amount of annual immigrants that moved into the UK between 1991 – 1999 at just 65,000. Bearing in mind that from 2004 – 2014, thirteen new countries joined the EU, this figure is quite normal. However, the British are worried that with five other countries in line to join the EU at anytime, immigration will become out of control given the fact EU members have a direct right to be able to live in the UK if they wish. Therefore, Britain can only have control of immigration if they leave the EU. This argument then leads onto the next argument… the saturation of the UK job market. Immigrants are being blamed for a lack of jobs and low pay. There are many more arguments but the third biggest is focused on British law and how Britain needs to get back their sovereignty (i.e. sovereignty will allow the UK to adapt and follow its own laws without the approval from the EU supreme court).
And what are the reasons to BREMAIN?
If the UK leaves the EU the picture won’t be as rosy as painted by Boris Johnson and co. Where Boris Johnson has assured fellow Brits that they can indeed survive and prosper without being in the EU, the current Prime Minister has urged UK voters to think carefully about this decision as voting out will more than likely ‘have an immediate hit to the economy’. The Prime Minister acknowledges that the EU needs reform but still believes that it is in the interest of the British to remain within the EU and I couldn’t agree more.
For instance, leaving the EU would not resolve the UK’s immigration crisis at all. In fact according to The Telegraph, Britain would have to deal with it on its doorstep! And as for immigration’s effect on the job market – well that’s the least of the problems because coming out of the EU will cause many UK businesses to tumble down leaving many without jobs! Did you know that approximately 3 million jobs are linked to the EU… Obviously leaving is counterproductive and will be catastrophic.
Other reasons to counteract the arguments given for BREXIT include:
- The UK is actually a lot safer within the EU: Rapist, murderers and other serious delinquents who commit offences in Britain and attempt to flee are returned to the country thanks to the European Arrest Warrant that they have set in place.
- UK Business will not thrive outside the EU: Brexit supporters say that the EU prevents them from making business deals with emerging markets such as China and that leaving would allow them to sustain relationships with these markets. HOWEVER, Bremainers urge that the business that the UK has with EU countries shouldn’t be forgotten. Remember almost half of the UK’s exports go to other European counties. In addition, the EU actually facilitates trade between EU member states and leaving would be utterly stupid in this sense.
- Leaving the EU will not give the UK financial stability and London would not remain the leading financial centre! Banks will be forced to leave the UK and London will no longer be the centre of finance. Banks benefit much more from being in the EU due to again, TRADING ADVANTAGES. Even the owner of JP Morgan will be voting BREMAIN because he knows how detrimental leaving would be to banking and his employees.
- More expensive supermarket prices: Britain is renowned for being one of the most diverse countries and this evident through the wide range of international cuisine available. Can you imagine wine prices being hiked up even more because you’re no longer part of the EU? Can you imagine more expensive food in general just because it’s imported from abroad? It would be working class families that would be most affected by hiked up prices not Boris Johnson and other politicians.
- The sterling could fall quite considerably: Economists believe that the Pound sterling could fall by 2.2% by 2030 (See image from Open Europe below).
That means that poorer families will take the brunt of this drop because there will be benefit cuts. The National Institute of Economic and Social Research estimates that working class families could lose up to £5,542 per year in tax credits and benefits by just 2020.(See image below).
- Our biggest trader the US will prioritise the EU and its member states. You heard it from the man himself, “Brexit would put UK back of the queue for trade talks (Obama, during his visit to London, April 2016).
- More restricted travelling and more expensive roaming charges: Perhaps I think too much into other less important things but as someone in my mid twenties I still want to travel and Easyjet and Ryanair have some pretty awesome prices because of deals these companies have set up with the EU. Whatever would have to Ryanair and Easyjet?! Their most predominant routes are to European countries. We all love to pay for a £35.99 flight to a nice, hotter getaway somewhere in Europe but those flights will be wiped out almost as quickly as the dinosaurs were millions of years ago if Britain leaves the EU. Mobile network charges will go up too… it will just be a huge hassle and it will feel like the more financially restricted of us will have to stick to spending our summer holidays in Cornwall with mild temperatures as opposed to sunbathing on the golden coast of Costa del Sol!
As it stands people are slightly more in favour of Brexit (polls show 53% are for Brexit and 47% are for Bremain) given their stronger campaigning efforts. However, don’t just listen to the simplistic arguments from Nick Farage, Boris Johnson and others alike. Really do your research on it and find out exactly what the EU is about. I’m not saying the EU is perfect because it’s not and it’s got a long way to go but we stand stronger united, especially with other worldwide crisis’ going on. I mean look at the image below because it says a lot about the current situation: Whom would you trust most?