Before anyone gets angry about the EU referendum I'd just like to say I'm firmly in. Any Brexiters amongst you should feel free to disagree, you're entitled to your opinion as it's a democracy we live in, but after much deliberation and seeing the arguments from both sides, I am firmly voting to remain in the EU for these main reasons.
For me the leave campaign have been trumped at every hurdle when it comes to their statistics, chief of which is the supposed £361 million per week entrance fee to be in the EU. You know, that magic number that could build a new hospital every week? This figure got quickly squashed as the numbers were found to be false. On top of that, as much as you like or despise her, Margaret Thatcher’s legacy on Europe is our rebate every month from the EU, paid just for Britain for being a member. This comes to £88million per week. Think of it like £88 million in cash back. Amongst other budget rebates and bonuses, our actual bill comes to just £161 million a week according to the BBC- £119 million according to the Remain campaign. Less than half a per cent of the UK's GDP. To put that into perspective, £161 mill/ week divide by our population (64.1 million in 2014, according to the ONS) is £2.49 per person, per week... You spend more on your lunch per day than you spend for all of the benefits the EU provides without you even noticing.
(The BBC did a fantastic breakdown video of this membership fee here)
But what are those benefits I hear you ask? They are many things, they are the everyday things that most people take for granted. They're things like cleaner air through regulation and tax on high emission cars, in turn lowering the emissions of cars because people don't want to pay the high tax on them. They're things like protecting workers rights; a maximum 48 hour week is now law. Anything over 48 hours has to be paid as overtime, and quite rightly too. These are just the two biggest ones for me, but there are plenty others. Could you imagine leaving and our government being perfectly capable of scrapping this rule? They've already stabbed students in the back by raising the interest on student loans 4 years after raising the price to £9000. Something a commercial loan provider would not be able to do. This brings me onto my next point.
Business and tax. A sudden exit from the EU will mean a vote of no confidence from big companies. That's not scaremongering, its logic. If you have millions of pounds invested into an island firm to make, I don’t know, car engines for Ford (where many engines are made in the UK, then physically shipped to Germany along with other parts to be assembled and transported back as the final cars), why would you spend extra money on transport and tariffs to make the same product you could make in Germany (the engines) with just as skilled workers, and then ship these engines and car parts at higher cost around Europe? You could make it all in Germany bringing only the finished article to Britain. If you're thinking manufacturing will stay in Britain because we're just skilled British workers, you're wrong; it just comes down to making things with the lowest bidder at the end of the day. That's how big companies work. It's cynical but true.
My final point to stay in is immigration and the policies countries have to uphold before they can enter. No, Turkey is not about to enter the EU 'opening the floodgates to Arabia'. That's just xenophobic and factually incorrect. The 35 'hoops' countries have to jump through before their EU application can even be considered- the 35 chapters of the Acquis communautaire- govern everything from Human rights to conquest of other nations. Turkey has completed 1 out of these 35 chapters to date. The Turkish application formally started in 1987- though Turkish attempts to join Europe started in 1959- and at this rate they won't be a member until 3002. This video explains it further.
I think above all else though our country forgets two things about immigration. First, that there are about 2.2 million British ex-pats in the EU right now. If we leave, what's to stop all the remaining EU countries kicking them out and sending them back to the UK? That surely, in terms of allocation of space and use of public services like the NHS and public transport will be more of a national strain than the 184,000 net income of EU immigrants to the UK each year? But in our heads its fine taking these people because at the end of the day they're British. Like they don't take up as much space as another person coming in.
The second is us forgetting we have overseas bases in Calais. Currently these are two places we have negotiated deals on, but you can easily see how these will be overthrown leaving the EU. Being a member of the EU means we cannot colonise foreign soil for sole personal gain (it's one of the hoops Turkey is failing at because of their current military occupation of 40% of Cyprus, who actually have a veto should Turkey ever jump through the hoops). Leaving the EU means leaving these deals. We can either negotiate a new deal to keep the French checking people at Calais for a set amount every month (which in turn raises taxes for us paying for this, and is unlikely anyway because of the likely French backlash to Brexit) or we give parts of the Calais border back to the French and they just let anyone over because they're under no obligation to do anything, adding more stress to our border control this side. This video explains the above.
Currently I think we have a good deal as it stands with free movement, especially as we’re outside the Schengen space, and it works for me. 60% of EU migrants have confirmed work when they come over here, the other 40% have had the balls to come hundreds of miles, knowing English to a good standard as well as leaving family and friends behind to work where they can ultimately aim for a better quality of life. And from my experience of the all EU foreigners I've met and worked with, I don't doubt that they contribute more to the economy than they take out. And if they do send the money 'back home' fair play to them, they've earnt it and paid the necessary taxes on it to send it back. That's how the economy works.
I could go on about the free trade market and low holiday prices and other areas where it effects everyday life as well, but you people are already probably pretty bored, so I will end with this:
Honestly, in my eyes this whole referendum is just classic Britain not being happy with what we've got, again. Right now, for me, the deal we have the EU is the best going out of any EU nation because, yes, we are a big player. We already control our borders from people outside of the EU. The calibre of people inside the EU coming here wanting to work are on the same page as us work wise otherwise they wouldn't be in the EU full stop. Only 18.2% of our laws are made in the EU, the rest are made here. And of the vast majority of those 18.2% have to be unanimously approved by the 28 countries before they can be applied to every country. (You may say these are unelected officials, but I say even though we elect our own MPs, we have no say who makes into the cabinet. Personally I wouldn't let my MP Claire Perry near anything but that's a different story).
Leaving the EU is a big mistake because should we- as seems to be common knowledge- we leave the EU and join the EEA, we have to pay in and follow the laws with no say in how the trade zone is run. Surely you want to remain a part of the trade zone AND have the ability to vote on its rules and regulations instead of being just a part with no power. Surely that's more of a definition of being pushed around by the EU than not?
The current deal we have right now is the best for us in my eyes.
So that's where I stand on this. Like I said, it's a democracy so feel free to disagree with my musings, but this is my opinion and evidence to back it up none the less.BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS