EU Referendum – using your vote wisely
By Laksala Mendis
There are obviously pros and cons related to being a member of the EU or not. It is quite difficult to find the facts, when trying to decide which way to vote. Certainly there are many reasons to leave the EU and some of these are as follows:
- We would save around 8 billion per year on merely the membership fee, which is money that could be used elsewhere. How can we justify giving away such a huge amount when teenagers and young adults have to pay to go to university, getting into debt and being placed under unnecessary pressure when they should be enjoying themselves? How can we justify giving away over 8 billion per year when there are those attending food banks in the UK because they don’t have enough money for food? There are enough problems in the UK that need addressing before handing over 8 billion per year and that is just the membership fee. There are other costs associated with being a member of the EU, adding up to more billions of pounds that could be well spent in the UK itself.
- We receive around half of what we put in, so we are basically just giving money away, and these aren’t small amounts. Other wealthier EU countries also receive less than they put in, such as and France. Poorer EU countries, such as Poland, are receiving more than three quarters of what they put in, and they put in a lot less as well. The UK, and other wealthier EU countries, are basically providing financial aid to the poorer EU countries, when they have their own societal shortcomings that need financial aid. It makes no sense at all.
- We are losing control over important factors such as the laws of this country. EU laws are superseding UK laws, and the unelected (and therefore undemocratic) Commission are making decisions about policies that affect the UK
- By 2020 the EU wants the UK to have the Euro. This will not only affect the UK detrimentally financially, it is again another factor where we are being bullied into doing something by the EU.
- David Cameron, and other scaremongers are trying to convince you to vote ‘Remain’ and here are a few reasons why I think you shouldn’t –
- According to Cameron, we would lose billions (funny seeing as he’s giving away billions to be a member of the EU), but do you really believe that European companies that make billions of pounds from trade with the UK are suddenly going to not trade with us. I don’t think that Aldi and Lidl are suddenly going to say ‘See you later. We are closing all our shops now’? No, it’s not going to happen. I doubt that trade will be affected at all, because the UK brings billions of pounds to EU companies so why would they suddenly stop trading with us.
2. Having overpopulated cities doesn’t affect wealthy politicians such as David Cameron. What does he know about overcrowding in the cities. Does he travel by tube, because believe me I have seen how an already overcrowded tube system is now becoming more and more overcrowded and there is a lot of tension on the underground. David Cameron not understanding the needs of regular working British citizens is a cause for concern in itself, but then elections come and go in a similar way to the EU referendum, in that there is a lot of propaganda and mud-slinging and not much fact-based reporting or information provided. This is how Cameron gets away with things. He already got away with the whole Panama affair by slyly saying that that is OK behaviour in a capitalist society, and no one questioned him after that.
3.He is scaremongering by saying that if you vote ‘Leave’ then you are in Nigel Farage’s camp. This infuriated me, because I am certainly not in Farage’s camp. In addition, the media mostly give airtime to Farage or elderly Brits who want to leave often for racist or patriotic reasons, and these are not really the pressing reasons to vote ‘Leave’. The real reasons why you should vote leave are logistics and sums. Having open borders doesn’t really benefit the UK because if we ‘Leave’ we will just have to get visas – it’s not that complicated or much of big deal, and we might not even have to do that. The other side of the coin regarding free movement within the EU for EU members is the open borders whereby huge numbers of EU citizens can just enter the UK, often without work. This places a huge amount of pressure on services, and overpopulates already overcrowded cities. It just doesn’t make sense to allow so much immigration into the UK, but under EU law, anyone within the EU can work and travel to countries within the EU, so again this is the EU taking control away from the UK regarding immigration.
4.Poorer countries join the EU because they are in financial difficulty. There are more countries planning to join the EU. That 8 billion which the UK put in will help the poorer countries financially. This also infuriates me. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t be charitable, but when pensioners are dying because they cannot afford their heating bill, or there are homeless on the streets, how can Cameron justify giving away huge amounts of money only to receive half? Again it doesn’t make sense. Giving away money that isn’t his is really no problem for Cameron because again it doesn’t really affect him. Electing someone else as Prime Minister, someone who actually cares and can empathise more importantly is an important decision we will have to make in the future, but firstly we are lucky enough to have a say in the EU Referendum, regardless of how it first came about.
- Trade really wouldn’t be affected as huge EU companies are not suddenly going to withdraw their business, since they receive billions from UK customers. We would simply have to draw up a new trade agreement with the EU, and this could actually create jobs. Most importantly we would have control over decision-making and that is paramount, because who knows where the EU’s control over policies and laws would end. We wouldn’t have a say over important details about the country in which we live.
- There are other countries in Europe that are not in the EU that trade successfully with the EU, such as Norway, so again all the scaremongering saying that trading with the EU would be direly affected is just clouds to blur your vision when it comes to voting about EU membership. If you look at the facts and figures these tell you exactly what we put in and what we receive, and you may well feel as annoyed as I did to find out that the UK is literally giving away billions of pounds, as well as its sovereignty. Ask yourself who is really benefitting from the UK’s membership within the EU. Ask yourself what the UK could do with all the saved billions per year. Try and see what the future may look like with overpopulated cities, less control over laws, and the Euro being used in the UK in 2020 (considering the pound is currently stronger than the Euro).
- It isn’t racist to vote ‘Leave’. Just because you vote ‘Leave’ does not make you concurrent with Nigel Farage, UKIP, or any other racist organisation that is using propaganda to try and persuade the ignorant and the racist to leave the EU. There are others, like Boris Johnson, who are urging you to vote ‘Leave’ in order to save this country from a downfall which I can truly see happening. Johnson is promoting the phrase ‘Prevention is better than cure’ without using any propaganda or racist reasons, and it is important to listen to someone who talks sense because I’m not sure it would be something you could cure after the event. We can always vote for a different Prime Minister, but if we vote ‘Remain’ I doubt that there will be another referendum about EU membership.
- There are those trying to fool you into voting ‘Remain’ by scaring you. Do not let fear be the reason why you didn’t vote ‘Leave’. Be brave at a time when you need to be brave. Voting ‘Leave’ doesn’t mean that you don’t like Europeans, or you don’t want to travel easily within Europe, or you’re on the side of Farage and the racists. No, it’s not true. Use your vote to decide what YOU think about EU membership. Read unbiased articles that provide facts and not propaganda to help you decide. There are those that will vote ‘Remain’ simply because they don’t want anything to change, but things will change if you vote ‘Remain’ and the UK government will have less and less say over things as the EU takes control of decision-making.
- Controlled numbers of immigration are good not only for British culture, but also for the economy. Unlimited numbers from the EU is not good for the UK, which is essentially a small island, especially since no job is required to enter. This only causes a strain on resources and public services. You cannot blame those from poor countries wanting to enter and live in the UK, but you also have to consider how it benefits or affects the UK if immigration is not properly controlled. It can only be controlled effectively if we exit the EU, and thus pressure on resources and public services will be alleviated.