I’ll start with a warning: this post will not be impartial. If you are unsure about how to vote in the referendum this Thursday (23rd June) then please read up on both sides before forming your own opinion. It is difficult to come up with a decision, something that has single-handedly been proven by the Conservative Party, so it may be better reading biased pieces from both sides as no article will give a completely balanced overview of all the facts. I would also like to add that I am in no way an expert regarding this issue so don’t just take these points on board.
A lot of the leave campaign appears to focus on immigration and strengthening border control as people believe that Britain is an easy target for migrants due to our welfare system. We are, however, safer as part of the EU as the UK borders are not open unlike other countries that are part of the Schengen Agreement. Everyone who enters the UK is checked and therefore unable to escape due to the European Arrest Warrant allowing criminals to be deported. Their data is shared across the EU for our protection. Leaving would mean that we would no longer be able to use this.
Around 1 in 10 jobs are reliant on the EU. Leaving could put millions of workers at risk of losing their jobs.Furthermore, to allow increasing wages ‘promised’ if we left, employers would have to make other cuts to budget for this such as losing job perks or cutting staff. Paid paternity/maternity leave and holiday pay are rights we all benefit from but these are taken for granted. If we were not part of the EU then we could return to lower maternity pay, a loss of holiday pay or unregulated working hours. We would ultimately lose the right to work in a safe and fair environment.
The majority of countries in the EU are cheap holiday destinations and being part of the EU allows us to travel freely to these countries. If we left, booking a simple summer holiday could come with a lot more stress such as organising visas. There could also be difficulties with accessing healthcare whilst away and phone calls or texts home would cost significantly more. Finally, your current driving license may no longer be valid in Europe if we leave.
The EU is our biggest trading partner. Leaving could compromise this and the UK may no longer be seen as an attractive trade partner meaning we would have to form new trading deals.
Although it is unknown what will happen if we leave I would ultimately prefer to be part of a country of hard working migrants than being part of a country that abuses their own welfare system.