I live in London, England, UK. On 23rd June 2016, the UK held a referendum on whether to Remain or Leave the European Union. It has been a thing of much conversation and debate over the last few months, with everyone with seemingly different views on the matter. Each campaign, headed up by various MPs, have participated in debates, and have gone out to try and muster up support for their side of the referendum.
For those who are unaware, the European Union is a collection of countries who are united together within Europe. As a part of the EU, countries are promised benefits such as easier trade, easier migration and access to work in other EU countries. There are, however, a lot of rules and regulations which EU countries must follow, ranging from rules of trade [who can be traded with outside of the EU], to the shape of bananas [don’t ask…].
I purposefully have not discussed the referendum on my blog at all: everyone has a slightly different opinion, and although I appreciate the need for – and, in fact, the pleasure in – debate, I’ve seen many forums where strong-minded individuals have unintentionally turned a perfectly civilised debate into quite a nasty, personal attack. However, as I sit here tonight, watching the EU Referendum results on BBC One, I feel that now, I shall explain how I feel about our position, as the united Kingdom, in the European Union.
I vote Leave.
For a young person, in my area, in my kind of educational establishment, being a Leave supporter is going against the trend. Most young people – especially those in London – are Remain supporters: the EU can, if nothing else, provide them with a huge job market after they graduate from university, something that Britain is currently unable to provide. Additionally, the EU is, frankly, what they’ve – what we’ve – grown up with: the younger generation knows nothing different than being a part of the EU, and however much we’d like to deny this, change scares us.
I vote Leave.
Many Remain supporters are casually throwing words like ‘racist’ and ‘xenophobic’ around – hateful, unnecessary words. Not every Leave campaign supporter is voting Leave because of immigration. Although I can’t actually vote, I don’t support Leave because of concerns over immigration.
The EU sets a lot of rules, a lot of regulations and forces a lot of conditions upon Britain, and subsequently British businesses and British people. These rules are decided upon by a group of Europeans MPs, who are not elected by the population of the member countries. This, in my opinion, goes against the entire principals of democracy – something that our ancesters fought and died for us to achieve. To essentially be governed by people who we did not vote for, and who hold almost absolute power over our market, our economy and our education system seems wrong to me; it doesn’t seem fair.
The whole debate system has, in my opinion, gone awfully wrong for the EU Referendum. Debates have become personal, with politicians directly insulting therr rivals, rather than tackling the issues at hand; debates have become publicity stunts, and very little else; the last EU debate was held, of all places, at wembly Arena, commonly used as a music venue, or a comedy venue. Doesn’t that, over everything else, speak volumes? how much more of a publicity stunt can you make something so important, so significant, so historic? I am not defending the Leave campaign; they’ve been no better than the Remain campaign, and I don’t deny that in the slightest.
Both major parites in the UK – the Conservatives, and Labour – were campaigning to stay in the EU. Although I respect their opinions, and believe that their arguments are perfectly valid and correct in their own way, I can hardly think that it’s right that both major parites, and hence both major influences, in the UK are voting for the same result. Of course everyone is going to make up their own minds, but our Prime Minister and his key opposition politician are perhaps the most influential MPs, and it just seems wrong that there is not a politician of higher regard representing those who wish to vote Leave.
The results at the moment do seem very tight. As of 01:40am on Friday 24th June, Leave appears to be slightly ahead, but it’s so close, and there are still over 350 sets of voting results to be published. Regardless of the result, I will respect the decision that Britain makes, beause I know that both sides have their positives and negatives: only a fool would not see that.