When I speak to people, overwhelmingly they say they just don’t have enough balanced information to make a sensible decision at the EU referendum.
Both sides appear to be making increasingly outlandish claims. Most of these claims revolve around the economic consequences and are often difficult, if not impossible to validate. Most are predictions based on best guess formula designed to reinforce which ever view the originator has.
To me there are three key areas to think about.
This is the most complex and confusing. Both sides are making claims that are frankly ridiculous. What we do know is that we are the worlds fifth largest economy, very successful and I don’t think that is going to change very much what ever the outcome of the referendum. Unfortunately, we know that time after time it is the economy that is the deciding factor in parliamentary elections. Of course, this is a very different decision to be made.
As we are currently members of the EU we comply with all the requirements to continue to trade with the EU even if we leave. Any movement away from these standards is likely to be slow and take place over a long time and you would like to think only for a very good economic reason.
It is very likely that what ever the politicians might say the EU captains of industry will do everything in their power to continue trading with the U.K. It just makes sense.
This is a simpler but much more contentious issue. For too long we have been discouraged from discussing migration on the grounds that it is racist. This is a completely stupid assertion but it has suited some political view points.
The key issue is the number of people arriving in the UK from two areas, the EU and the rest of the world. We are unable to stop any of the 500m EU national migrating to the UK. We are able to prevent people migrating to the UK from the rest of the world, including our Commonwealth. This results in people coming from the EU we don’t need and many who we do need from the rest of the world not being allowed here. This is daft and doesn’t act in our interests.
The EU has plans to expand to include a number of additional countries including Turkey which has a population of around 75m.
For me this is the most important issue.
It is clear that for the EU to work it has to press on with its ambitions to become a single state. It must have the same laws, taxation, regulations, armed forces, democratic institutions, language, currency, flag, national anthem, embassy’s and trade agreements with the rest of the world if it is to make any progress. It is a long way down that road map. Currently it is neither fish nor fowl and doesn’t work very well.
I happen to think this is not the UK that I want. I believe that our own Parliament should set our laws and regulation and be accountable through the ballot box, however imperfect it might be.
I believe that our Supreme Courts should ensure that the law is interpreted correctly not European one.
I believe that we need to retain our own currency and reassert our right to vary taxation in our own national interest.
I believe in a free, democratic and successful UK that needs to be agile in its actions, innovative in its thinking and astute in making deals. It is not possible to do this as a member of the EU.
I am very concerned that if we remain in the EU laws and regulation will be set in the interests of the majority of EU members which might not be in the interest of the U.K.