Have a break, have a … Brexit?

15 June, 2016
by: Cripps Pemberton Greenish

When I first heard the term “Brexit” being bandied about the media, my first thought turned to food (as it so commonly does) “what is this new cereal bar everyone is talking about?” However, much to my stomach’s disappointment, I soon learnt that the term is actually a political abbreviation referring to the possibility of Britain’s exit from the EU.

In a world of working long hours, it inevitably becomes difficult to make sure that you are keeping up to date with current affairs, and therefore a harder task to vote for something of major significance to our everyday lives. After having spoken with my family, friends and colleagues about Brexit, it appears that they are still making up their minds as to what to vote, and they say that there is more political mudslinging in the media, rather than accessible information about the topic.

Of course, the main point about Brexit is that no one knows for definite what would happen if Britain were to leave the EU, all anyone can do is speculate. Therefore the aim of this blog is to inform, and I have set out the main “Remain” and “Leave” campaign arguments below for you to read, perhaps on your coffee break, (for those of you on a summer body diet, the knowledge can be your cereal bar supplement) to help you decide what to vote.

 

REMAIN – “Stronger in” Campaign – source: 

 

1)  Economy:

  • The campaign quotes PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP who state that if Britain leaves the EU this will result in 950,000 job losses by 2020 and the UK economy would be £100bn worse off.
  • The campaign reports that HM Treasury have stated that for every £1 Britain has put into the EU, Britain gets £10 back through increased trade, investment, jobs, growth and low prices.
  • Jayne-Anne Gadhia CEO of Virgin Money states that if Britain leaves the EU “the price of consumer finance, mortgages and credit would increase”
  • Scientists such as Stephen Hawking also back the Remain campaign. As the EU have invested in British science, if Britain leaves the EU the UK’s scientific research resources could be severely impacted leading to a long-term decline in the UK’s competiveness. 

 

2)  Security:

  • The campaign argues that there are a number of initiatives at European level which deal with the fact that terrorism is a Europe-wide threat, and Britain’s best chances of keeping its people safe is to work closely with other countries in Europe and not by removing its access to other European databases and police cooperation systems.

 

3)  Trade:

  • The chief executive of Rolls Royce is quoted as saying “tariff barriers would mean higher costs and higher prices, and we cannot assume that the UK would be granted free trade with Europe outside of the EU”.
  • The National Farmers Union has told the Campaign that Brexit is likely to push up food prices.
  • The campaign reports that 61% of the UK small business exports go to the EU.

 

4)  Legislation:

  • The campaign reports that worker’s rights are protected by the EU, for example: paid maternity leave, paid guaranteed holiday leave, equal treatment for part-timers and protection for women in the workplace.

 

LEAVE – “Vote Leave” campaign – source: https://www.voteleavetakecontrol.org/

 

1)  Economy:

  • The campaign reports that since 1973, Britain has sent half a trillion pounds to the EU, and currently the EU costs Britain over £350m per week, which is almost £20bn per year. The campaign states that this money is enough to build a brand new and fully staffed NHS hospital every week. The campaign also reports that Britain sends 60 times more money to the EU, than Britain spends on the NHS Cancer Drugs fund.

 

2)  Security:

  • The campaign argues that if Britain remains in Europe, immigration numbers will continue to rise putting public services like the NHS under strain. The campaign states that a quarter of a million EU migrants come to Britain every year, which is a city the size of Newcastle.
  • The campaign quotes the former head of Interpol, Ronal K Noble: “Europe’s open-border arrangement… is effectively an international passport-free zone for terrorists”

 

3)  Trade:

  • The campaign reports that only 5% of British businesses export to the EU, but 100% suffer from the burden of EU red tape.
  • Another argument made by the campaign is that Britain buys more from the EU than it sells which puts Britain in a better bargaining position to negotiate free trade deals if Britain leaves the EU.
  • Britain has no power to make free trade deals with fast growing economies like India and China (unlike non EU Iceland and Switzerland).

 

4)  Legislation:

  • The campaign argues that Britain cannot prevent violent convicted criminals coming into Britain from Europe, and the EU Court also stops Britain from deporting dangerous terror suspects.
  • The campaign states that EU judges are using the Charter of Fundamental Rights to take away more power from Britain’s police and security services.
  • The campaign reports that over half of Britain’s laws are made by unelected EU bureaucrats.
  • The Eurozone has a permanent majority in the EU voting system which means that Britain is always outvoted on topical issues, and crucially Britain has been outvoted every time it has voted against EU laws, which are reported to have cost the British taxpayer £2.4bn.

 

Overall, from my research, I can see why people are still confused. I have made a decision as to how I am going to vote, however if you are still left feeling hungry you can go to the “Remain” and “Leave” parties websites above for more information.

…. And there is still that cereal bar left in the fridge.