UK EU referendum 2016 – Better off together

euThe UK EU referendum is about to come to a head on the 23rd June 2016 and it has sparked off a series of claims and counter claim by the opposing In/Out camps. If we’re being honest, a fair portion of this comes across as being outlandish, which makes it difficult for people to be able to make a rational decision ahead of their vote. We’ll cover the more salient points in the debate in our “thinkering” section below, but for us the most important consideration is the conceptual future we want for the UK and Europe and from this stand-point it seems like a simple decision: do we want to go it alone or do we think we’re better off together.

We’re big fans of warm hugs, hearty handshakes and the kind of high fives that make the ground shake under the power of people being stronger together. If we vote to leave the EU then a massive opportunity for people coming together to make things better slips a little further back in time and we risk destabilising the entire Eurozone as a result, so for us it’s an easy IN vote, because whenever sections of society become divided it results in negative world developments that stop us making real progress as a part of the human race.

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The other big idea to take into account is that if you want to be able to send in your designs for the next Mickey Mouse badge then you’ve got to be a member of the club. Bad jokes aside, the reality is that the only way we’ll be able to have a meaningful impact on the policies of the biggest political organisation within our direct vicinity is to be a part of it, so if we’re out we’ll just have to lump it any time things go nipples northward and policies are brought into the EU that effect the UK.

There’s an old Chinese proverb that we’ve just made up that goes, if you want to improve the soup you need to be in the kitchen. The EU is far from perfect, but the only way we’re going to see it working in our favour, and for the benefit of all of our neighbours, friends and family throughout Europe, is to be a positive force within it, probably more active as a nation than we have been to-date.

More thinkering on the UK EU referendum 2016

One side shouts “ECONOMY”, the other shouts “IMMIGRATION” and in and among the furor, rationality sort of fails, and in overstating points, the opposing sides have failed the UK public. The reality is that there are pros and cons on both sides of the fence on either of the big debate topics:

Economy

It’s fairly easy to understand that sitting outside of the EU we’ll have less buying and selling power than we currently get. Equally, such a large economic power like UK coming out of a trade community will inevitably destabilise the financial stability of the entire Eurozone region, so there are inevitable ramifications to face economically should the leave campaign succeed.

That said, there is no way to say how severe these effects will be, so while it’s something to be concerned about, there’s probably at least a little possibility that it could be something of a storm in a teacup. Equally, even if we vote out of the EU, there will still be the opportunity to remain a part of the European Economic Area, with similarities to Norways arrangement.

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If we look at it with impartial eyes, we’d have to say that there is more risk economically in leaving the EU, but it’s not necessarily a world ending volcano blast. However, and perhaps more importantly, you’ve got to ask who we hand the economic reigns on to in an exit post-referendum UK; if you think Boris, Gove, Farage and Mallett will be good possible safeguards of our economic future then you might want to take a minute to look each one of them in their caracature-like faces and ask yourself if you’d be happy to lend them a fiver (Timmy excluded, of course).

Immigration

On the immigration point, there is a need to work on getting the balance right and there’s clearly a feeling across much of the UK that we’re not there yet. The problem is that for all its bluff and bluster, the leaders of the out campaign have not been confident enough to quote numbers in terms of their immigration policies. As a result, it feels like immigration would continue to be a significant issue of debate in the UK whether we vote in or out.

On the other side of the coin, it would be myopic in the extreme to ignore the fact that immigration and the labour it provides is a key ingredient to a successful economy. Equally, there are key areas of care, including the NHS, that benefit a lot from having additional options when it comes to employment.

With the outers unable to specify the number details for immigration post leave and the stickers stuck with the EU, it seems like a zero-sum debate that will only really tick the boxes for the more xenophobic portions of society. However, what we do know for sure is that there has been at least a little flex on the part of the EU when it comes to the open employment market and welfare, so we’re more inclined to stick with the continued efforts to get that right than pulling out completely and leaving our economic my and services at the mercy of The Jabber-Johngovage.

Sovereignty

Another big consideration in the debate is the ability of the UK to run its own affairs, but when you look at the numbers and see the huge volume of British policies that have been brought in compared to the handful from the EU, this starts to look more and more like hot air designed to fool some of the people this one time in the very least. EU policies don’t seriously reduce our sovereignty, and we’re still able, as a beautiful island nation of misfits and wanderers, to put the majority of our own policies in place.

With that in mind, it’s worth look at some of the EU policies that do effect the everyday lives of people in the UK, like the minimum wage, the working time directive – which caps the working week at 48 hours – and conservation restrictions. When you look at it like that, you can see that the complainers that know the real ins and out of this are actually working very hard to make it easier for the things most in need to be exploited with greater ease.

Britain hasn’t lost its sovereignty as a result of membership of the EU, but it has benefited from a collective effort to safeguard the most important rights. If we lose that then we leave the lambs to the wolves and the sheep to the flex of the crook.

Red tape

This is yet another red herring in livery disguise. Down with Europe with its crippling red tape. It might as well be Father Ted holding up his placard saying, “down with this sort of thing”. Any reader out there that has honestly been touched by European Union red tape are welcome to drop a comment below, but if this was a Family Fortunes-style quiz question it would be a very low scoring answer.

The only red tape that some self-servers out there may be looking to reduce are the very policies mentioned above that help to protect employment regulations for the masses. If the only red tape in question is for the minimum wage or the working time directive then we’d have to argue that we’re worth it, because without it, low paid jobs will get lower and long working weeks will get longer, which sounds like a very bad deal for the average person on the street. Sadly, some of these will be the most vocal about leaving, unwittingly helping to nudge themselves closer to the breadline.

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