Report by Reece Harris 10JAT
15th Mar 2016
Why is there going to be a referendum?
Britain had a referendum in 1975 a bit after Britain joined the EU in the first place, or the Common Market as it was then called. The country voted to stay in then but there have been more speculation and calls, from the public and politicians, for another vote because, they say, the EU has changed a lot over 40 years, with many more countries joining and the organisation extending its control over more aspects of daily lives. David Cameron initially resisted these calls but in 2013 he changed his mind, and is holding a referendum. Even though the Prime Minister has accepted the referendum, he has decided to be part of the remain campaign, and many other politicians has followed suit in the conservative party. However, others have decided to join the leave campaign, like Boris Johnston, and has created division in the party.
Why do some people want to leave the EU?
The main reasons that some people want to leave are that Britain is being held back by the EU, which they say imposes too many rules on business and charges billions of pounds a year in membership fees for little in return. They also want Britain to take back full control of its borders and reduce the number of people coming here to work. This is a very important point because of the recent migrant crisis. One of the main principles of EU membership is “free movement”, which means you don’t need to get a visa to go and live in another EU country. They also object to the idea of “ever closer union” and any ultimate goal to create a “United States of Europe”. This could work but might be contentious because there would probably be only one council or government leading millions of people.
Why do people want to stay in the EU?
They believe Britain gets a big boost from EU membership – it makes selling things to other EU countries easier and, they argue, the flow of immigrants, many of whom are young professionals and keen to work, fuels economic growth and helps pay for public services. It also allows us to look for employment in another EU country. They also believe Britain’s status in the world would be damaged by leaving and that we are more secure as part of the bloc.
So would we be better in or out?
The polls are balanced at the moment, and we will really only be able to predict a result later on nearer the date of the referendum. The best thing to do is to look to the facts and decide yourself.
By Reece Harris 10JAT