The time is coming near when you will have to decide if you want Britain to stay in or leave the European Union.
As a student here at Teesside the decision made will certainly affect you over the coming years.
Tside is launching a campaign today across all of it’s platforms – print; online and broadcast – giving you some facts and figures to help you make up your mind.
Here tside editor Josh Gallacher sets out how we feel you should vote.
So – Should we stay or should we go now?
Those famous words from Joe Strummer of The Clash have never been so relevant in politics as in this year.
The EU referendum will be one of the biggest decisions made by our democratic country since WW2, we will ultimately decide whether we as a country want to take advantage of being part of the EU or whether we think that being part of the EU is a big mistake.
In my opinion, there is only one way that we, the British Public, should vote. We should stay.
There are plenty of reasons why we should stay and there are some reasons why we should go, but the reasons that we should stay by far outweigh those cons.
Firstly, we as a country, need to move past the migrant question as if it is the only thing that will change come a yes vote in this referendum. I think one of the biggest problems with a lot of people in this country is that they have found a reason to hate immigrants be it one way or another, whether it be the uproar after the Red Door scandal, or the many Daily Mail articles warning of a flood of migration from countries such as Libya, people in this country have jumped on a hatred band wagon that they need to jump off.
Migration is not the only subject that Brexit could mean for this country.
As a counter measure to leaving the EU, David Cameron took part in a meeting in Brussels with a deal in mind to secure further devolution of powers to the UK if it where to stay in the EU and it is for this reason that I think we should stay within the EU.
Although David Cameron returned from that meeting with a slightly different deal, it is not one to be scoffed.
The agreement will take effect immediately if we choose to stay, and will include changes such as:
Child Benefit – Child benefit payments to migrant workers for children living overseas will be recalculated to reflect the cost of living in their home countries.
Migrant Welfare Payments – The UK will be able to decide to limit in-work benefits for EU migrants during their first four years in the UK.
Eurozone – Britain can keep the pound while being in Europe, and our business trade with the bloc without discrimination. Any British money spent on bailing out Eurozone nations will be reimbursed.
Protection for the City of London – Safeguards for Britains large financial services industry to prevent Eurozone regulations being imposed on it.
Sovereignty – A very emphatic no from the UK of being part of an “ever closer union.”
‘Red Card’ for national parliaments – It will be easier governments to band together to block unwanted law from the EU. If 55% of national EU parliaments wish to block the law, then it will have to be rethought.
Competitiveness -The deal calls on all EU members and institutions to “make all efforts to fully implement and strengthen the internal market”, making sure that trade deals and movements still go ahead with meaning.
Some limits on free movement – This means that the UK can deny free movement rights automatically to nationals of countries outside of the EU who marry an EU national in an attempt to break down “sham” marriages. Other powers included allow the UK to remove people from the country who are believed to be a security risk, even if they have no previous convictions.
UK business, in my opinion, is the other big issue within this debate, how would leaving the EU effect UK business, but more importantly, how would it effect people’s jobs. The BBC reported that big businesses tend to be in favour of Britain staying the EU because it makes it easier for them to move money, people and products around the world.
Nissan, who employ more than 5000 in the North East area, have previously been reported that they may reconsider investment in the UK if we were to choose to leave the EU, I don’t have to tell you the consequence of that.
When it all comes down to it, the answer to whether Britain is better in the EU or better out of it comes down to you and what you believe the important issues are. It’s these important issues that can either lead Britain to become a free nation, or it can lead it to economic ruin.