Consequences of exiting at the EU Referendum tomorrow remain unclear.
The EU Referendum is finally upon us. In less than 24 hours we, the Brits will go to the polls and decide whether we want to remain in the most expensive club in the world or to exit and ‘go it alone’. The battle is on for both sides of the debate and crucially, undecided voters are more than a few. I suspect they will swing the votes to one of the sides.
In the past few days I have listened to some compelling arguments for and against exiting the EU. This, unfortunately has not helped in making a decision because we have not heard anything new as far as the message is concerned; just reenforcement of it. Forget any politician you must have heard in the past few days for their message always contains a hidden agenda. Let me break it down for you as one of you. I have changed my mind twice already after listening to some debates and doing my own research and for those of you like me who are still undecided, I hope presenting this unfiltered, no-sentiment breakdown of what I know will help us all decide when votes open for the EU Referendum tomorrow.
First thing off the block, how the hell did we get to this present state of affairs? How have we gotten to a situation where EU lawmakers dictate laws and policies of a proud, sovereign and independent nation like Britain? How could we have allowed for a situation where unelected persons dictate what happens in our own country? These are some of the things I always wanted to get off my chest regarding the EU and most of these questions remain unanswered. Like many others, I am an immigrant who have come to call this country my home. Some of us have fought for this country (including myself) and some of us have died for this country. This is Britain, a fiercely proud, strong and good country. It is a formidable empire that ruled the world and is still regarded as one of the super powers of the world and I am extremely proud to call it home.
Having said that, I am trying to picture a Britain out of the EU. The one thing nobody has been able to convince ANY voter is the consequences of leaving the EU. This is clearly the ONE sticking point for me in the EU Referendum run-in. Without a doubt, there will be an economic shock. I am not an economist and can’t give you numbers but we all know what an economic shock is. As at today, The Post Office have declared that sales of currency have surged 74 per cent since the weekend, compared to the same period last year. That is just a tip of the iceberg compared to a vote to leave. That is an example of economic shock; people do not want to take risks on what might happen to the Pound following Thursday’s EU Referendum. It does not take a rocket scientist to know that the Pound will fall by the way. Another economic shock that is unavoidable is yet another recession. Even though this time it might not last for too long, but are we prepared to go into another recession? Will we survive it?
I am completely in support of the UK being a self-governing, independent nation, which is a status I fought in the UK Army to sustain in the first place. Therefore I am not ready to discount the argument of Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson who want us to remain that way. But does Nigel and Boris know the true consequence of leaving? I don’t think they do, at least they haven’t convinced me of that yet. Lets not kid ourselves, the EU retaliation will not be pleasant. Free movement? What free movement? What if Europe decides (which is very probable) that free movement will need to be renegotiated as retaliation for leaving? That means, taking a short drive to Calais to stock up on those cheap booze and cigarettes will only be possible with a Visa.
Taking a trip to Disneyland Paris will mean queuing up at the French Embassy. Don’t discount it, this is a real possibility. Even my own household will be affected. My wife is an EU State citizen (Hungary) and by extension so is my son even though he is British by Birth. But he also carries a Hungarian passport. My daughter however is also British by birth and British by citizenship but does not carry a Hungarian passport. Does that mean family holidays to Europe will be complicated? It certainly will.
Lets not forget that if we xxit, Scotland will fight to leave the UK and Northern Ireland will most certainly be the only land border with Europe. What does it make of the United Kingdom without Scotland? A disunited Kingdom? But we mustn’t vote purely on emotion should we?
When talk of the Eu Referendum started, as an entrepreneur I listened to the opinion of other entrepreneurs and agreed that perhaps we should remain IN. I even wrote a piece about it, you can read it here. But that is strictly from the point of view of small business owners in Britain. As a business owner, remaining in the EU gives me access to over 500 million people. That is 500 million potential customers and leaving the EU means I might have to pay higher tariffs to access these people and the European Market. But that is a very selfish view. By thinking about my business, I am only thinking about myself and the fact is most of these business owners do too. Today, 1300 business leaders (large and SMEs) have chosen to remain.
While that may not be an indictment for entrepreneurs, it is of utmost importance that we think beyond business and our immediate needs. What is the economic destiny of this great country In or Out of Europe?. ‘Leave’ campaigners will tell you, we do not need the European market. We can do our trade with China and India, and they are right. Why should we let the EU dictate who we should trade with? I mean seriously?. The UK can survive on its own, there is no hiding that fact. There is also no point hiding the fact that UK give more than they benefit to the EU, and that not every member is happy with the EU as presently constituted, which makes me wonder why David Cameron has not succeeded in negotiating a better deal with his EU counterparts. Had he done that, majority of voters won’t be undecided or even be asking to leave.
Let me address the big elephant in the room; the immigration problem. There is a big argument for the reestablishment of controls of UK borders and rightly so. Immigration is a big issue. In the past, when people talk about curbing immigration, they are automatically labelled as racists and bigots. Ok, let me tell you my point of view as an immigrant. I hate to see the uncontrolled dilution of the British way of life and culture as will be the case if immigration continues unchecked.
The truth is, our fathers and forefathers and every immigrant chose to come to Britain because of its way of life. The earlier we all accept that the better. Let us not deceive ourselves by saying otherwise. We came here, because we loved how they live here. There is a threat that this way of life could be eroded by uncontrolled immigration. While I completely subscribe to the fact that immigration is good, uncontrolled immigration isn’t. In the past months, Europe has seen an influx of immigrants from war-torn countries most particularly Syria and Iraq.
Some of those that have managed to get to the shores of Europe are extremist fighters; FACT. We felt their presence on the streets of Brussels and Paris. They are here, make no mistakes. And they are here because governments have been very lax with checking them. An esteemed friend made a compelling argument about ‘The Turkey Issue’ and the fact that for helping the west fight ISIS, they will be considered for membership into the EU. This has made some people jittery.
Consider for a second Turkey in the EU, and the direct access they will have to this country and I am not talking about well-meaning Turks, I am talking about ISIS fighters who will hide under the guise of fleeing a war zone to come and wreck terror in Europe. Should these fears be discounted? Absolutely not! It is easy to watch the coverage of terror attacks on TV; witnessing one on our soil is a different matter. That alone is enough to scare anyone into wanting to leave the EU. However, like I told my esteemed friend, Turkey is not the problem. Even if they join the EU, which won’t happen for at least 10 years, no British government in its right mind will allow unchecked access from Turkey, whether left-wing or right-wing. Also, when it comes to extremism, Turkey is not the main issue. When it comes to unchecked immigration and importation of ISIS fighters, Turkey is not the problem, Germany is more of a problem in that regard than Turkey.
It was Germany that accepted over 1 million fleeing refugees. As part of the membership of EU, all states must accept their own share of the refugee influx. Britain has agree to accept 20k of them. So you see, those campaigning to leave are right to be worried about immigrants from Syria and Iraq. Also, ISIS have been very successful in breeding home-grown extremists. Belgium, France even here in UK, we have seen it all – home-grown terrorists. So in that regard, the devil is already in our house.
Another esteemed friend also made a compelling argument for leaving since Britain has opted out of almost all important EU policy areas – Eurozone, Schengen zone, Justice and Home Affairs and the Charter of Human rights (to an extent) after Cameron managed to get a special deal with the EU council. So in a way, they are almost out, so why not stay out completely? As my esteemed friend succinctly put it: “If remain wins, the UK would remain on the outer space of the inner circle. If leave wins, the country will join the inner sphere of the outer circle”
Why Cameron agreed to a referendum in the first place will continue to astound me. With talk about the deals made with his counterpart, Cameron simply cannot assure British voters that Brussels won’t be responsible for most of our internal affairs. The country now stands on the precipice of one of the biggest decision in its history. Suggestions are that the polls is very close but very importantly, whatever decision made is irreversible. Have I succeed in confusing you more?
I am still undecided but something about the remain camp makes some sense. Due to the fact that NOBODY has been able to tell me what the true consequence of leaving will be, I will continue to toy with the idea of staying because I am not the type to take a leap in the dark.
Are you for stay or leave?
succeeded in confusing you more?