The sands of time are fast running out for the long-awaited in/out EU referendum to determine whether the UK will remain a part of the European Union.
There have been arguments and counter-arguments, guess-work and much uncertainty about how leaving the EU will realistically affect the UK in the long-term, and it would appear that the general British public don’t fully appreciate the possible ramifications of such a move and what the landscape will look like if the UK was to depart.
The likelihood is that we will be unable to influence laws that might ultimately affect us, our views deemed redundant in some cases, yet we may still be bound by certain EU regulations, with no prospect of ever returning to the fold. With this realisation we may one day be left wondering if it was all worth it.
Immigration remains a key point in this debate, led primarily by Nigel Farage and UKIP, with immigration as the ‘root of all evil’, and the scapegoat for many a British problem. However, we should bear in mind that other countries such as Switzerland and Norway, both non-EU members, have much higher levels of immigration than the UK, making a mockery of the claims that an EU exit would somehow be the magic bullet to kerb high immigration levels.
A common belief is that the UK will be emboldened by independence from the other EU member states, and will manage very well thank you, able to procure a successful and thriving economy, with good trade links with the rest of the international community. However, economically we may well flourish, but will no longer be a frontrunner in the grand scheme of things, excluded from the top table as it were, like a successful hypermarket in the central business district of a major city, with less political clout, and overlooked on the big occasions. Not to mention the potential unwanted adverse effects that could impact businesses and jobs.
President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, much maligned by the British press, has expressed his willingness to try to meet British demands of sovereignty and other issues, within reason, and is open to fair and workable solutions to allay any fears, and the British public remain fairly evenly split in many surveys at this time.
It is hoped that a vote for an EU exit by the end of 2017 will not turn out to be a fool’s errand.