by Claire Munday on June 15, 2016, in Knowledge • No Comments
We’re heading ever closer to one of the most important decisions our generation will face, but instead of being presented with facts, both sides are guilty of pushing propaganda. The result will shape our lives for decades to come, but constant bickering over the economy and immigration, overshadows the many other factors we should be considering on whether we should stay in the EU or whether we should go.
Working/Living/Studying in Europe
So far talk has concentrated on migration to the UK, but we also benefit from free movement. For example, if you want to live and/or work in Spain, you are able to do so without first applying for a visa. Upon leaving the EU, dreams of moving to sunnier climes may have to remain dreams and the 1.2 million people from the UK living in another EU country, may have to return.
As for education, some EU countries do not charge tuition fees to EU students. However, France charges the same for EU and Non-EU students, and in Germany it is free for both, making studying in Europe still a possibility either way.
Travel Within EU Countries
If we leave, there is no reason to suggest travel to an EU country will be less accessible, but there is a risk it will become more expensive. Currently, flights and data roaming charges have been made cheaper and healthcare in some countries is free for EU members.
Minimum wage, tax rates and benefits are down to the UK Government, but the EU does have influence over product pricing. Many items are cheaper thanks to the single market, but there has been recent contention in regards to VAT. Our government wanted to scrap it on, ahem, tampons; an essential item for many women, however the EU disagreed and VAT has to stay. Sorry ladies.
We can thank the EU for Holiday and Maternity Pay though; Brexit potentially loses this protection, as the Government could choose to change this for better or worse.
The EU makes laws we have to adhere to, but they have to be passed by the majority of Member States. Part of David Cameron’s deal with the EU if we remain, is for them to rethink this system to make it fairer when vetoing a bill. As this deal is not legally binding, we can’t guarantee it will be enforced, but we do know our Politicians are willing to fight for change on this issue.
If there is a conflict between UK National Law and European Law, we have to adhere to European Law. This has benefited many in discrimination cases but at the same time awarded thousands in compensation to convicted criminals.
Firstly, as we do not have an open border, we already monitor who is entering/exiting the country. Secondly, no matter the outcome of the referendum, it would be counter-productive and non-beneficial for all parties to not continue sharing data on terrorism. However, it may be a harder and lengthier process than at present, and of course it’s not just terrorism we rely on Europol for to help combat.
Although being part of the EU helps us control greenhouse gas emissions, we will still be obligated to stick to climate change targets, as we’re a G-7 country.
We are not reliant on the EU for our gas imports but being part of the EU single market does allow for security when dealing as a bloc. Right now the UK ranks fifth cheapest for electricity in
Europe; which can only be a good thing.
Whatever you decide on June 23rd, it’s important to have your say, as it will affect all of us. Vote for what you genuinely think will be best for you and future generations.