So, they’ve finally come to a deal. After days of negotiating, David Cameron and his fellow EU member state leaders have found a compromise that strengthens Britain’s position in the EU, but without undermining every other country and making the EU out to be a joke. Plus, opportunities for migrants to claim benefits have been limited. Hurray! Everyone’s a winner!
But with the boring bits of two day negotiations out of the way, we can now focus on the juicy stuff – the referendum.
On June 23rd, the country will go to the polls to decide whether we should stay in the EU or leave. It’s the biggest decision the British public have had to make since Gareth Gates vs. Will Young, and equally vital to our well-being.
Actually, this one is probably even more important, if you can believe that. This is a vote that impact the very foundation of the country for decades to come. This is a decision we simply have to get right, because it will become increasingly difficult to go back on it once it has been made, whichever way it goes.
But with so many passionate arguments being put forward, it can be difficult to know why this actually matters, and what the benefits are of each.
But fear not, fair reader. Judge Larnerholt is presiding, and we will hear the arguments from both sides. At the end, I’ll offer my verdict based on these totally unbiased facts.
The Pro Camp, please step forward:
“Thank you, Judge Larnerholt. Here are our arguments:
- As sad as it is to admit, we simply do not have the negotiating power we once had. Most of the importance we have on the world scale is tied in to our relationship with the EU.
- Leaving the EU is not a case of “in or out”, it’s a matter of scale. If we were to leave, we’d still need access to Europe, but it would become limited and we’d lose our opportunity to influence decisions.
- Over half of British trade is with EU members, which is helped by free trade agreements. As it stands, it’s easy and cheap for British companies to export to Europe, and by being a member we have a say over the trading rules. We’d lose this if we backed out.
- The “special relationship” between us and the US is predicated on us being an EU member. We’re a good ally for them to have within the world’s biggest economic market, but if we’re on the outside looking in we become significantly less appealing to our friends over the pond.
- Being part of a European community allows us to have a greater understanding of the criminal aspect on the continent. At the moment, we can share information to understand what is happening overseas, but can also work with other nations to cut through bureaucratic red tape and skip extradition procedures for criminals now based abroad.
- Closing our borders probably won’t do much to stop illegal immigrants coming over. In fact, what it would do is block the amount of legal immigration, of which the vast majority contribute a great deal to society. All we’re doing is blocking off the bright, capable talent that would help the country grow.
- It seems as though many look towards the Norwegian model as an aspiration for the UK, based on the truth that they are not part of the EU but have access to the shared market. However, what is rarely said is that they have to make a significant financial contribution to be a part of this deal, and also have to abide by laws, regulations and standards that they have no say over.
- Also, while we’re talking about Norway, if you look at number of immigrants relative to size of population, Norway has more than double the amount we do. In fact, if it were an EU member, it would have the fourth highest per capita immigration. It’s a staggeringly beautiful country, but let’s not pretend it has managed to nail the in/out argument spot on.
For these reasons, we believe the interests of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland are better served by staying in the EU”.
Thank you, Pro Camp. Against Camp, please step forward and present your case:
“Alright, let’s get this facking thing out the way, I need a slash:
- We’re England, innit? We don’t need no facking frogs telling us what to do.
- Look, if I wanna beat my wife after six tins of Stella, I should be able to and not have to worry about the facking European Court of Human Rights getting involved.
- We won the World Cup in 1966.
- Foreigns are coming over here and stealing our jobs. I don’t have any facts to back this up, but it’s probably facking true.
- My old lady went to the doctors and had to wait three hours to be seen. This is because of the EU for some reason.
- It’s my right as an Englishman to do nothing but be a lazy, violent, dangerous, resource-consuming stain on society and have the government give me money for it. Those foreigns shouldn’t be able to come over, contribute to society and also get money from the state. They ‘aint English, know what I mean?
- Something something terrorism something something best country in the world something something Churchill something something foreigns.
Now where’s my pint?”
You didn’t have a pint.
“If you stole my facking pint I’m gonna f…”
Judge Larnerholt’s Verdict: Both sides put forward interesting arguments, but I’m going to have to side with staying in the EU on this one. Thanks to both sides for their time, and if the “Against” camp could please stop urinating in the corner of the courtroom, that would be great.
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