The question has been on everyone’s minds in these past few weeks and one that has caused much controversy – whether we should remain or exit from the EU. David Cameron will easily campaign to win a vote to stay in and be successful in doing this, like Harold Wilson, a labour prime minister did when Britain held an in-or-out referendum in 1975.
However, this looks rather optimistic in comparison to the 1975 vote, the campaign to leave this time has plenty of money and is well organised. Several mainstream newspapers such as The Daily Express, The Star and The Sun will advocate to leave, where as only the communist Morning star did in 1975.
There have been two major developments that have turned swing voters against the EU. One is that the British economy is doing much better than the Eurozone. This encourages those who think it is a good moment to break free of the EU. The second is the ever-rising concern about immigration and refugees, linking in many British minds with the free movement of people that is a core condition of the EU membership. Euro-sceptics claim that only by leaving the EU can Britain regain control of its borders and this view gets stronger the more ISIS get involved such as the Brussels bombing. All of this means that Cameron has a much bigger fight on his hands than he’d once hoped.
On the other hand, he should still prevail. The economic risks of leaving are clear – many big businesses and foreign investors have warned that it could lead to a substantial amount of job losses and a diversion of foreign direct investment, although this is not yet obvious how Brexit would affect the EU.
If we want to keep access to the single market like Norway and Switzerland, it would still have to observe EU’s regulations and pay heavily into the European budget. Scotland would most likely push for a second independence referendum according to Nicola Sturgeon and they would almost certainly win it.
So with all this going on, what does the man himself, David Cameron think? Cameron’s main talking points are that the EU membership is not just the single market but also about the potential benefits of a big new trade deal with America, known as the Transatlantic trade and investment partnership (TTIP).
He also stresses how much the EU has reformed under British influence: It is more liberal, more free trading and more pro-competition that it used to be and if we did exit we would surely never be allowed to re-join. Where as, if we decided to stay we could always change our mind in a decade or two. The choice to remain preserves more options for the future.