Brexit: what you need to know about the UK's EU referendum

On the best style of the legendary british rockband The Clash:  "should we stay or should we go". that is the cueston, that would be answered on June's 23 referendum

June 23 is the date set for the referendum.

On February 20 Britain's prime minister, David Cameron, announced a referendum would take place on June 23. Britons will answer the question: “Should the UK remain a member of the EU or leave the EU?” This decision came after the extended renegotiation of Britain's current conditions, the conservative win in the 2015 election and pressure form the UK Independence Party (UKIP).

In his announcement Cameron said: “The choice is in your hands but my recommendation is clear: I believe Britain will be safer, stronger and better off in a reformed EU.” Voters will be British, Irish or Commonwealth citizens over the age of 18 and resident in the UK, also UK nationals who haven't lived overseas for more than 15 years can vote.

The two main campaigns are "Vote Leave" and "Britain Stronger in Europe".

Arguments for staying and leaving  the EU form the campaigns:


Stay: Britain will continue to avoid exporter tariffs and obtain better trade terms as an EU member.

Leave: Britain wouldn't be bound by EU law when negotiation a new EU relationship.


Stay: Britain could fight for better regulations from inside, so far most EU regulations transform 28 national standards into one: the European standard.

Leave: Britain could control areas like law, health, employment and safety if it leaves.


Stay: Leaving wouldn't mean reduced immigration.

Leave: Britain could change the system that offers an open door for EU but blocks non EU immigrants that could contribute to the country.

Implications of an exit would mostly be economic. New trade regulations would be needed and most likely export tariffs would increase. According to the IMF 51.4% of British goods exports go to the EU whereas only 6.6% of EU exports go to Britain. More so Britain would lose access to the single market that the EU represents with 500 million people in 28 countries.

Also the country would lose free trade benefits with 60 non EU countries. Instead, the Leave campaign focuses on the possibility of new and own regulations. trade markets in countries like China and India would be possible without supervision.

For Europe, Britain's exit would mean the end of the world's fifth-largest economy, market and defense spender. It would also weaken the EU leaving Germany too empowered.

In terms of immigration, if leaving Britain would have more freedom to limit immigration. This may be popular due to the recent migration crisis, but it changes Britain's whole structure. It would be difficult for people who want to settle in Britain and the countries expats would have to reconsider their plans of living in the EU countries.

Britain leaving the EU could cause mayor internal affairs' issues. Scotland could gain reasons to demand again a separation from the UK as they are more Europhile than England.  Relations with Northern Ireland could also be damaged as the peace process has depended mostly in both countries being part of the EU.

On the other hand, the failure of the polls predictions in the 2015 General election raised concern on their credibility. The conservative vote was underestimated and their win came as a surprise.

According to a Populus report (one of the only pollsters to correctly call the elections), there is a significant difference between phone and online polls. Difference between campaigns in phone polls are more accurate and the difference remains consistent (10% lead of the remain campaign).

Instead internet polls show a more competitive result, a 3-5% difference.

This happens because in phone polls people don't have the "don't know" option and the ones who are uncertain are unlikely to pick a side when called, whereas this is more common on the internet.

According to their evidence, the report concludes "the true state of public opinion on the UK's continued membership of the European Union is likely to be rather closer to what telephone polls are showing".

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