Oi, Ref! The Arguments For And Against Leaving The European Union
We touch base with the Continent in a tunnel under the sea (1990). Credit: PA
We're 99 days from the EU referendum on June 23rd. Britain will either vote OUT or IN; LEAVE or REMAIN. Depending on your viewpoint, we could soon experience the joys of a market free from EU legislation, or we could bleed out of a serious Brexit wound.
Over the next few months, we're going to be running a series of articles to get you totally clued up on the EU Referendum. Or at least more clued up than the man down the pub, unless the man down your pub happens to be Jean-Claude Juncker.
After spit-balling potential names for the series, including 'EUniverse', 'Brexit Through The Gift Shop', and 'Brexecutive Action', I settled on 'Oi, Ref!', because it references the referendum (duh) and it's a marginally less terrible pun.
On that note, let's kick off the series with a simple subject: What are the arguments 'Against' and 'For' leaving the EU? I'm aware that most people like to say 'For and Against', but I'm the sort of person who prefers to break the antagonising news first.
So if you don't know what you're gonna do come June, have a gander at these 'In' and 'Out' arguments, and see if you can come to a decision.
David Cameron speaks to workers at Vauxhall's Ellesmere Port plant about the benefits of Britain staying in the EU. Credit: PA
WE'VE GOT BARE JOBS THANKS TO THE EU
Jobs. It would seem it's all about jobs. That's because it sort of is. Everything trading and investment related is a sub-topic of 'jobs.'
As we've heard three million times before, three million jobs could be lost if Britain gives the EU the V sign.
That's not because Herman Van Rompuy will come and shoot your boss at your place of work, but because we could no longer easily trade with our Continental cousins. No trade = no jobs.
Do you really wanna sacrifice all those opportunities, you Eurosceptic?
AND BARE TRADE
The EU is our biggest trading partner, our best business bud. It brings in £400billion each year, which makes the £12billion we spend on the EU annually seem like a relatively small drop in an exceptionally enormous ocean.
According to one study, a Brexit could result in a 2.2% decrease in the UK's GDP. This is because we'd be forced to trade with nations who already make all of the products we do - but at a fraction of the cost.
BEING IN THE EU MAKES IT EASIER TO GET ABOUT, DOESN'T IT?
A cheery lad enjoys a sampling of exotic Belgian beers in Europe's capital, Brussels.
Whether you're going to the Continent for work or an all-inclusive Ibiza mashing, being a member of the EU makes it easier to do so.
Because we don't need visas to travel abroad, going away is generally quicker and cheaper. Here's a good idea: don't make it longer and dearer.
IMMIGRANTS WON'T BE ABLE TO COME HERE (AS EASILY)
The UK benefits from immigration. We should be thankful that people want to come to our country and contribute to our economy.
The idea that the migration crisis would disappear if the UK left the EU isn't true. In fact, it'd arguably make things worse by moving border control from Calais to Dover.
NO-ONE WILL GIVE A FUCK ABOUT US
Like that person who leaves a party early for reasons unknown to them and anyone else. It's just awkward isn't it? Just stay 'til the light comes up.
The EU gives us a huge platform to show off. And the US really wants us to stay. At a recent speech in Munich, US Secretary of State John Kerry said, "the United States has a profound interest...in a very strong United Kingdom staying in a strong EU."
HUMAN RIGHTS COULD GET A BIT SHADY
If the UK leaves the EU, it will no longer be bound to EU human rights laws. However, that doesn't mean our nation will descend into a pitiless free-for-all where people kill each over pints of milk.
We will, after all, still have to adhere to the European Convention on Human Rights. However, the Convention is susceptible to broader interpretations, which could mean any number of things from a legal standpoint.
According to Full Fact, "A court can and must strike down UK legislation that conflicts with EU law." On the other hand, if a Parliament decision conflicts with the Convention, all they have to do is acknowledge the conflict. That's it.
Hello dystopian Hellscape!
UKIP leader Nigel Farage eats cockles while campaigning for Britain to leave the EU, in Essex. Credit: PA
JOBS WON'T NECESSARILY BE AFFECTED
While figures from the beginning of the millennium suggest three million jobs are linked to trade with the EU, "they don't say they are dependent on the UK being an EU member."
According to Full Fact, there is no evidence backing the former.
If trading and investment went to tits after a Brexit, a few of these jobs would be lost. If they rose in a totally free market, however, new jobs would be created.
TRADE ISN'T BLOODY DEPENDENT ON THE EU
You bang on about trade relying on us being in the EU, but we badmen Brexiters say "Norway, TBH" 'cause Norway is an example of a wealthy European country that isn't arsed with the EU. They play by rules (somewhat) free from EU influence.
Writing in the Telegraph, Kathrine Kleveland, Norway's leader of the 'No to the EU' campaign, said, "The Norwegian economy has enjoyed twenty years of higher growth than the economies of EU Member States and our international rankings are far higher on a wide range of issues including gender equality, social welfare, even on happiness."
Sounds pretty sick if yøu åsk me.
Brexiters are also saying leaving the EU is better for trade because we'd be able to do it with the rest of the world. China, Russia, Singapore, Brazil... they'd all be well up for it.
IT WOULD SAVE US A LOT OF WONGA
An expensive sampling of exotic Belgian beers gets smashed up in Europe's capital, Brussels. Do we really need to give more money to the EU?
When you take away all the receipts etc, Britain pays around £39.7 million a day into the EU. In the bigger picture, that's not massively shocking.
But to you and me, sat here just wanting to get lit on a weekend, it's a bit bloody much.
WE'D HAVE BETTER CONTROL OF WHO'S COMING IN
Britain will not have control over immigration until it's willing to sack off the EU. The EU allows free movement for other EU citizens meaning they can just come and go wherever they please.
450 million of them. How dare they? We don't have the room, do we? If this remains, I'm moving to Spain.
WE'LL RUN OUR OWN GAFF
The EU allegedly decides 75% of British laws. Why should we allow our laws to be dictated in Brussels? What a load of fucking waffle.
We're all grown ups here. We can tend to ourselves.
So what do you think. Are you In or Out? Remain or Leave? Brexiting through the gift shop or rolling through customs at calais without a care in the world?
Let us know in the poll below.
Words by Josh Teal