Rachel Henley, Staff Writer
March 4, 2016
The United Kingdom could be ready for a “Brexit” this June. A referendum to vote on whether or not the state leaves the European Union will take place in the U.K. and Gibraltar on June 23.
Today, U.K. citizens are prepared to leave the EU because they believe it is holding their country back. The billions of pounds required as membership fees to the EU are better spent elsewhere, according to citizens that favor the Brexit.
Support for the EU referendum stems, in part, from the massive influx of immigration in the U.K. In 2015, there was a net immigration of 323,000 people.
“Controlled immigration is a good thing,” said former Morgan Grenfell Investment Manager Rufus Warner to The Guilfordian. “Uncontrolled immigration is not. At present, we are bound to allow unlimited immigration from the EU, while severely limiting immigration from other areas that we may desire.”
Leaving the EU would result in more control over policy issues for U.K. governments but not only on immigration. Economic and agricultural policies, proponents of leaving say, would be less hindered by EU membership requirements as well.
According to The Telegraph, The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development reports that EU tariffs and subsidies cost consumers about 12.6 billion pounds ($16 billion).
Along with the money spent on these subsidies and tariffs, the U.K. would also regain exclusive access to its 200-mile fishing zone.
This would be a large boost to the U.K. agricultural community that could make up for the lack of EU subsidies going to farmers.
BBC reports that David Cameron, the UK prime minister since 2010, does not favor leaving the European Union. Sixteen out of 21 of Cameron’s cabinet members agree with him on this issue.
Other U.K. citizens favor staying in the EU as well. They see it as beneficial rather than detrimental to the U.K.
Remaining in the EU makes it easier to sell goods to other countries in the union and Eurozone. It also keeps Britain on good terms with the rest of Europe.
People who wish to remain in the EU often argue that immigration is a good thing rather than a bad thing. New, young workers fuel the U.K.’s economy and inspire innovation.
In the coming months, it is up to the people of the United Kingdom to stay or go.
Cameron has come to an agreement that adjusts the U.K.’s membership in the EU. This set of changes allows some limits on the free movement of immigrants’ spouses from outside the EU, protection of the financial services industry in London, continued use of the pound without discrimination and an “emergency break” on welfare benefits for immigrants during times of extreme immigration.
“His changes were weak to begin with, and the deals he is trying to broker with Europe are half of what he asked for originally,” said U.K. citizen Alison Warner to The Guilfordian.
Critics of Cameron’s plan are upset with the results of his efforts to appease citizens that are voting to leave the EU.
They believe that his original promises to ban child benefits abroad for immigrants, curb work benefits on immigrants for 13 years as an emergency break, protect the financial services industry and return power from Brussels to the U.K. have all fallen short in his actual results.
U.K. membership in the EU has been debated since the country joined in 1973. Politicians and the public alike have argued whether or not its net benefits were worth its inconveniences.
If the U.K. votes in favor of the Brexit, it will be the first nation to ever leave the EU. The June decision will be pivotal for both the future of Britain and the rest of Europe.