Photo by DAVID ILIFF. License: CC-BY-SA 3.0
Note: I’m really sorry for not having published an article for the last month or so; as many of you know, I’ve been heavily burdened by iGCSEs and so cannot write with the same frequency as I have done in the past year. Come June 17, however, I’ll be sure to write weekly once again!
Make no mistake, we’re going to take a pummelling economically if we choose to leave the European Union. At this point, barely anyone disagrees with that. The only question is how much damage will we truly sustain if we leave the Union. In all honesty, the true answer to that is that no one really knows, but the extent of the scaremongering by the “Remain” campaign has been frankly unprecedented and illogical, with Cameron and co seeming to liken leaving the organisation to shaking hands with the devil himself. In a referendum which the Prime Minister himself has said is to influence the lives of generations to come, it’s not exactly fair for him to distort the facts and scare the public to the degree he and his team have. Given that, I thought that it was only fair to present an article with the clear, uncensored facts; facts that will make sure that the people of the United Kingdom are able to come up with their own decision, and not choose something that a politician’s picked out for them. And who knows? Maybe in the long term, Brexit won’t be as bad for our economy as the politicians want you to think.
Perhaps one of the most famous and outlandish claims made by our Prime Minister is that a vote for Britain to leave the European Union is somehow “immoral”. Economically, that case isn’t even remotely justifiable. In actuality, neither of the sides present present an immoral case, and if I had to pick, it would be the “Remain” camp that are far more morally questionable than their Eurosceptic counterparts. Take immigration, for example. If the Remain campaign win on June 23 (as they are most likely to do, in fact), Britain’s door will remain open for hundreds of thousands of migrants in a wave of uncontrolled migration. As much as I appreciate multiculturalism and ethnic diversity, when these workers are driving down wages for the native population and putting more strain on our social services than we can take, it’s not difficult to see that there’s a big problem. The Remain campaign’s undermining of the issues that everyday people face with regards to immigration certainly raises a number of moral issues, and indeed leaves one to question if they are best placed to be calling into question the Leave campaign’s morality. Maybe Mr. Cameron should have given this one a bit more of a think.
Similarly, George Osborne hasn’t been far from the controversy with regards to this whole debate. One of his boldest claims thus far has been that us leaving the EU would leave all of us “permanently poorer”. While Brexit would certainly leave us strapped for cash in the short term, the permanence of this relative poverty is the aspect of his statement that leaves a lot of room for doubt. Take Switzerland, for example. Although Swiss trade deals took many long years to form, their example should be taken as evidence to us that a Brexit would not leave us “permanently poorer”, as the Chancellor of the Exchequer brashly proclaimed. Swiss unemployment remains at 3.8%, and the country has a trade deal with one of the biggest economic superpowers in the world, China, which members of the Union cannot individually have, for now. While no one is denying that we would be at “the back of the queue” for trade deals with many countries, as Barack Obama said, make no mistake, we’re not out of the queue altogether. Is the purported loss of sovereignty and control of borders worth the temporary economic slowdown that a Brexit would cause? That’s for the voters to decide. One thing is for certain, however, which is that the economic effects of Brexit will last for a far shorter time than the Prime Minister’s right hand man claims.
It’s no secret that the City of London is the world’s financial hub. According to the Remain campaign, us leaving the EU would jeopardise our status as a financial hotspot. However, in my opinion and in the opinion of many others, that’s an incredibly short-sighted statement which doesn’t take into account the economic cost of relocating for banks. Firstly, Britain’s corporation tax rates remain unusually low, which remains an incentive for banks to stay here due to increased profits. Moreover, the human and economic cost of leaving Britain is far too high for it to be even worth consideration by these financial institutions. Although many have openly come out and stated their concerns regarding a British exit from the EU, the truth is that all this simply is is political posturing, whereby these banks are trying to dramatise their indignation at the “Leave” campaign in an attempt to sway the public vote. While I remain an advocate of staying in the EU (tenuously, I might add), it is important in such a momentous decision that the public understand what they are voting for. Otherwise, we might end up in a situation like we have had with this Conservative government!
Shrey Srivastava, 15