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The UK’s EU referendum: It is not just ‘the economy, stupid.’

With the EU referendum taking place next week, the Remain and Leave campaigns are both trying to get in some last minute canvassing to potential last minute registering voters. As a result, both sides have been coming up with some pretty exaggerated consequences for what would happen if Britain chooses to leave, or stay. This only serves to make the decision more difficult for voters. How can voters make an informed choice when voting when they do not know what information to trust? All of this makes it evident that the referendum debate has more or less turned into a political board game, with politicians trying to score points against each other.

So how do we get past this problem to make sure our vote is an informed one? The logical advice would be to research the effect that Britain leaving, or remaining in the EU, would have on an issue that personally affects or concerns you.

What immediately jumps to our minds is, probably, the economy. Yes, the economy does matter. But it is a very broad subject – both sides of the Remain and Leave campaigns have valid points. It is better rather than looking at the two “teams” broad arguments, but to examine a subject that narrows the discussion and is, rather, directly related to your life.

An example of this could be law. If you are a law student, or planning to pursue a career in law, then looking at where law firms stand on the debate will give you a hint on how your vote will be beneficial for you personally. With more law firms becoming international, it is clear to see that the outcome of the EU referendum will have a huge impact on the business side of these firms.

However, we do not necessarily have to base our vote on the sector that we are interested in working in. A vote that is based upon our own values is just as informed as voting based on business interests and the economy. For many voters, their decision in the EU referendum comes down to history and British sovereignty. If we go on to social media platforms, such as Twitter, you will see that voters on both sides reference World War Two many times: “my grandparents did not fight in the war for Britain to be ruled by Germany again”, and “We could not have won without our allies.”

These are just a few points that voters on both sides state as the reasoning behind their decision. What we can conclude from this is that casting a vote in the EU referendum will not just be based on the economy. It will be based on democracy, British sovereignty, and all of the other issues and values we, individually, care about.

 

To track the latest developments in the polls for the UK’s EU referendum, visit: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-eu-referendum-36271589

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