With less than two hours to go until polling stations close, the people of Britain are voting in the biggest and most important decision in years: to determine whether we remain or leave the European Union.
Over the past year (and particularly the last few weeks and months) things have become very nasty and fractious between both camps. Inflammatory campaign posters, snide and vicious comments which has not done either side any favours.
Whatever way the vote goes, I’m not sure this country will ever be the same. There’s too much distrust and fear and loathing that’s been whipped up on both sides and it’s all been very ugly.
I know which side I’m on: I voted to remain. Yes, the EU is not at all perfect but I’d rather be in than out (shake it all about, woooah, Hokey Cokey…sorry). I would rather keep our friends close and our not-so-close-acquaintances closer because at least we can influence and make a difference rather than go it alone and hope for the best.
Many British people think that we can prosper and flourish without being shackled by the EU, to which I reply: with what? We have no industries- look at what is happening with the steel industry. Tara Steel is up the creek without a paddle and who is having to bail them out? That’s right: us, the taxpayers. When are people going to wake up and realise that BRITAIN DOES NOT HAVE AN EMPIRE ANYMORE.
The world has long moved on and we are not at the centre of it. The world is now a global community, therefore things such as free movement and human rights are an absolutely essential part of our lives. Immigration has been the buzzword for the Leave side. They want a points-based system like the one that Australia has, where people enter based on their skill set and what they can offer to the country. In an ideal world that sounds good…but this isn’t an ideal world. Immigration will happen regardless of how we vote- that is a fact.
If we leave the EU, the government- the majority Tory government that the public inexplicably voted into power -will get rid of workers’ rights to the point where there are none. The powers-that-be will pick and choose elements of the Human Rights Act that they want to follow and interpret it in their own unique way. You know those certain aspects of the law and the EU that make you puff out your cheeks in despair when you read about it? You ain’t seen nothing yet because if we vote to leave, our exasperation will be on another level. They will eliminate our right to strike and all you numpties out there who think this isn’t a big issue…well, when your employer screws you over and you want to exert your natural right to protest, make sure you re-read the above before you hold your head in your hands and cry.
There is an arrogance around that school of thought among potential Leave voters that worries me. So many people seem to think everything will stay the same if we leave the EU. As if the likes of France, Germany and Spain won’t make things harder for us if we dare to vote no. Those countries will stick the boot in if we leave- in fact, they will relish it.
The ease with which we travel to our European neighbours will disappear and we will have to get visas to go there. Budget airline fares will go through the roof until they are no longer deemed ‘budget’.
Our (current) European neighbours will be reluctant to do business with us. Even those outside of Europe will make life very difficult because they want us to stay. I know things won’t be easy in the short term, but that’s expected. It’s the long term situation that unnerves me should we leave.
The NHS is the elephant in the room and it is likely it will be privatised within a couple of years should the leave vote be successful.
If my arguments have failed to convince you then ask yourself this: do you really want to be on the same side as Michael Gove (the pillock who is currently our Education Secretary and is unanimously despised by all teachers), Boris Johnson (who was the Mayor of London until last month and was pro-EU but has now changed his mind. What’s that all about, eh?) and Nigel Farage (whose only topic of debate is immigration. Countless other topics that he could talk about but no, he’ll only focus on that).
My main hope is that things get better politics-wise and those talking head wind-up merchants (I don’t need to name them, you know who they are) somehow cease to get work in the aftermath of this vote, but I cannot see that happening. I hope that whatever the outcome, this country can learn from the numerous mistakes made during this lengthy, exhausting process. Fingers crossed.