Use it or Lose it

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In order to vote in the EU referendum, you must ensure you have registered to vote by the 7th June. You can do so by visiting: https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote

The EU referendum could be the most important vote of your life, don’t miss the opportunity for you to have your voice heard. As a student you have the right to register to vote at both your home address and university address, but you must only vote at one. It is important that you register to vote at the address you will be at on the 23rd June.  Alternatively, you may apply for a postal vote before the 8th June. This is especially important if you are away on polling day, such as at Glastonbury.

On the 23rd June UK, Irish and commonwealth citizens living in the UK, as well as British citizens living abroad, will decide whether the UK remains a member of the EU or not. The EU plays a pivotal role in the lives of every citizen, especially students. The decision to remain or leave will affect the lives of every person in the UK, as well as many across Europe and the world for decades and years to come.

 

Confused which way to vote?

The BBC provides a guide to what both sides are saying here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-32793642. Unfortunately, arguments often conflict each other leaving many confused as to who and what to believe. Leaving the EU would be a massive leap in to the unknown; nobody knows exactly what a post Brexit Britain would look like. The campaign (from both sides) has been seen by many to be littered with insults, mudslinging and just generally conducted in a negative fashion. So here is a summary of the positive arguments of each campaign.

Remains key arguments are:

  • Being in Europe protects employment rights, such as maternity leave, and protection from discrimination
  • Access to the European single market strengthens our economy and creates jobs; Remain argues the benefit of a single market is much greater than the cost of EU membership
  • Leaving the EU may see cost of living rise significantly, hurting young families and students on a tight budget
  • The EU plays a role in ensuring we protect our environment, not least through programmes to clean up our rivers and beaches
  • The EU allows free movement to any EU country on a British passport and incorporates initiatives such as the Erasmus exchange programme, which allows students to study abroad for up to a year at a European university
  • The EU promotes peace throughout Europe, helping to prevent a repeat of the horrors of the world wars

Leave’s key arguments are:

  • Leaving the EU would free up billions which could be spent on NHS, Schools and other services
  • Membership of NATO and the UN is enough to ensure peace
  • Leaving the EU is the only way to ensure that Britain maintains its full sovereignty
  • Leaving the EU would allow Britain to negotiate its own trade deals with other countries
  • The only way for Britain to maintain full control over its borders and limit immigration is through leaving the EU
  • Excessive EU regulation harms business and job creation

 

The EU referendum affects the younger generation more than any other, the decision we, as a country make on June 23rd may affect us for the rest of our life. Membership of the EU, whether positive or negative has an effect on the way we work, interact with other countries and even the makeup of our society. The result of this referendum will likely be more important than any election, this isn’t a decision we can reverse in 5 years’ time. Take some time to understand the arguments and make an informed decision on June 23rd. Don’t miss this opportunity to exercise your democratic right on June 23rd.

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