On June 23, the United Kingdom will take part in a historic vote to decide whether we remain in the European Union. The last time something like this happened was in 1975, during which we voted to stay in the European Community.
The EU is a group of nations in Europe that coordinate and cooperate with each other on regards to the economy, migration, defence and more. Though the European Union was formally established in 1992, it was initially conceived in 1957 following the devastation in Europe following World War II, with the UK joining the group – then known as the European Economic Community – 15 years later in 1972. Many of the UK’s human rights laws are derived from the collective group and membership allows countries to trade freely with other countries also in the EU.
During his campaign for the General Election in 2015, Prime Minister David Cameron pledged to hold a referendum on the nation’s membership in the group and that day is now drawing ever closer. Remain campaigners have claimed that a leave vote would severely damage the UK’s economy, force migrants to leave the country and unsettle the peaceful harmony the EU strives for if the UK was to withdraw.
The leave campaigners argue the opposite – that getting out of the EU would enable the UK to stop devolving powers and prosper economically as trade restrictions with nations outside the EU are lifted.
So far, conflicting polls suggest that both the remain camp, led by the Prime Minister as well as Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, and the leave camp, backed by Conservative MP Boris Johnson and UKIP leader Nigel Farage have held narrow advantages over the other, but at the moment it all seems too close to call.
But have you made up your mind? Let us know where your vote currently lies and what issues mean the most to you in the historic referendum.