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The NME Readers’ Verdict On Brexit: Vote In!

On June 23, the UK will decide whether to leave or stay in the EU. Opinion polls currently have the opposing sides neck and neck, but when we pitched the question to readers on our online polls, we found that 59% of our readers will vote to remain in the EU, with only 32% opting to leave. The economy was the biggest factor on the respondents’ mind, with 36% picking it as their most important concern.

Editor-in-chief of NME Mike Williams had this to say regarding the forthcoming vote: “Brexit is not about migration or jobs or the shape of a f**king banana – it’s about a bunch of powerful and scared old men who want to turn back time to the days of the Empire. Look around you – look at your friends, your family, your neighbours. Their faces are different colours, their cultures are diverse. It’s called evolution, and a vote to leave the EU is a backwards step for all of us. On Old Compton Street in Soho on Monday evening, thousands of people gathered together in solidarity with the victims of the Orlando massacre and all LGBTQ people around the world. The message was clear – together, we’re stronger. Don’t let anyone try to convince you otherwise.”

To get a better idea of what our readers were thinking about the vote, we hit the street…

Bethany Horak-Hallett

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26, London. Occupation: singer

How are you voting?
It’s better for our economy and for immigration to stay in. A ton of people contribute to the UK economy in positive ways. It’s a shame to put their futures in jeopardy.

Have the ‘leave’ and ‘remain’ campaigns been relevant to young people?
Definitely not. I don’t feel like I’ve been given the information I need. There’s been a lot of political game-playing: both sides have skewed the facts and misrepresented figures. I don’t trust either side to represent the situation truthfully.

Do you think of yourself as European rather than British?
I prefer to think of myself as part of a wider community.

What concerns you most about leaving?
I do a lot of travelling for work and I like the idea of having the freedom to move about within the EU. It’s nice to feel like we’re part of that community.

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Emmanuel Okuny

24, Southampton. Occupation: student

How are you voting?
There are so many more benefits to being in Europe than being outside of it. With the way the world is at the moment, more countries actually need to collaborate as opposed to trying to become independent states.

Have the ‘leave’ and ‘remain’ campaigns been relevant to young people?
I think both sides are a bit of a joke really. In a way it’s been funny to watch the scaremongering that’s been going on, but neither side has run a great campaign.

What most concerns you about leaving?
The fact we won’t have access to the security databases across Europe that we currently have access to. They’re so important if we want to be able to transfer information quickly. We have more security if we stay in Europe.

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Alice Thomas

19, Aylesbury. Occupation: student

How are you voting?
So many knowledgeable people have said it’s better to stay. I’m opposed to the idea of not letting in any more immigrants. It’s great the UK is so multicultural.”

Have the ‘leave’ and ‘remain’ campaigns been relevant to young people?
Not hugely. The other day on the news they were asking whether leaving Europe would affect the prices of flights. I don’t think that’s relevant to young people. People haven’t been talking about how it will affect us.”

Whose opinion do you value on this issue?
Young people, and Jeremy Corbyn. I come from a school in a really rich area where people are influenced by how their parents are voting. I find it crazy when people don’t have their own minds.

Alex Botham

22, Poplar. Occupation: student

How are you voting?
The EU’s founded on pretty solid principles involving the continent working together, so in. If you want to have clout on the world stage, you need to be unified with other countries in your region.

Have the ‘leave’ and ‘remain’ campaigns been relevant to young people?
“I study politics and even I feel a bit in the dark. Each campaign has largely been based on grandiose claims, like the idea that this could start World War Three. I don’t think either side has any solid arguments. Both have been sensationalist and fear-mongering.”

What most concerns you about leaving?
The detrimental effect it would have on the economy. Being part of the free market creates jobs and it’s vital to British industry, which is so reliant on exports.

Joanna Miles

33, East London. Occupation: booking agent

How are you voting?
Remain. I want the option of going to live in other countries in Europe and they might take that away.
We’re not the superpower we once were, nor are we great enough to stand on our own two feet. I don’t think we can look after ourselves.

Have the ‘leave’ and ‘remain’ campaigns been relevant to young people?
I feel like I’m lacking in information. I don’t think anyone knows what’s going to happen and the campaigns have been a lot of spin and propaganda.

Are young people taking this issue seriously?
Many of my friends are taking it really seriously, but I know some people won’t bother to vote. They’re more interested in Glastonbury. I’ll definitely be voting. It’s too important not to.”

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