The facts about Brexit that might help you make up your mind

For the most part of this year, we’ve been subject to daily arguments about the future of our country. We’ve had Johnson and Cameron pit against each other, we’ve heard all there is to hear from Farage, hell, Putin’s even had his say. And so with a mere 48 hours to go until we take part in potentially one of the most important votes of our lifetime, a vote that’s going to happen once in our generation, we thought we’d lay down the facts for you. As we stand right at this moment, polls and surveys have shown that public opinion is so divided that the outcome is too close to call.

First off, the question of who to trust when it comes to the referendum is important. Cameron and Johnson, while backing the same Conservative politics for the length of their career, don’t agree: Johnson wants out, Cameron wants in. Corbyn, who voted to leave the EU during the last referendum in 1975, is now backing the Remain campaign. And when it comes to celebrities, the iconic David Beckham, said: “For our children and their children we should be facing the problems of the world together and not alone,” but Sir Michael Caine wants to leave, saying: “Unless there is some extremely significant changes, we should get out. You cannot be dictated to by thousands of faceless civil servants.”

How are we meant to know who’s opinions, at this point, are reliable? And how do we know who we should listen to? So here they are: some of the most important facts about the vote that will hopefully lead you somewhere towards making up your mind. We’ve not here to preach, nor to tell who you to vote for or who we’re voting for.

The true cost of being a part of the EU


There are a lot of numbers flying around on this one, but we supposedly we spent £342 billion a week last year to be a member of the EU. No fear though, because this number can never actually be determined and is purely hypothetical. In 1984, during Britain’s rebate, Margaret Thatcher negotiated for us. Since then, the UK has been required to pay significantly less than the 1% of national gross domestic product that the 28 other member states are normally expected to pay into the EU’s collective budget.

Leave says: 

  • If we leave the EU, we would then have billions of pounds available for different priorities
  • We could then be left tour own devices when it comes to how we spend our money, rather than have someone else dictate our spend

Remain says: 

  • The benefits that we get from spending this money far outweigh the actual costs
  • Per person, we contribute £200 per person per year to the EU, much less than any of the other 28 nations in the EU
  • Even if we did leave the EU, we would never be able to fully get rid of the costs, as we would still need access to the single market

…but the terms of our agreement with the EU will change

At the beginning of the year, Cameron fought hard with other EU leaders to change the terms of our membership agreement. If we Remain, the deal will be effective immediately and will mean that we have a special status compared to the other 28 nations, primarily sorting out issues with immigration, child benefits, keeping the pound and the ability to manage our own affairs.

Yes, Brexit will affect your pay rates and working conditions


In the EU as a whole, the unemployment rate as it stands is over 10%, nearly double the rate in the UK. But the debate arises from the fact that some workers’ rights and pay is guaranteed by EU laws, but actual tax, benefits and the minimum wage are ultimately down to the UK government and have nothing to do with the EU.

Leave says: 

  • Having less rules in the workplace, when it comes to wages and benefits, could actually end up creating more jobs
  • Holiday and maternity pay will only change if Britain wanted to change them, and will have nothing to do with EU
  • Lower migration numbers will eventually push our wages up

Remain says: 

  • Three million jobs within Britain are linked to the EU, so there’s potentially a huge loss for those businesses and employees
  • The UK, as it currently stands, gets £66m investment everyday from the EU, investment that pays for your holiday pay, paid maternity leave, and increased protection in the workplace.

How Brexit will affect immigration laws


At the moment, despite the government’s best effort to lower the number to 100,000, we are at 300,000 immigrants a year entering Britain. The trouble is, we can’t actively stop this as EU law dictates that citizens of the European Union have a right to live and work in any member state they wish to.

Leave says: 

  • As long as we are a member of the EU, it’s going to be almost impossible to control immigration. Public services, as they stand, are under a huge amount of strain because of the amount of migrants
  • The number of migrants entering our country to work has driven down wages for British workers

Remain says:

  • The new EU deal with Cameron means that in-work benefits for new migrant workers will be limited for the first four years, rather than being made available immediately
  • Even if we left the EU, we still have to accept free movement in order to gain access to the single market

Exactly how our economy will be affected by the vote


(Photo: Getty images)

Currently, almost half of the UK’s overseas trade is conducted with the EU. The single market at the moment means the free movement of trade, services, capital and workers between member states, and the EU controls those trade negotiations, not the UK.

Leave says: 

  • We would no longer have to answer to the EU laws, and could have our own laws against trade and be able to make our own negotiations
  • Trade within the EU wouldn’t actually be overly affected, as we import more than we export

Remain says:

  • The shock of Brexit would be detrimental, and the growth would be much slower
  • Because of our exports, we are much more dependant on the rest of the EU than they are on us
  • If we left the EU, and still wanted to retain access to the single market, we would still have to apply EU rules

Who wants in, and who wants out?


Who is supporting what actually matters massively in this instance. We need to think about the politics of the people who are backing Leave, and those who are proclaiming Remain. So here’s a brief round up of who’s supporting what:


Every other EU leader

Barack Obama

Every former Prime Minister

Our Prime Minister

Leader of Labour

Leader of Lib Dems

Leader of SNP

Mayor of London



Donald Trump

Leader of UKIP

Leader of BNP

Former Mayor of London

Leader of EDL


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