With June 23rd closing in upon us, political ping pong seems to be the order of the day. With so many mixed messages in the market, it is difficult to see the wood from the trees.
As we are all aware this is obviously a personal decision, but I believe one that should be based upon facts not political point scoring around the pros and cons of a Brexit decision.
We are given some estimates suggesting the total economic cost of EU membership is around 11% of our annual GDP at around £200 billion. Some say this money would be better spent on new British industries. It is also stated that the EU is one of the world’s largest markets, accounting for 25% of global GDP.
The interesting point is that it is said that the EU is our biggest trading partner, with 45% of the UK’s exports to the EU, and 50% of all imports are from the EU. You could argue that our membership makes us a more attractive destination for foreign investment. Figures from 2012 show we received around £937 billion of Foreign Direct Investment, while 50% of UK FDI is EU-related.
It is thought by ‘Brexiters’, we can independently pursue international trade deals with China, India and the US, this may well be true, but there is nothing stopping us today, or is there?
It is said that the EU has many layers of bureaucracy and regulatory issues.
I see that Nigel Farage believes we could strike an agreement with the EU that is similar to Norway’s, having access to the EU but not being bound by it.
And not to mention the most charged debate around the immigration effect on the country.
When I questioned my professional colleagues, it is very clear to me that they all have differing opinions, some to stay in and some to exit, both parties putting up convincing arguments and as far as I can see neither is wrong and there is value in both.
One thing that is understood is that we are all aware of where the EU has taken us as a country since 1972, but what will exiting deliver and where would this untrodden ground take us? In reality, nobody knows.
I therefore question what the real issues are and whether we are being given all the correct facts, plus what are the motives? Will we ever understand what it will mean to us before we are asked to vote in 27 days time, or will we all be simply voting upon minimal information based on a favoured approach by our local MP’s – and on the basis of a set of reforms negotiated by Prime Minister David Cameron, be they weak or strong?
As an IT Managed Services Provider we could sit on the fence, however for a few of our customers, it could have major repercussions if we left the EU.
What do you think? How might it affect your business?