Commentary by Louis VIS
Last week, the ‘Vote Leave’ campaign started its official tour of the UK in the South West. On its shining new bus, ironically made in Germany, were the words: ‘We send the EU £35 million a week. Let’s fund our NHS instead. Let’s take back control’. Three sentences. Three misrepresentations. And the tour has not even started. If voters are to make an informed decision on June 23rd, they need to be told the truth. Here are various sources which can help voters to find the truth.
The IN/OUT Question: Why Britain should stay in the EU and fight to make it better: Written by Hugo Dixon, a journalist who has worked for the Financial Times, Reuters and the International New York Times, this book provides readers with a brilliant analysis of the European Union referendum debate. Through the use of highly reliable data, the author looks at both sides of the argument and gives readers a glimpse of what Brexit might look like. The book also analyses the Swiss, Norwegian, Canadian and WTO models to understand how they compare to Britain’s current UK membership. To finish off, the author weighs the available evidence and concludes that for Britain to prosper in a globalising world, the country should fix, not quit, the European Union.
Brexit: How Britain will leave Europe: In his book, Denis MacShane – who served in the Labour Government as Minister of State for Europe between 2002 and 2005 – looks at the history of the UK’s relationship with the European Union and explains how (in his view) Britain will end up leaving the EU. Through the use of his own personal experience and diary notes, he helps us understand how the UK’s relationship with the EU soured over time and how the country is now on the verge of leaving the club. Whilst it could be argued that this book is quite pessimistic, it helps us realise that none of Britain’s politicians have been capable of highlighting the numerous benefits of the UK’s EU membership. Thus faced with a constant negative discourse on the issue, it is hardly surprising that voters will end up leaving the Union.
Doorstep EU: Created by Richard Corbett, a current Labour Member of the European Parliament of Yorkshire and Humber, this app provides voters with instant analysis of news headlines; straightforward answers to common questions; and in-depth statistics about the EU’s impact in the UK. This ‘pocket guide to the European Union’ is a fun and easy way to learn more about the EU, whilst sorting the fact from the fiction. Indeed, the app’s overall aim is to correct people’s misunderstanding of the EU and its institutions, thus improving the accuracy of information available to voters.
Infact.org: Launched by Hugo Dixon, this website aims to ensure that the referendum campaign is not tarnished by inconsistent or inaccurate facts. Articles published on the website therefore aim to rectify errors and mistakes made by both sides of the referendum campaign, although the company itself believes that the UK should remain a member of the EU.
Whilst Young Europeans Network strongly believes that the UK should remain a member of the EU, we hope that these various sources of information will help our readers to understand the complexities of the debate before making their own informed decision on the issue.