Why I'm Voting In

It's just under 12 hours until voting opens for the EU referendum which is both exciting and terrifying; the future could change drastically depending on how tomorrow goes.

I have known which way I wanted to vote pretty much since the discussion about it started and even though each side has come up with interesting points, my decision hasn't been swayed once. However, some people aren't as clear on which way then want to vote and are still undecided or are seeking confirmation that their decision is the right one. For these people, I hope this post will be helpful. If you already know which way you want to vote, this post could still be useful for you and may even change your mind, who knows?

Disclaimer: I'm not going to tell anyone which way they should vote- people have done that enough and it's ultimately up to you. I just want to highlight the reasons for my decision to hopefully help some people or at least make people think, so that they can be certain they are making the right decision. I also don't know all of the facts and statistics and I'm not claiming to (and in fairness, a lot of the stats and facts we've been told aren't necessarily true either- they're exaggerated, biased and/or estimations). I have also generalised opinions to get the point across- I know not everyone feels or acts the same.

From where I'm standing, the two main reasons for leaving the EU are to improve our economy and to improve the immigration system. I know we pay a lot of money into the EU which is why a lot think our economy will improve without this expense but there are other economic benefits we gain from being a part of the European Union, such as jobs and importing and exporting. I don't know what effects leaving would have on these things and to be honest, I don't think anyone can know until it happens, but for me it isn't worth taking the chance. 

From my experience with people around me, the number one reason for voting leave is to control immigration and whilst I think immigration policies do need looking at, leaving isn't the solution. The immigration 'problem' is dramatised and used as a scapegoat for so many things- 'taking our jobs', 'doing nothing and taking our benefits' (which realistically, they aren't doing both, are they?) and in reality, the percentage of immigrants in the country isn't as high a number as many think. On top of that, most people are not 100% British and so in their bloodline, someone came from another country, and yet because the individual was born here, they see themselves as having more right to a life in Britain than someone from another country who has possibly left a lot behind in search for a better, safer life, which I don't think we should take the opportunity from them. I am also of the opinion that jobs should be occupied by the person with the best experience and qualifications in that field no matter where they come from; as long as my doctor knows what they're doing and does a good job, I don't care where they were born. Furthermore, I find it hard to believe that someone would leave their home country and everything they know, just to do nothing for benefits in a new country- and policies stop this from happening anyway.

One thing I find extremely frustrating, but also kind of makes me want to laugh at the stupidity of it, is British people's blind view that they aren't immigrants when they move to another country. I have watched a few interviews of people retired, living in Spain and wanting to vote to leave to solve immigration problems. WHAT?! At least a lot of the people that come to Britain, come to work and put into our economy, a lot of Brits emmigrate to another country for retirement and therefore don't work and don't put much into that economy, yet they fail to acknowledge that they are immigrants in that country.

In recent years, the world has become so much smaller, with more opportunities to travel and work in other countries and leaving the EU could undo some of that work. So many universities now offer opportunities to study and work abroad through schemes such as Erasmus which probably wouldn't be as possible without the EU. 

My main reason for wanting to stay is actually a safety reason as I think we are better off as a team, with support from other European countries when issues arise, which unfortunately are happening more often now. 

It's quite frustrating that the voting age is 18 as something as big as this is going to effect the younger and future generations massively, yet some of those people can't vote! Several of my friends miss out on voting by about a month yet they have to live with the consequences of whichever decision is made, which seems incredibly unfair! Especially as some of the older generations seem more likely (in my experience) to vote out of the EU for immigration reasons (some of which often come across as plain racist) but they don't have to live with the consequence for as long! 

The final thing that makes me strongly believe we are better in is as simple as the people and representatives of each side. Although it shouldn't be about who thinks what, I find it difficult to trust anything Nigel Farage, and alike, say when their policies and attitudes are so offensive and misplaced in other topic areas- surely this is no different?

I hope all of this has made sense to you and has hopefully given you some food for thought. There were a lot of other things I wanted to say but I've tried to pick out the key points to make it as clear and concise as possible. Whichever way you vote, make sure you have a say in your future tomorrow. 

Love, Steph x

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