IN OR OUT – The UK’s EU Referendum

In February 23, 2016
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IN OR OUT? – The UK’s EU Referendum

 

EU photo

How will you vote?

 

UK Prime Minister David Cameron has announced a referendum on whether Britain should remain in the European Union to be held on Thursday 23 June.

I am sure like me you have still not made up your mind whether you want to vote to stay in, or vote out of the EU. I have many questions and I guess having a property and bank accounts in Spain, I worry how this could potentially affect me personally.

Over the coming months there will be plenty of debates and information from both sides, but I feel it is important that we try and inform ourselves with as much detail as we can and make sure we use our vote!

Below is some information that I found on the BBC news site:-

What are the main changes David Cameron has agreed?

Mr Cameron agreed a package of changes to the UK’s membership of the EU after two days of intensive talks with other member states’ leaders in Brussels in February. The agreement, which will take effect immediately if the UK votes to remain in the EU, includes changes to:

  • Child benefit – Child benefit payments to migrant workers for children living overseas to be recalculated to reflect the cost of living in their home countries
  • Migrant welfare payments – The UK can decide to limit in-work benefits for EU migrants during their first four years in the UK. This so-called “emergency brake” can be applied in the event of “exceptional” levels of migration, but must be released within seven years – without exception.
  • Eurozone – Britain can keep the pound while being in Europe, and its business trade with the bloc, without fear of discrimination. Any British money spent on bailing out eurozone nations will be reimbursed.
  • Protection for the City of London – Safeguards for Britain’s large financial services industry to prevent eurozone regulations being imposed on it.
  • Sovereignty – There is an explicit commitment that the UK will not be part of an “ever closer union” with other EU member states. This will be incorporated in an EU treaty change.
  • ‘Red card’ for national parliaments – It will be easier for governments to band together to block unwanted legislation. If 55% of national EU parliaments object to a piece of EU legislation it may be rethought.
  • Competitiveness – The settlement calls on all EU institutions and member states to “make all efforts to fully implement and strengthen the internal market” and to take “concrete steps towards better regulation”, including by cutting red tape.
  • Some limits on free movement – Denying automatic free movement rights to nationals of a country outside the EU who marry an EU national, as part of measures to tackle “sham” marriages. There are also new powers to exclude people believed to be a security risk – even if they have no previous convictions.How does that differ from what he wanted?On how long the UK would be able to have a four-year curb on in-work benefits for new arrivals, Mr Cameron had to give way on hopes of it being in place for 13 years, settling for seven instead.Critics argue that the final deal falls well short of what Mr Cameron originally promised when he announced his plan for a referendum, particularly when it comes to returning powers from Brussels. It is not clear, for example, if the “red card” for national parliaments would ever be triggered in practice.So would Britain be better in or out? 

 

  • It depends which way you look at it – or what you believe is important. Leaving the EU would be a big step – arguably far more important than who wins the next general election – but would it set the nation free or condemn it to economic ruin?
  • But most of the points in the draft agreement, with the exception of those mentioned above, have survived unchanged into the final deal.
  • On financial regulation, a clause was inserted “to ensure the level-playing field within the internal market”. This was in response to French fears that Britain was seeking special protection for the City of London that would have given it a competitive advantage.
  • Mr Cameron had originally wanted a complete ban on migrants sending child benefit abroad but had to compromise after some eastern European states rejected that and also insisted that existing claimants should continue to receive the full payment.

 

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