The United Kingdom is facing a once in a generation decision on Thursday as people go to the polls to determine their country’s role in Europe, and in fact the world.
The question is whether or not Britain should remain in the political and economic bloc of 28 nations that is the European Union. There has been much debate over the so-called ‘Brexit,’ or British exit, both at home and abroad, and if the polls are to be trusted it is still too close to say what the likely outcome will be. And tensions are extremely high between the two sides, which has even led to the assassination of a Member of Parliament.
Former London Mayor Boris Johnson has become a leader in the Leave campaign, while current Mayor Sadiq Khan as well as both Prime Minister David Cameron and Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn, not to mention a number of heads of state from around the world, want the UK to remain. In a final debate on Tuesday the two mayors pleaded their cases, with Johnson and Khan calling each other’s sides “Project Fear” and “Project Hate,” respectively. Neither seemed inappropriate however, as Khan’s side was listing legitimate fears of what a post-EU Britain would look like, while Johnson’s side had at one point played on racist fears that Turkey would one day join the single market if not the European Union itself.
Fear-mongering aside, the situation is much more clear to those with access to the right information. And the facts are that Britain’s trading arrangements with the continent are already ideal, especially given the value of their currency-which has already had its continued existence secured due to David Cameron’s pandering around the continent earlier in the year. Furthermore, British sovereignty will remain virtually unchanged regardless of what happens on Thursday, especially considering that the UK will still have to abide by EU standards if it wishes to continue trading with it-albeit without having a say in what those standards are.
Though of course, that is assuming that a Leave vote is not intended to be the first step towards a new era of isolationism.
Image by Think London – originally posted to Flickr as Boris Opening Bell solo, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=46136934