The in/out EU referendum; it’s much more than a simple pub quiz

Brexit, EU referendum, FT, FT pub quiz, European Union,

The in/out EU referendum; the implications of a no vote would be horrendous for the UK in my opinion.

I’ve been toying with the idea of blogging about the in/out European Union referendum ever since the date was set. There’s so much this lil’ ol’ dad blogger wants to say on the subject.

Suffice it to say, I think the implications of a successful out vote would be catastrophic for the nation and for every family and individual living within it. My main concern is the impact it would have on the UK’s economy, in particular the banking and financial services sector.

Financial services and banking are what the UK excels at. Love it or hate it, it’s why the City of London is so powerful. Even so, we face competition from other financial centres, including Frankfurt in Germany.

As a member of the EU, the UK gets to influence how the financial services industry operates and is regulated. If we were outside that club, there would be no reason for the EU to be nice to us and everything would be set up to benefit Frankfurt. Large financial institutions would leave the UK, jobs would be lost, the cost of borrowing money (i.e. mortgages) would increase and I dread to think what the impact would be on pensions.

The Pub Quiz video below was produced by the FT. It’s very short and reveals with staggering clarity just what impact the UK has had on Britain’s economy since in joined the European Common Market in 1973. Have a watch and see how many of the answers you get right. You might some of it quite surprising, I certainly did (there’s also a wealth of information and opinion on the FT website)!

But….the implications are much more personal than this. My wife is a Scot. Scotland is considerably more pro-European than its big brother England. The SNP has already indicated an “out” vote could trigger another independence referendum north of the border. This time around the SNP would have an exceedingly compelling argument to persuade voters to leave the UK.

In those circumstances, England would have a land-border with an EU nation state. Could we see a frontier with passport checks being installed? It’s not inconceivable, especially if Scotland became a Schengen nation.

Picture the scene at Gretna Green or Berwick-upon-Tweed; Poles, Romanians, French, Finns and Slovenians all being whisked through with the flash of a crimson red passport. The English, Welsh and Northern Irish, however, would have to get in line. It would certainly make visiting granny in Glasgow a lot more complicated than it presently is.

What do you think?  Do you think the UK’s future lies in the EU or outside of it? Please do leave a comment below explaining your view.

Disclosure; This post was produced in collaboration with the FT.

 

And then the fun began...

 

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12 Comments

  1. March 1, 2016 / 7:20 pm

    My feelings stem from a) being happy with the status quo, and b) having a personal vested interest – my Kiwi wife is only able to be here by virtue of her Irish passport via her grandparents.

  2. Loops
    March 2, 2016 / 2:36 pm

    I am totally against a referendum full-stop. We elected a government to make important decisions based on information they are privy to. How can your bog standard man-on-the-street form an educated opinion, when he does not have access to the information required to make a decision based on solid fact?

    • John Adams
      Author
      March 3, 2016 / 5:52 am

      I’m not convinced a referendum is entirely necessary, but I’m not opposed to it. Whatever happens, it kicks the issue of Europe into the political long grass as the people will have had a clear choice to vote on the issue. This is especially important for the ruling Tory party as they’re so divided over the issue. If the people speak with a firm “in” vote then they have to quiet and get on with other things.

  3. March 2, 2016 / 9:05 pm

    Well I can’t say I really understand a whole of it to be truthful but I do understand that benefits the EU brings to this country and my hunch tells me that those who say ‘no’ are quite possibly a little bit ignorant of facts and figures. (I suppose they might be saying the same about my ‘yes’…) Hubby harps on about it with a depth of knowledge and understanding that I doubt I’ll ever match… #truthabout

    • John Adams
      Author
      March 3, 2016 / 5:49 am

      I’m inclined to agree the no voters are generally ignorant and reacting on a nationalistic knee-jerk principal. Guess we’ll find out in June!

  4. March 2, 2016 / 9:49 pm

    I haven’t spent much time thinking about this to be honest (must be the nightmares I’m having about the possibility of a world with Donald Trump as the president of the US!) but reading this I am sold on your arguments 100 per cent. Way too many negative implications – I hope people don’t vote on a knee jerk UKIP type sentiment. #thetruthabout

    • John Adams
      Author
      March 3, 2016 / 5:48 am

      Och, can you imagine, a UK out of the world and Trump President of the US? It’s the stuff of nightmares, really is.

    • Maren Wryn
      March 4, 2016 / 9:24 pm

      Great article, John! While none of my well-educated and thoughtful UK friends are seeking an end to EU membership, my only concern is: will Britain accept US refugees, should Trump become our President?

      • John Adams
        Author
        March 6, 2016 / 5:23 am

        Should there be a Brain Drain from the US in the event of a Trump win, I genuinelly feel it would be to Britain’s detriment NOT to accept refugees from the USA. After all, we’ve accepted enough talented people people that have left France, a failed state even before Hollande became president. Exiles welcome I say. Perhaps you could take a few UKIP voters in return? They’d fit in quite well in the Mid West.

  5. March 3, 2016 / 2:15 pm

    It’s a really interesting topic and I don’t confess to knowing every in and out argument. There are difficulties ahead whichever and I do see your point about being involved in the regulation of the financial services industry. But there are other negatives to being in the EU and I am no UKIP supporter and immigration is not the reason I would consider voting out. For my part I dislike the amount of control the EU and in particular the European Court of Human Rights have over our legislation. People we have not elected who have higher degrees of control in some areas than the government we have elected. The trouble with all of it is that politics gets in the way of the actual facts and I don’t know what is the truth or who to believe! Sorry for a ramble, #thetruthabout

  6. Andy
    March 5, 2016 / 12:38 pm

    Time to leave. We’ve been held back by EU red tape for too long. The city would thrive without the excess regulations. We wouldn’t have to pay billions of pounds per month to support French farmers and, most importantly, we could secure the border.

    • John Adams
      Author
      March 6, 2016 / 5:19 am

      Indeed Andy. And while we’re at it,I feel it would be a good idea to reintroduce Latin to the school curriculum, bring back slavery and employ children to clean chimneys. Just as well I know you’re only joing innit?