It’s Time To Get Political – The EU Referendum – Are We In or Out??…

I’m starting to get worried by the EU referendum and at the same time I’m incredibly bored with the whole situation. I don’t think either side is doing a good enough job of convincing me which way to vote and I wish it was all over and done with.

I am currently an undecided voter. I’m undecided because I don’t trust the information we are being told by either side and there are equally valid arguments to both stay and leave. At this point it is difficult for me to ascertain what direct impact a vote either way will have on me particularly.

From a business standpoint I can see valid arguments on both sides and understand where they are coming from. The simple fact is some businesses are suffering under the current regime and some businesses will suffer under the new regime. From what I can see there is no guarantee that those suffering now will be any better off if we leave.

From an immigration standpoint it is difficult. I am worried that inducting more countries into the EU could push up our immigration figures. However, I don’t trust that the figures we are told about immigration are correct. I believe that there are many people illegally in this country that we don’t know about.

Immigration is a hard topic to talk about without people jumping down your throat. I believe that as a country we should be allowed to let people move here who will prove to benefit the country. As a society we need this. Healthcare and the service industry in particular are testament to that.

A few years ago I heard Boris Johnson talking on TV about the problems they have in London with immigrant workers being paid cash in hand, not paying tax on the income and then taking the income out of the economy and sending it back home but living on benefits in this country. That is not how the system should work.

His solution sounded pretty simple and fair to me. He said that we should accept migrants for a year in which time they would need to prove they can speak English, hold down a job and support themselves, if not they should return home and they would have to wait 4 years before coming back to Britain on the same system.

I don’t see the problem with having visa’s for entering Britain. If I want to travel to the USA (and 122 other countries if my Google search is correct) I have to apply for a visa and everyone accepts that, why should we not be allowed to do the same?

The USA won’t allow entry for people with a criminal record. I don’t see why we should not be allowed to consider whether or not we want to accept violent (or otherwise) criminals into our country.

I remember a young girl from Hanwell was killed by a man from Latvia who had killed his wife before coming to this country. If we had been allowed to refuse his entry then she might be alive today.

I’m sure people will tell me that he has a right to travel where he wants and that I am wrong for wanting to curb access to the country because it is against human rights but I am just as entitled to an opinion as they are. I’m not saying they are wrong but my understanding is that human rights applies to everyone, whether they are a victim or a perpetrator.

I’m not suggesting we keep everyone out but as a country I believe we have the right to create our own laws about who we let into the country and on what terms.

We have a housing crisis in parts of this country and this needs to be addressed. I don’t believe that people should be allowed to enter the country and have immediate access to healthcare, housing and benefits.

I would not be eligible for council housing and yet I have lived in England all my life and paid tax for the last 20 years. I’m 36, can’t afford to live on my own and have to live with my parents. This is not the life I expected to have when I left school and I can’t see a change in the situation in the next few years.

I think scenarios like this will affect how people choose to vote. If we can’t house the people we already have here then we need to look at the numbers of people we let in the country to ensure that we can prove adequate and fair resources to all.

When it comes to healthcare no one should be accessing the NHS care in this country without the proper paperwork being filed at the time of access. Yes treatment is free to EU citizens but the money for the treatment still has to be found. One area the NHS can’t account or budget for is the number of overseas citizens accessing treatment over here. If we limited some of the numbers accessing treatment then it would ease some of the pressure.

I have accessed the NHS quite a bit in the last year for my elderly relatives and I can say that the waiting times are out of control. We are currently waiting 6 months for a 3 month follow-up appointment, last time it was 7 months for a 4 – 6 week appointment. It is not acceptable.

I worked in the NHS for 3 years and I could not do it again. I was aware of ongoing employee behaviour that in a private company people would be given a written warnings and sacked over. People were being given positions they were not qualified to do and they were getting people to do their work for them whilst drawing higher band wages.

Ask anyone in the NHS and they will probably agree with me, the people I’ve talked to about it always have! It is not difficult to fix the current problems – sack half of the managers and employee staff to treat patients on their wages. Stop giving CEO’s big performance bonuses for doing their job and get them to sort their budgets out. Stop having endless meetings that achieve nothing and focus on treating patients as that is the way you cut the waiting lists.

The NHS is not a run for profit business and therefore the people at the very top should be from a healthcare background who understand the unique challenges of working on the front line.

Start charging patients for missed appointments and cut the time wasters down – you accept the dentist and doctor will charge you for not cancelling an appointment in reasonable time so why should the NHS be any different? If you do not attend your appointment without cancelling in good time you are contributing to waiting lists, taking the slot of someone who might need to see their consultant and costing the NHS money.

A missed clinic appointment could run into hundreds of pounds in cost to the NHS depending on the Consultants time, their nurses time, the desk staff, room hire etc to run that clinic.

The NHS treatment you receive is free but the money for the treatment still comes from somewhere and the more money and resources that gets wasted the less there is to make a difference. The NHS at times is mismanaged by those in charge but it is also true that some of the current problems are caused by the patients taking advantage of the system. Either way we need to protect it so we ensure that there is that support in place for all those eligible to access it in the future.

 

The honest truth is that staying as we are is accepting the devil we know. Nothing much will change but then will it ever anyway? Politicians rarely agree on the key elements of any change and if the vote isn’t high enough then things remain the same.

The devil we know is flawed and failing but it is shining the light on one thing. The EU can’t continue as it is forever. It is becoming an out of date system in a fast changing world and Britain isn’t the only country to start considering if they want to remain. Which means in the coming years we may get changes to the way people can migrate across Europe among other things.

I heard the election debate on TV the other night from Scotland and the young people wanted to stay in the EU so they could study for free abroad. That is a luxury that people outside of Scotland don’t have. English students studying in Scotland have to pay for their education but the other way round is free. I’ve never thought that system was fair. They would still have the ability to study abroad they would just need to support their tuition fees.

I have to say I’m a bit scared by voting leave. No one knows what life would be like if we walked away from the EU. It would take 2 years to do it. What if we made the wrong choice? We could never get back in again.

There seems to be a lot of blinkered pipe dreams being banded around about us buttoning up our borders and sending people home but somehow I can’t see that happening. Then there is the fact that a lot of ex-pat British people abroad will be forced to return home.

No one knows what the trade agreement situation would be if we leave and some big businesses have already said they would pull out of England causing big job losses and increasing unemployment.

It might be a generalisation but I believe voters up to the age of 40 will be more likely to vote stay and over 40 will be more likely to vote leave. It is just possible that the number of registered voters in the leave bracket will swing the vote for us to leave.

People are unhappy with the current situation and worried about in induction of Turkey, Montenegro, Serbia, Macedonia and Albania although this won’t be for at least 5 years. 5 years could be a long time in the history of the EU. If we vote leave I think we’ll see more countries considering taking on the vote and maybe more countries leaving.

If other countries consider leaving then the remaining countries will have no choice but to make changes to the existing pattern and then we might well realise our mistake. A close vote to stay could also force the same result and make people question the current regime.

I’m starting to think my vote to stay might be the way forward. From inside we can work to change the monster but from the outside we can only protect ourselves from the fall out. I remain unconvinced either way.

I think it’s worth saying that the politicians on either side should have a good look at the way they have conducted this exercise and make serious adjustments for the next general election. Neither camp could wonder why they lost the vote when neither side can agree on any of the key elements and tells us the other side is wrong.

Do any of us truly know what we are voting for and why? It feels like a lot of people are voting as a knee jerk reaction judging by the people I’ve seen interviewed on TV and not giving the matter the calm consideration that it requires.

I’ve put together some links to recent EU articles to try to shed some light for any undecided voters, but I’m not sure they will help you much…

EU Referendum Count Chaos As Electoral Commission Computers Crash Three Times In Practice Run

EU referendum: how to vote and everything else you need to know about polling day

EU referendum debate: David Cameron suggests voters backing Brexit are ‘quitters’ who don’t love the UK

David Cameron on EU referendum: let us not roll the dice on our children’s future

Brexit ‘would leave British workers £38 a week worse off’

After Brexit – Roadmap for a leap in the dark

What UK can learn from Norway as it weighs life outside EU

EU referendum: Boris and Gove pledge tough new immigration system after Brexit

 

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