By Alexandra Krauska
Rabat – In what been called the “Brexit,” the United Kingdom will vote today whether or not to leave the European Union.
The EU’s governing bodies establish laws and standards, resolve conflicts, and provide funding to various programs throughout Europe. A debate was held in London on Tuesday, including three members of each side of the argument. The main topics of the discussion were the economy, immigration, and Britain’s place in the world.
Those in favor of leaving believe that “the EU is a job-destroying engine… the way to more wealth and more jobs is to leave the EU,” as Boris Johnson, a member of the Conservative Party and former member of parliament, said in a BBC debate. “[People who vote to remain] are woefully underestimating this country and what it can do.”
Proponents of the Brexit argue that the EU is holding back the UK with too many rules and restrictions, and the open border policy does not allow for the borders to be sufficiently secure.
Gisla Stuart, who is in favor of the Brexit, said, “The EU was a noble dream in the last century, but today, it has failed. It has turned into a nightmare… We can take back control over our laws, we can take back control over our taxes, we can take back control over our borders, immigration policy and security.”
Each year, the UK contributes £17.8 billion per year. The Leave party says that that money could be put toward new and existing programs in the UK.
Those in favor of staying in the EU look to expert economists, scientists, business leaders and health professionals who say that leaving the EU would damage the economy and make people lose their jobs. “I know that the EU isn’t perfect,” said Ruth Davidson, a member of the Scottish parliament and the leader of the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, “but the benefits far outweigh any costs.”
“The evidence is undeniable, and all the experts agree,” said Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London. “We are stronger, safer, and better off in Europe.”
The Remain side criticizes the Leave side for the uncertainty of what would happen after the Brexit. “Tonight was the Leave Campaign’s last chance to answer your questions, to spell out exactly what happens if we abandon the biggest single market in the world, to show us what a Brexit Britain would actually look like,” said Davidson in her closing statement at the debate yesterday. “I don’t know about you, but I don’t think I heard enough to be confident that they have all of the answers that you need. You have to be 100 percent sure.”
Many European leaders, as well as in the United States, want the UK to stay in the EU. As one of the world’s five largest economies, and second in the EU after Germany, its role in the European economy is important.
Previous polls suggest that the vote could go either way, to stay or leave the EU. Voting will close at 10pm tonight, and the results of the vote should be available by 3:30am GMT+1, or 2:30am GMT.
Photo by illustration by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images