On Thursday 23rd June 2016, the UK population will have the opportunity to vote to remain or leave the EU. KTG Social Care sent its employees to an EU referendum debate on 20th May at Preston College to gather more information for ourselves and our staff.
The event itself was an interesting collage of ideas, with well-structured points on both sides of the argument.
John Bickley (party treasurer for UKIP) and Alan Halsall (successful Fylde businessman) led the leave campaign, primarily focusing on the loss of trade of the EU and the membership costs. They pointed out that from their perspective it made little sense to financially support the EU, when there is a steady decline in its output in terms of the global GDP. Also that the cost to the UK to stay in the EU would more than cover the tariff for the WTO should we leave.
Since independent countries are doing almost as well as the EU on trade deals and free trade agreements, and EU regulations are being imposed across all UK businesses irrespective of whether they trade in the EU, Bickley and Halsall suggested that leaving may also have a domino effect of other countries to do the same.
Sajjad Karim MEP (member of the Conservative party) and Ken Hind CBE (local Barrister at law) led the remain campaign, focusing primarily on the single market and the membership costs of the EU. They argued that leaving the EU would result in a financial downfall for the UK as we would lose our trade with the single market. Whilst we would then look to arrange free trade agreements outside the EU we would lose 50% of British trade overnight, rising to 83% once the 50 agreements-in-process come to fruition. It has been estimated that it will take 6-8 years before worthwhile trade agreements are in place outside the EU.
Since we would also lose some influence on other countries should we leave the EU, and since membership costs 1p for every £1 of tax after the rebate and money received from the EU, Karim and Hind argue that leaving the EU would make little sense from a financial, security or trade viewpoint.
The event was organised and hosted by North West Lancashire Chamber of Commerce, who have refrained from choosing a side in order to be objective and allow people to make their own minds up on the matter. This objectivity will be mirrored by KTG Social Care, in the mutual hope that the decision is made in the best interests of the masses.