COVENTRY: The EU (The EEC)

This is a repeat of history as back in 1975, we voted to stay in what was back then the European Economic Community. The reason history seems to be happening again is because David Cameron promised a referendum if the Conservative party won the General Election last year. Before the date of the EU referendum was released, David Cameron announced he had been discussing the UK relationships with other European countries.

Even though David Cameron promised the public to hold this referendum he has approached it with caution and telling people to think with telling the public at a press conference “The choice is in your hands,”.

He promised to have this vote if he gets re-elected but the question is why is he really doing it? And the answer to that is because a lot of UKIP and Conservative Party MPs want it. So, the first thing running through my head is jumping straight to stereotyping and wondering if there is an ulterior motive. No matter what happens – if we stay or go, things will change, however if we decide to leave the EU then the future for our country remains unknown.

There have been a lot of points of views and a lot of interviews about this. A lot of people have said that they don’t know enough to make a wise decision; I, myself, don’t know enough about the EU referendum to make a real decision. Over the course of the week I have been researching and discussing points of view to come to my own conclusion and report the facts.

To make that informed decision, the first step is to understand the history of the EU.

Over 40 years ago, the UK joined the EU and a lot has changed from the beginning. This has played a large part if the reasons why the UK might want to leave the EU. If we decide the leave the EU, it won’t just effect us locally or nationally, it can change everything on a global scale.

In 1973, the UK decided to join the EU. The EU stands for European Union, but back then it was called European Economic Community. Back then it meant that the UK could buy, sell and trade products more easily, which meant the economy could grow to a much larger scale. After 20 years they re-named the European Economic Union the European Union and, along with a new name, they have more powers than they originally agreed. Things such as the power to add new laws on a Europe-wide basis, it also has its own currency (€ – the Euro), the power to change rulings the British courts agree on, and also for any EU citizen to move anywhere within the EU easier and allowing them benefits from different countries.

This is where it begins to get a bit blurry – now that we’ve joined the EU, there comes a price hike, which a lot of people are trying very hard to understand and work out. Some news articles are saying that it is £20bn a year, where others are saying it works out at £8.5bn a year. I’m not really sure because the EU brings us a lot of money back into the economy but that figure is “an undisclosed number” so can we really make a decision on something that we know next to nothing about?

The more I research and look into it, the more I think I was to quick to jump to conclusions and ask should whether we should be given this vote. We didn’t get a chance to vote when they changed the name and policy for the EU, so should we get the chance now OR should we leave it? We’re in a comfortable position and do we really want to mess that up? Are we really able to make that decision now?

I know I’m not educated enough to vote. I don’t even know who my local MPs are, so should I really be allowed to vote in such a jeopardising vote for the UK?

There are 28 Countries in the EU and a lot of those are:

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and the UK.

Just like the UK, a lot of those countries have a lot of cities that house immigrants such as our city of Coventry. Coventry has a saying ,known to many as “sent to Coventry” because, during World War 2 a lot of people were sent to Coventry from different Cities, and then it back a great place for migrants to come to set up a house and shop. It’ll be very difficult to find a family who really originate from the city so my question is – how will it affect us as a city?

A lot of people who come to city from different EU companies and give us some of their culture (especially Ireland, Poland and Spain) as we have a lot of Polish influence across the city and not just the people but neighborhoods, shops and education.

A lot of people from Coventry can be ignorant, well that’s really a lot of people full stop isn’t it? So how will leaving the EU affect this? I believe that it may make a lot of people (especially those not fully informed) more rude, ignorant and uneducated which may affect us in the long run. Not just financially, but socially as well.

So the real question is; what are they going to do to help educate us?

Ellen Smith

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