Why we’re better off together - a St Albans student’s view on the EU Referendum

The results of the Referendum will have a major impact on young people.

The results of the Referendum will have a major impact on young people. - Credit: Archant

St Albans student Spencer Caminsky wrote for the Herts Advertiser as part of our team of commentators in the run-up to the last General Election.

Spencer Caminsky

Spencer Caminsky - Credit: Archant

Now 18, he is preparing to study English and Politics at either St Andrew’s or Warwick University next year, and aspires to write as a political journalist after graduating.

He explained the ethos behind his writing: “I hope to provide honest accounts of the stories and debates of the day. In a world fraught with media and political bias, aiming to confuse and distract, I would advise not to take the bait mainstream media sources dangle over our heads.

“If I could explain why I write the articles I do, I would quote the words of my ultimate role model, Jon Stewart: the best defense against bias, is vigilance. So if you smell something, say something.”

On both sides, we’ve seen the worst of the worst. If we leave, an instant recession, over £4,000 gone from our bank accounts, World War Three, and a mass exodus of Britain from the rich. If we remain however, over a third of a trillion pounds every week continues to be given to an elitist gang of anti-UK loan sharks, stopping at nothing to make the lives of British citizens as miserable and controlled as possible.

As Boris Johnson warns us, even our bananas are at risk, forced to be downsized under EU regulations. The crazy part is, while both the Leave and Remain campaigns bicker amongst each other, competing for the loudest voice, and the most bombastic lie, they seem to be forgetting the betting chips they hold in their hands: human beings.

For both Michael Gove and David Cameron to sign off their evenings at Sky News with that same clichéd message, to vote their way for our children and the next generation, just adds fuel to the flames of hypocrisy, scare tactics and false claims burning this debate to the ground.

Most Read

As we sift through the ashes of the EU debate, glaring conclusions remain about which option is more ideal for British people. In my opinion, we must be wary of leaving the European Union, and the uncertainty of a more powerful Conservative majority government. We must also recognise that, in its promise of multiculturalism, protection of rights for ordinary workers, and insurance of a seat at the table, there is most definitely a positive case to remain.

A vote to leave, in my opinion, is a dangerous vote for young people. The buzzword of the Leave campaign has got to be the word ‘control’, but it seems the only people getting more ‘control’ are the members of the Conservative government.

For over six years, through policies such as increasing university tuition fees, grinding austerity plans cutting billions of pounds out of the welfare budget, and slowing the building of social homes in areas of high student demand such as London, the Tories have put young people at the bottom of the pecking order in terms of policy and support.

I am therefore concerned about giving the Tories more ‘control’ over domestic policy (able to scrap EU-protected laws such as Workers Rights for example). Because little-to-no post-Brexit plan has been set out by Boris Johnson and the rest of the Leave camp, there is too much uncertainty to be sure of what Boris plans to change after EU ‘controls’ have been lifted.

Despite the inability to restrict immigration as much as people would like, the EU offers incredible benefits: ensuring the UK has ‘a seat at the table’ at one of the biggest trade blocs in the world allows us to dictate economic, social and defence policy globally, taking the lead on issues such as climate change, human rights, and counter terrorism.

Furthermore, the EU gives us the ease of access to foreign cultures and other ways of life. Through the EU’s free movement of people policy, we are free to travel, work and study whenever and wherever we want in Europe, enabling us to experience these cultures first-hand.

While it is clear that I feel a vote to remain would provide safer, more protected and enriching lives for young people, if you do not agree with the points I’ve made, take this advice if nothing else: vote.

It’s very easy for us - living in a place like the UK - to take things for granted. For the people today and tomorrow living in countries who silence the voices of its citizens, we might as well fulfil our one most important right in a democracy, and make ourselves heard.

Furthermore, despite the feeling that the end is nigh if we vote either way, it isn’t. Britain is too strong a country to be crushed by leaving the EU, or crushed by staying and having to comply with EU demands.

In my opinion however, a vote to remain ensures that Brits both young and old have the happy and prosperous lives they deserve. Looking back at history, from the referendum on the European Union in the 1970s, to the Scottish referendum two years ago, to the make-up of the United Kingdom as a whole, one thing has remained clear to monarchs, politicians, and voters alike: we have always been better together.