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Britain faces one of the most important choices in our history on June 23rd: Whether to leave or to remain a member of the EU. The huge difficulty with this referendum is that there are so many facts, figures and percentages being bandied around by each side.


In an article on Trumpet Media Group Online, Helen Grant, MP (Maidstone & The Weald) wrote; 'most of the people I have talked to see that almost everything is arguable and nothing is absolutely provable.'

'There seems acceptance from both camps that to leave will have an adverse economic effect, certainly in the short term, but this for me is about much wider issues too.'


'Racism and discrimination still exist, although sadly, to many these issues are completely invisible.  The EU has an important role to play in the process of fighting discrimination and promoting equality, and already uses a strong set of race equality and employment equality directives in that battle.  I think the EU organisations and institutions are now ready to flex their muscles and deal with non-compliant discriminating States, acting as a check and balance against some of the hard right-wing Parties that are gaining dangerous traction in certain countries.'


'Remaining in Europe, with the free movement provisions, will mean it is less likely that young people from minority backgrounds will grow up in isolation, as I did.  I grew up in the far northern city of Carlisle in the 60s and 70s, when, for a while, I was the only person in the whole city with a darker skin, and that brought a number of issues with it. Young people need togetherness and community and to learn from an early age to celebrate and enjoy difference.'


'Culturally diverse voters represent some of the most business-orientated members of British society and over 100,000 UK business export to the EU’s single market of 500 million people, enjoying tariff-free access.  With half of our exports going to the EU, supporting three million linked jobs, it is the best free trade agreement available to our country in the entire world.'


'EU membership also enables our businesses to trade with the many other countries outside Europe, including 90 percent of Commonwealth countries with whom agreements are in already place, or are under negotiation / consideration. Also, being in the EU allows us to help Commonwealth countries, such as influencing the direction of EU overseas development assistance to sub-Saharan African countries, to fight poverty, protect women and girls and halt the spread of AIDS....'


Prime Minister David Cameron promised to hold one if he won the 2015 general election, in response to growing calls from his own Conservative MPs and the UK Independence Party (UKIP), who argued that Britain had not had a say since 1975, when it voted to stay in the EU in a referendum. The EU has changed a lot since then, gaining more control over our daily lives, they argued. Mr Cameron said: "It is time for the British people to have their say. It is time to settle this European question in British politics."


The referendum, happening on Thursday 23rd June 2016, gives us all a chance to decide whether Britain should leave or remain in the European Union. IN or OUT?…we decide.


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