Britain goes to the polls to decide whether the UK should stay a member of the European Union with what is described as the ‘most important ballot in a generation’ taking place tomorrow as the UK votes in the EU referendum. But is 'in' or 'out' best? The county will decide whether to stay in the European Union or leave after being a member since 1973. Over the last few months the debate on what is best has often been heated, with people from both sides of the argument arguing their point – to the last second - to convince the public of their point of view.
Politicians from both sides of the European Union debate have their go at convincing you which way to vote. It’s been said that Britain (the second largest economic power in Europe) gets ‘pushed around.’ It’s also been said that the nation need to ‘reclaim its borders’ – although it already control its borders.
Some voters will be demanding that Britain leaves the European Union to make the country stronger and not weaker. Others are saying that Britain created the EU single market, doing so to help the sovereign state not to help others. There is a strong progressive argument to be made against membership of the EU by those who see it as contributing to the problem of political alienation, rather than part of the cure for it. People elect MEPs by PR, but they don’t initiate legislation, or have the decisive say.
Leading up to ‘decision-day,’ two events happened in one day that sent shocks through society. As the Ukip poster unveiled in the morning by Nigel Farage which was eerily similar to Nazi propaganda, a picture of a huge crowd of displaced people trudging along an open road. Disgust at the tactic was widespread and it was judged racist and inflammatory.
The much larger shock that same day, just hours later, was the death of Jo Cox, MP for Batley and Spen. With that uppermost in everybody’s mind, another one of the biggest concerns is about immigration and, in particular, accommodating asylum seekers, although Britain cannot do anything about the likes of the problems of Syria or Libya by itself.
The EU referendum is now a day away, and the polls suggest the result could still go either way. The country is preparing for the crucial vote which polls suggest is currently neck and neck, and well within the margin of error. The Remain and Leave campaigns are faring neck-a-neck, based on figures from What UK Thinks, which takes an average of the last six polls, and will be updated up to Election Day.
Until February, Remain has held a consistent lead over the Leave campaign, retaining between 55 and 51 per cent support in the referendum's poll of polls. However, since then the Leave campaign has managed to gain more support, increasing their odds of winning and going into the final week of campaigning with a four percentage point lead.
Whatever the outcome, this has been a nasty campaign - full of scare tactics, fantasy figures, and finally, murderous violence.
So, come Friday morning, will we be ‘in,’ it together, or ‘out’ on our own? The decision is yours.
We have heard from some celebrities, local community leaders and residents, with their quotes below:
"I'm passionate about my country and whatever the result of Thursday's referendum, we will always be Great. Each side has the right to their opinion and that should always be respected whatever the outcome of the European Referendum.
I played my best years at my boyhood club, Manchester United. I grew up with a core group of young British players that included Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt and the Neville Brothers. Added to that was an experienced group of older British players such as Gary Pallister, Steve Bruce and Paul Ince.
Now that team might have gone on to win trophies but we were a better and more successful team because of a Danish goalkeeper, Peter Schmeichel, the leadership of an Irishman Roy Keane and the skill of a Frenchman in Eric Cantona.
I was also privileged to play and live in Madrid, Milan and Paris with teammates from all around Europe and the world. Those great European cities and their passionate fans welcomed me and my family and gave us the opportunity to enjoy their unique and inspiring cultures and people.
We live in a vibrant and connected world where together as a people we are strong. For our children and their children we should be facing the problems of the world together and not alone.
For these reasons I am voting to Remain" - David Beckham
"The biggest threat to Africans and all non white people is voting to leave the EU. Ignore all the crap and posturing - the EU acts as a braking mechanism on our dangerous govt. If we vote out, the NHS will be privatised. Gove is the biggest proponent of the USA model for our NHS. We will almost certainly go into a double dip recession & £ will lose value. Market forces will prevail in the workplace; minimum wage will disappear. The Human rights act will disappear - along with most of our rights and voting out will unleash fascism, together with many attacks on minorities. Beyond all the rhetoric is a classic 'divide and rule' scheme, encouraging people to blame foreigners for all our problems - rather than the savage austerity cuts of this government. Look at the current elite governing us; do not be fooled. If we leave the EU - tax receipts will go down as jobs disappear triggering yet harsher cuts. This will spur more attacks on minority groups.....and human rights would have disappeared." - Olusegun Dosumu
"Trying to wade through the lies and half-truths from both sides of the EU Referendum has been difficult, but even just looking at the calibre of people backing each campaign, let alone the policies of each, you can make your mind up. Having lived, and worked within the EU in the Netherlands for a short time, and as part of a generation who values the unity and togetherness that the EU permits, in line with bringing people together and the work in connecting communities across the EU, Commonwealth and beyond that The Phoenix does, I will be voting remain." - Daniel Riley