Today is voting day (Thursday 23rd June)
This is to decide whether Britain should leave or remain in the EU (European Union)
What is a referendum?
A referendum is a vote which everyone of voting age can take part in. Which ever side (yes or no) gets more that is considered to have won.
Why is a referendum being held?
David Cameron promised to hold a referendum if he won the general election back in 2015, in response to growing calls from the conservative MPs and the UK independence party (UKIP) as Briton did not have a say since 1975 when it was voted to stay in the EU.
What is the EU?
The European Union – often known as the EU – is an economic and political partnership involving 28 European countries.
It began after World War Two to foster economic co-operation, with the idea that countries which trade together are more likely to avoid going to war with each other. It has since grown to become a “single market” allowing goods and people to move around, basically as if the member states were one country.
What does Brexit mean?
It is a merged word of Britain and Exit.
How do you vote?
It is a similar system to that during other elections. Firstly, if you have registered to vote, you’ll have been sent a card telling you when voting takes place and where you should go to vote on 23 June. On that day, when you go to the polling station you will be given a piece of paper with the referendum question on it. You then go to a booth, which will have a pencil in it for your use. You then put a X in the box which reflects your choice and put the paper into a ballot box. Alternatively have also been able to opt to vote by post.
Why do they want the UK to leave?
They believe Britain is being held back by the EU, which they say imposes too many rules on business and charges billions of pounds a year in membership fees for little in return. They also want Britain to take back full control of its borders and reduce the number of people coming here to live and/or work. One of the main principles of EU membership is “free movement”, which means you don’t need to get a visa to go and live in another EU country. They also object to the idea of “ever closer union” and what they see as moves towards the creation of a “United States of Europe”.
Who wants the UK to stay in the EU?
Prime Minister David Cameron wants Britain to stay in the EU. Sixteen members of his cabinet also back staying in. The Conservative Party has pledged to be neutral in the campaign – but the Labour Party, SNP, Plaid Cymru and the Lib Dems are all in favour of staying in. US president Barack Obama also wants Britain to remain in the EU, as do other EU nations such as France and Germany. As mentioned above, according to polls, the British public seems pretty evenly split on the issue.
Why do they want the UK to stay?
Those campaigning for Britain to stay in the EU say it gets a big boost from membership – it makes selling things to other EU countries easier and, they argue, the flow of immigrants, most of whom are young and keen to work, fuels economic growth and helps pay for public services. They also believe Britain’s status in the world would be damaged by leaving and that we are more secure as part of the 28 nation club, rather than going it alone.
So would Britain be better in or out?
It depends which way you look at it – or what you believe is important
Have you voted yet?
Are you IN or OUT?