Will Britain be better off by leaving the European Union? The country will decide in a referendum on Thursday.
Giacomo Santangelo, an economics professor at Fordham University, outlines the arguments for and against leaving — a move often popularly referred to as a “Brexit” — according to each side of the referendum campaign.
For a Brexit
1. Sovereignty: Pro-Brexiters believe leaving the EU would benefit Britain because the country would be free to chart its own course, unencumbered by EU law, and could strike new trading deals with quickly growing countries outside the EU, such as India and China.
2. Immigration: There’s a perception among some in the "leave" campaign that immigrants to the country are taking jobs away from Britons. Additionally, they say, reducing immigration would relieve the pressure on public services and lessen competition for low-wage jobs.
3. Red tape: Some small businesses in Britain say they are burdened by too much red tape and regulation from the EU. If Britain leaves, those businesses would be free from what they say is the over-regulation from Brussels bureaucrats.
Against a Brexit
1. Finance: The “remain” camp says London could lose its prominence as the center of European finance if Britain leaves the EU. Maintaining that dominance gives Britain a significant source of revenue, so a vote to stay in the EU will secure those financial benefits for Britain.
2. Labor: The free movement of people to work anywhere in Europe, afforded by EU membership, provides Britain with a good source of young, mostly educated workers who can help to drive economic growth at a time when a graying workforce is making it harder for British businesses to find and hire new employees.
3. Trade: The free movement of goods and services within the single market of the EU means businesses can trade freely and without customs duties or trade tariffs. This helps British companies to grow and thrive with access to the full European community.