NEW DELHI: Brexit has definitively been the major buzzword in political jargon lately. The word is a shorthand for “Britain” and “Exit” in reference to the referendum on Britain’s European Union membership, scheduled for June 23.

The campaign has split Britain down the middle with the majority of the polls reporting that the vote is too close to call. The news doesn’t bode too well for Prime Minister David Cameron who has been campaigning for voters to opt to remain in the EU. Nonetheless, the campaigning has also been marred by reports of both sides twisting and manipulating facts to suit their respective rhetoric. This is what formed the basis for Prime Minister’s call last night as he appeared on BBC saying the voters need to look beyond “[the] completely untrue” claims by the Leave campaign.

The referendum is the culmination of strong calls that have been led by the United Kingdom Independence Party and joined in by Conservative MP’s, forcing PM Cameron to promise to hold the vote if he won the 2015 general election. The demand has been grounded in the argument that the European Union has dramatically changed since 1975; the time Britain joined it via a general referendum itself. Britons, that is, British, Irish and Commonwealth citizens over 18 who are resident in the UK, along with UK nationals living abroad who have been on the electoral register in the UK in the past 15 years will be eligible to vote on the referendum question, “Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?"

In order to offer you a clearer and more accurate perspective on the issue, below is run-down of the major points of clash between the two campaigns and what they’re saying.


· Leave: The leave campaign has been led by Nigel Farage, the leader of UKIP. Many senior conservative leaders like Boris Johnson and Michael Gove are also supporting the campaign, which has divided the ruling Tory party. Many smaller groups like Farmers for Britain and Muslims for Britain are calling for a leave vote. Celebrities like Sir Michael Caine, Sir Ian Botham, Sol Campbell and Katie Hopkins also support the campaign.

· Remain: The campaign enjoys support from both, Prime Minister David Cameron and Chancellor, George Osborne. Labour leaders like Jeremy Corbyn and Alan Johnson are also campaigning to stay in EU. The Liberal Democrats, the Green Party and the Scottish National Party all support staying in, as well. Finally, celebrities like Benedict Cumberbatch, Jude Law, Keira Knightley and Stephen Hawking have also publicly supported the campaign.




· Immigration is one of the issues where the Leave campaign has a clear lead.

· They argue that remaining in the EU leads to unrestrained immigration, causing a loss in jobs for UK citizens and generally bringing down wages.

· They also say that it leads to a drain on the British welfare system as migrants are entitled to social security benefits from the government.


· They primarily stress on the economic benefits of migrants who pay taxes that outweigh any benefits they eke out from the system.

· Furthermore, the new deal with EU means Britain can limit in-work benefits for new EU migrants for up to four years.

· Finally, they stress on the fact that even after leaving the EU, Britain would need migrants in certain segments of the economy which would make the whole process redundant.



· They argue that the City of London, Britain’s financial hub, has always been a major force in world economy and will continue to remain so despite Brexit as other centers would not be able to catch up.

· They also blame the EU for imposing needless regulations on the financial sector that impede their efforts at maximizing profits and cause a general loss of autonomy.


· The argument this side revolves around the fact that Brexit would mean that London’s influence in EU markets would substantially decline, leading to the rise of other major markets like Frankfurt or Paris.

· Moreover, they argue that presently the UK can negotiate any regulations with the EU, but would lose that bargaining power if it chooses to leave the EU.



· They argue that the right to free movement enjoyed by EU citizens exposes Britain to the risk of terrorist attacks like the ones in Brussels and Paris.

· Moreover, the primacy of European courts like the European Court of Justice over British courts means that it dictates security policies.

· Finally, they reaffirm the role of NATO as a security arrangement that Britain can safely rely upon.


· They point out that the data sharing loss due to Brexit cannot be covered by NATO.

· They also stress the fact that the shared intelligence allows Britain to fight cross-border crime effectively.

· Finally, they argue that the claim of terrorists entering UK is exaggerated as it is not a part of the Schengen agreement, allowing it to control entry and exit of individuals.



· They argue that as the EU has morphed into a political union from a trading one, there has been an increasing trend of protectionism and red tape-ism that hinders free trade.

· They point out that Britain can use its clout as a major trading partner to many countries to negotiate new and better deals and have access to EU markets like Norway and to an extent Switzerland do.


· They point out that any attempt at accessing the EU market would require Britain to follow the same regulations that it wants to get away from.

· The present EU market structure dismantles both tariffs and non-tariff barriers involving standards, regulations or rules of origin which makes exporting goods much easier for Britain.

· Finally, they stress that the countries with balance deficits with Britain would refrain from agreeing to trade deals.



· The EU stresses upon achieving common political standings, which compromise British sovereignty.

· They stress that Britain can function more effectively as an independent country due to its standing in NATO and the UN Security Council.


· They argue that leaving the EU would mean Britain’s support on the international stage amongst European nations would fall drastically.

· Furthermore, collective security and political decisions with EU allow Britain to assert a greater force in world affairs.

(Photo: A 2014 demonstration in London on the issue)