Europe: In or out?

What the referendum means for you

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I'm googling holiday destinations at the moment. I've narrowed my criteria down to 'Europe' (fussy, I know) and 'budget boutique' (apparently an oxymoron). Looking at the dates I realise that by the time I jet off, Britain might have left the European Union.

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Picture: Vicky Adamson

Will it matter? Will we even notice?

We'll get our chance to vote on 23rd June, so here's a speedy run-through of what both sides say:

Team Stay-In are basing their case on the economy. They say we'd be mad to distance ourselves from 500 million customers in Europe who we currently trade with for free. 3 million of us, they claim, have jobs which are dependent on that relationship.

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Team Leave says uncontrolled migration (because of European Union rules, we can all choose to live and work in any of the EU's 28 countries) means UK workers are at a disadvantage, competing for jobs against people coming from other EU countries who may work for less pay. They argue that our laws should be made in Britain, not in Brussels.

If you played a drinking game and took a shot every time you heard or read one of these arguments, you'd be wasted by polling day.

So, while I'd probably base my decision on the points above, before you cast your vote it's vital you know the other things at stake here …

1. The cheap flight

Easyjet-ting off to Europe might become a bit pricier if we vote to leave. EU competition rules meant cheaper airlines could set themselves up - paving the way for Stelios, RyanAir and others to fight it out for our fares.

2. The phone bill

Having returned home from my first holiday outside of Europe last May to a *TWO HUNDRED AND FIFTY POUND* phone bill, roaming charges shot up my list of political priorities. I hadn't noticed before because laws passed by the European Parliament meant that between 2005 and 2011, the cost of using our phones within the EU was cut by 73%. In even better news, charges are due to be abolished entirely by June 2017.

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3. The wine

Penchant for Pinot? Mad for Merlot? Sentimental over Sauv… I'll stop. If we were to leave the EU the price of wine we import from countries like Spain, Italy and France would, apparently, go up by a third. The mere thought of it … 

4. Eurovision

A massively underused argument. Not sure if Cameron mentioned this in his painstaking negotiations with European officials yet, but I'm very unclear as to the future of the UK in this vital contest should we vote to leave. Now, countries like Israel are in, so you clearly don't have to be in the EU – or even in Europe – which only adds to the uncertainty. Clarification is needed before a single vote in this referendum is cast, because this could swing it – either way.

So - Thursday 23rd June. Be sure to cast your vote. And soon you will find that there comes a time… for making your mind up.

Words by ELLE Politics Editor Ellie Gellard

Giphs from Giphy.com

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