On 23rd June 2016, the UK public will vote to decide whether the UK should stay in or leave the EU.
Before you read any further – if you haven’t registered to vote in the referendum, and you are eligible to vote – register now! Go here: https://www.registertovote.service.gov.uk.
Done it? Good.
I started this blog as a way of contributing to the debate surrounding the EU referendum. In case you haven’t worked it out by now (and the title of this blog is a pretty big hint…!) I am strongly in favour of the UK remaining within the EU, and I want to share my reasons for this with you. I fully accept that there are problems with the EU, but I firmly believe that we are better of in it, being able to influence its future development, rather than being on the outside.
This blog has a second purpose – I’ve spoken to a lot of friends and family about the referendum (some of them are fed up with me already), and a common theme is that many people feel they don’t have enough information to make a decision, and/or they are not sure they can trust what is out there. I completely understand their frustrations – I am amazed by some of the claims being made during the referendum campaigning, and there is a lot of misinformation and myths about what the EU does and how it works.
I hope that this blog can contribute to helping you make your decision. Over the next few weeks, I plan to write a series of posts explaining: i) what the EU does and how it works (and dispelling some of the myths that are out there); ii) why I think we should stay within the EU; and iii) why leaving the EU would be a bad idea. I’ve set myself the ambitious task of trying to write something every other day/every three days, but along the way I hope to ask others to join in and write some pieces too.
If you have questions about the EU, or suggestions for future posts – let me know either in the comments or contacting me here. Equally, if you disagree with what I write, let me know why. I want to encourage informed debate about the EU, whichever way you eventually vote. I can’t promise that I will address everything that is written in response to the blog, but I will do my best. That said, if it’s just abusive, it’s very unlikely that I will respond (unsurprisingly, I didn’t set up this blog to be told that I have been brainwashed!)
A guide to this blog
If you don’t want to read through the various posts on this blog – a handy guide to the posts it contains can be found here.
So who am I? My background has a strong EU Law focus. I have an undergraduate degree in Law from the University of Bristol, and a postgraduate degree in European Law from the College of Europe in Bruges (once described by the Financial Times as a “training ground for Eurocrats” – I have no idea what a Eurocrat is, it sounds like a bad cartoon character. Whatever it might be, I am sure that I am not one!)
After graduating, I lectured EU Law at various UK universities for five years (and counting). Alongside this, I am currently training to become a barrister.
When not ranting about the EU, I can normally be found ranting about football instead (I am a lifelong Norwich City fan, for better or worse…)
Given that I am a lawyer (in training), here is the disclaimer:
All the opinions expressed in the blog are my own (unless, of course, the blog post was written by someone else) and are based on my own research. Where I can I will indicate where I have obtained any information. Anything written in this blog should certainly not be relied upon as legal advice in any way.