Are you new here? If so, read me first

Welcome!

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.

About me

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.

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