Rhetoric is starting to ramp up to June’s vote on whether Britain should remain part of the EU or go our own way. There were complaints as it emerged that the government are spending £9m to post out leaflets to every home in Britain explaining the facts for why the government believed us “stronger, safer and better off in the EU”. I eagerly await mine, as I’m sure you do yours!
It’s becoming increasingly frustrating as we close in on what is, there is no understating, quite a monumental decision being voted on in just a few months that some (most) key questions on policy have yet to be answered.
Perhaps Cameron et al don’t actually want to spell out what the future of Britain outside of the EU could look like, because they’ve said that they wish to us stay. The difficulty is, at present it looks like the population is split (51% stay, 49% leave) on the decision and so uncertainty and a lack of information is the state of play for millions of EU citizens living in the UK.
If the British public vote to leave the EU, can we say with certainty what will happen to our EU neighbours living in the UK? Will they be asked to leave? Will they be granted blanket amnesty? I think both of these scenarios are fairly unlikely – what is more likely is that they would be asked to go through a protracted process of gaining Visas and following integration laws – no doubt being a logistical and personal nightmare, particularly if a government IT system is required.
All of this speculation in the wake of any actual information or policy suggestion is having a noticeable impact already. In London there is a strong EU population, and with this unease and uncertainty people seem somewhat less willing to commit to new tenancies, more often choosing to stay put until they know where they stand. According to Odds Checker, the most popular bets at present are 4/9 to stay and 15/8 to leave. Essentially, all of the polls and the odds suggest that the population is finely balanced on this decision – but it is not clear who benefits from this uncertainty? It certainly is something of a destabilising factor for the London rental market – and this is at a time when there are a number of other destabilising factors – as any landlord knows.
So – you may go your own way – but then you’re on your own, and right now who knows what that means for us and our fellow EU citizens?
Are we saying loving EU wasn’t the right thing to do? (I slipped this in ahead of any Rumours)