All you need to know about Brexit : To be or not to be in EU

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On June 23, registered voters of the United Kingdom will voice their opinion whether the nation should 'Remain' in or 'Leave' the European Union.

The possible exit, called “Brexit” (Britain+ exit), will have remarkable consequences. This article is designed to help you in understanding how the historic vote could shape British-EU ties:

What is a referendum?    

A referendum is a vote in which everyone of voting age can take part, normally giving a “Yes” or “No” answer to a question. Whichever side gets more than half of all votes is considered to have won.

Why is a referendum being held?

Prime Minister David Cameron in his election campaign promised to hold referendum if he won the 2015 general election, in response to growing calls from his own Conservative MPs and the UK Independence Party (UKIP), who argued that Britain had not had a say in European Union since 1975, when it voted to stay in the EU in a referendum.

The EU has changed a lot since then, gaining more control over our daily lives, they argued.

There has been much disquiet in Britain since the early 2000s about migration into the country from within the European Union and its effects on communities, towns, wages and public services.

In 2004, 10 East European countries joined the EU; two more joined in 2007, allowing its citizens freedom of movement.  

Mr Cameron said: "It is time for the British people to have their say. It is time to settle this European question in British politics."

What is the European Union? 

The European Union often known as the EU  is an economic and political partnership involving 28 European countries.  

It began after World War Two to foster economic co-operation, with the idea that countries which trade together are more likely to avoid going to war with each other.

The EU has developed an internal single market through a standardised system of laws that apply in all member states.

It has its own currency, the euro, which is used by 19 of the member countries, its own parliament and it now sets rules in a wide range of areas - including on the environment, transport, consumer rights and even things like mobile phone charges.

EU policies aim to ensure the free movement of people, goods, services, and capital, enact legislation in justice and home affairs, and maintain common policies on trade, agriculture, fisheries, and regional development.

What is the referendum question on the ballot paper?

“Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?”

Who want to stay with EU and who wants to leave ?

There are two sides recognised by the Electoral Commission: the In Campaign Ltd and Vote Leave Ltd the first campaigning to remain in the EU and the second to leave.

Prime Minister David Cameron wants Britain to stay in the EU. Sixteen members of his cabinet also back staying in thus, Cameron and most of his ministers and Conservative MPs are on the ‘In’ side, so is Labour.

US president Barack Obama also wants Britain to remain in the EU, as do other EU nations such as France and German.

About half of Conservative MPs, including five cabinet ministers, several Labour MPs and the DUP are in favour of leaving.

The UK Independence Party which has enlisted much support in recent local and general elections on its anti-EU plant, is not part of Vote Leave, but has been campaigning vigorously.

Who will be able to vote? 

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.

Members of the House of Lords and Commonwealth citizens in Gibraltar will also be eligible, unlike in a general election.

Why do they want the UK to stay?

Those campaigning for Britain to stay in the EU say Britain’s economy has grown since it joined the EU as it enjoys tariff-free movement of goods, services, capital and workers across the 500-million strong EU market. 

Membership also allows Britons to move, live and work across Europe which fuels economic growth and helps pay for public services.

Britain also benefits from EU’s policies on climate change, agriculture, fisheries, education. Most of British business and industry want to stay with EU. 

Why do they want the UK to stay?

Those campaigning for Britain to stay in the EU have made the sensitive issue of immigration its main plank, which has gained it much traction in recent opinion polls. 

They want Britain to take back full control of its borders and reduce the number of people coming here to live and/or work.

They wants to put in place the same tough conditions for EU migrants as for people from India and other non-EU countries.

This group has it's own group of business and industry leaders who want a leave vote. They want to trade more with India and the Commonwealth after leaving the EU. 

They wants Britain to be run by its own elected representatives, instead of un-elected bureaucrats in Brussels.

India–United Kingdom Bilateral Trade

India is the third largest foreign investor in the UK, and the UK is also a significant investor in India.  There are many bilateral trade agreements between the two nations designed to strengthen ties.

As of 2014, Indian companies in the UK generated over 19 billion pounds. Also, they have employed more than 100,000 people in the UK. Tata group alone employed over 55,000 people in the UK.

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