This referendum will decide whether we leave the European Union (EU) - an economic alliance of European countries.
Honestly, it's not that riveting an institution - but it is important. It allows free trade and free movement in Europe.
Unfortunately, the issue has become firmly focussed on migration. Because people don't know enough about the EU to discuss any other issue.
And also because it is, honestly, very boring stuff - and the 'sexy' issue is the migration one.
People who are citizens of countries within the EU are permitted to migrate and generally travel about within the EU without a Visa.
Migration is also an issue in the USA if Mr Trump's over-compensating statements are anything to go by (seriously, even if you build a f**king wall, Mexico isn't going to pay for it - why the hell would you think they'd agree to that? They don't have to do anything you say.)
Generally, people who dislike migrants do so because:
- Politicians use migration as a distraction - if you blame foreigners, people won't blame you.
- People like to have a scapegoat to blame when things are out of their control. (E.g. the economy is bad, but it must be because of migrants that I don't have a job.)
- People fear things they don't understand - like other cultures, customs, and languages.
- Some people are just bigots.
Let me explain to you a few proper, non fear-mongering facts about migration in the UK and EU:
- The migrants in the Calais jungle are not EU citizens - and the UK takes below the EU average in asylum applications.
- EU migrants contribute £2bn to the UK economy per year.
- The NHS is supported by migration. 1 in 7 migrants living in the UK are working in the health and social care sector. These people are benefiting the country.
- Irish people are EU migrants. Spanish people are EU migrants. Italian people are EU migrants. EU migration does not just mean Eastern Europeans.
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