On June 23rd, the nation will go to the polls to vote on whether Britain should stay in or leave the EU.
The referendum will be a once-in-a-generation opportunity to have your say on the UK’s relationship with Europe.
So should we leave, or should we stay? To help you decide, we've summarised the arguments being put forward by both sides of the 'Brexit' debate.
Advocates for the exit campaign argue that Britain is being held back by membership of the EU, and withdrawal would give us greater control over our own affairs.
Some of the main arguments being put forward are:
- The UK gives £350 million a week to Brussels - money which would be better spent on priorities at home, such as schools, hospitals and housing.
- Departing the EU would mean that British businesses would be freed from EU regulations and red tape, while the UK would be free to establish its own trade agreements with important markets outside Europe, such as China, India and Australia.
- Leaving the EU would allow us to take back control of our borders and introduce a fairer immigration system, enabling us to restrict the number of people coming into the country without having to turn away talented people from non-EU countries.
- Withdrawal would restore the sovereignty of the UK parliament and allow us to make our own laws, instead of having them imposed on us by Brussels.
- Britain would still be a member of Nato and the UN Security Council and would remain a key player on the global stage.
Read more on the Vote Leave campaign website.
Advocates for the stay campaign say that Britain benefits massively from EU membership, and withdrawal would damage our economy, threaten jobs and harm our security.
Some of the arguments for staying are:
- For every £1 we put into the EU budget, we get almost £10 back through increased trade, investment, jobs, growth and low prices.
- Three million jobs in the UK are linked to our membership of the EU, and the vast majority of British businesses are in favour of remaining. Thanks to EU membership we benefit from free trade agreements with 50 countries around the world.
- Allowing the free movement of people enables us to be part of the single market, and immigration from the EU, which the leave campaign wants to reduce, benefits the economy, which relies on migrant workers to fill jobs and pay taxes.
- Leaving the EU would remove the protections given to British workers, such as paid maternity leave and guaranteed holiday leave.
- Withdrawal from the European Arrest Warrant would make it harder for us to extradite suspects from other European countries.
- Britain would lose its influence over EU foreign and security policy and find itself increasingly marginalised on the world stage.