So two days before the potential biggest political decision we will make in this generation, I started to consider how individuals would be affected if the UK left the European Union.
Firstly as a student myself one thing is certain in this referendum, if we leave the EU there will be fewer jobs! It has been predicted that roughly 950,000 jobs will be lost if Britain stops directly trading with the rest of EU. What does this mean for school leavers and university graduates? Currently ‘Student Finance’ pay the full amount of each individual’s tuition fee for university so no money is required to leave the individual upfront, this loan is then gradually paid back once the graduate begins to earn over £21,000 a year. However if there is more competition in the job markets, this will be beneficial to employers as they will be able to pay the minimum wage and adopt methods such as using zero hour contracts meaning that more and more jobs are not secure and will not provide stability in the dynamic economic market we are bringing upon ourselves if we decide to vote leave. So university graduates will definitely find it harder to get ‘career jobs’ and be able to pay back their loans. I strongly think that if we have a continuous cycle of individuals not being physically able to repay their education fees then one of two things will happen 1) the system will become stricter, instead of paying money back following the reasonable conditions that are currently set out, organisations may begin to embody ‘loan sharks’ and be solely concerned with getting their money back even if that means taking personal assets etc or 2) the whole scheme in general may stop, this would mean that once again and maybe even in around 20 years when hopefully my own children will be in a position of deciding whether or not to go university, they may not be able to because of the financial barriers that we ourselves are putting in place. The UK could most possibly return to being a place where only ‘elite’ (strong emphasis on the speech marks ha) individuals who are privileged have the ability to go onto tertiary study especially at the most prestigious universities such as Oxford and Cambridge. This would then lead to this country being run by the upper class in every single area of society and I don’t even think I need to state why this is not a good thing. Overall do we want our highly democratic nation to become something where although this happens the numbers will increase of only the rich being able to be educated and where money acts as door openers and barriers? I find this particularly strange as this reflects the general position of women even in the last few decades in which the only method of social mobility was through marriage as education and building themselves up through a job was just not an option.
I have already mentioned this but the way that employers of large businesses will generally be affected will be in the opposite and more favourable way. Most importantly if there are fewer jobs then obviously the unemployment rate will increase, more people will be desperately searching for jobs which may not even be what they aspire to do or something that links with their education and training that they had done so far, they just need a place to work for money. Employers can easily lower the wage being offered and this will have no effect on the mass number of people who will be applying for a job. Zero hour contracts are most commonly used for temporary staff and state that a business has the right to get rid of the employee with little notice and no reason without having to pay legal fees such as redundancy payments. I’m not entirely sure if I think that if we do leave the EU businesses may move their production processes abroad but this is a possibility and will again lead to fewer jobs. Also with more applicants, an employer will naturally be more inclined to find the most suitable and experienced person. How can a 20 year old trying for a job in a very competitive market possibly have a chance when they are up against individuals who have 15 years of experience behind them? The EU have many regulations regarding trading and set clear rules of what is allowed to happen, this goes from what we are able to import/export and to how many bananas must be on a bunch in order to be allowed to be sold. Without these guidelines, businesses in the hope of reducing their cost of sales and becoming more efficient will benefit from providing goods that are below the standard that is currently set out. This as well as being a health hazard also increases competition between business in which large organisations who currently act as price leaders will be able to take control and push other businesses out of the market (most of which will be run by middle-class individuals).
The final thing which I think is important to mention is that leaving the EU will mean that Britain will leave a membership and a society in which each of the countries support each other may that be financially or in the business/education sense. We may spend thousands of pounds supporting other countries which could actually be used in the NHS to make free healthcare more accessible to every single person (even though I am 90% certain that the conservatives will not use this money on free healthcare). However following the shocking events particularly in America such as the pulse shootings it is clear that is becoming a ‘dog eat dog’ world where everyone is only concerned with what personal benefits they will receive. We have increasingly saw through many terror attacks that we are not safe in religious buildings, clubs and our own homes. The man who murdered Christina Grimme was justified by saying that he was just purely jealous that she had a boyfriend – this is what our world has come to. So if something does happen of this nature in EU and other countries of the world, it is collectively our responsibility to attempt to put things right. Currently the UK is supported by the European Union in many ways which is unknown to the mass citizens, so if we are put in a position of threat or uncertainty – there will be help available immediately. In deciding to vote remain we are not just giving away an exaggerated figure of £350 million a week to the EU but we are remaining in a membership which protects and will continue to protect ourselves and our family and the future generations to come. It is so important not to fall into the idealised world that the vote leave campaign are presenting to us, of course it may work, the UK may become more prosperous on its own but we cannot guarantee this and most importantly why would anyone (who is not selfish, racist and a misogynist) want to hand over the conservatives 100% control over the laws that we have to live by?