Romford Recorder readers vote ‘out’ in EU referendum poll
- Credit: Archant
For the first time since 1975 voters in the United Kingdom will be given the chance to decide whether or not we should leave the European Union. With prime minister David Cameron setting a referendum date for June 23, our readers make their voice heard.
In the 48 years it has been a member, the UK’s relationship with the European Union (EU) has not always been a smooth one.
The rise of Ukip in last year’s general election reflected voters’ concerns about the EU and resulted in David Cameron promising a referendum.
Last month, Havering Council was the first publicly elected body and the first council in the UK to vote in favour of leaving the EU.
But with less than four months to go, the Recorder was keen to find where its readers stood on the question of our membership.
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After more than 300 people responded to our online survey over five days, the vote is a firm “no” to Brussels, with 63.8 per cent voting to leave.
Only 30.9pc voted to stay in and 5.3pc said they were not sure.
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The chief concern was security, with 87pc of respondents in favour of more secure borders and 61pc believing the UK would be safer from extremism and terrorism outside of the EU.
People taking part in the survey were able to leave an anonymous comment.
One respondent said: “We need to take back control of this country, change our laws without interference to keep our citizens safe.”
Another respondent added: “The UK always stands on its own – no more no less.”
“I want the UK government to make our laws and control our borders, not a bunch of unelected, faceless bureaucrats in Brussels,” wrote someone else.
One reader said: “When the UK joined it was a trade partnership between six countries. A good idea, even though we abandoned our long-term trading partners such as New Zealand and Australia.
“At no time were we told, or consulted, that the Common Market would develop into the multinational monster we have today. Getting rid of our borders was one of the biggest mistakes as freedom of movement has caused chaos.
“Unlimited migration to already overpopulated countries such as the UK is one reason for our housing, NHS and education problems that will only get worse as the years go by. I fear for our country.”
The largest group of respondent were readers aged between 41 and 60 representing 37.4pc of answers given, while 31.5pc were between 26 and 40 years old and 15.2pc between 18 to 25 years old.
Despite David Cameron’s warning last week that leaving the EU would threaten businesses in the UK, a majority of respondents to the Recorder’s survey disagreed.
Nearly half of respondents, 49.3pc, thought the EU is not good for business, with 36.3pc saying it is and 14.3pc saying they were not sure.
“Great Britain was able to manage businesses before we joined and I hope we can do the same if we come out,” wrote one reader.
“It can only end one way, so for the UK to be strong we need to be thinking of the future and what’s best for our children and grandchildren, get out of the EU and build trade links without all the red tape,” said another.
But others disagreed, arguing the EU is providing the UK with business opportunities.
“Given that nearly 50pc of our trade comes from the continent, it seems ludicrous we’d put that at risk by voting for Brexit.”
“Being shut out of the single market is a real possibility and would put the jobs of Havering residents at risk,” wrote another reader.
But while the debate continues to rage, some feel they are missing the facts to make a mindful decision.
“Don’t think the country has been given enough information on this topic, definitely not enough to make an informed decision,” said one respondent.
To vote you must be a British, Irish, Commonwealth citizen aged 18 or above who is residing in the UK or has lived oversees for more than 15 years. To register to vote, visit gov.uk/register-to-vote.