Regardless of the outcome on this very important choice presented to the British public, it is unlikely that a seismic shift will happen. The UK will not collapse if it leaves the EU or decides to stay within. I fear a large amount of campaigning already underway and yet to come, is riddled with slick speeches oiled with dubious premises and unsubstantiated claims. Exaggeration and obfuscation are rife and even an alert and politically savvy observer will struggle to separate the wheat from the chaff.
It would be difficult for me to delve into projections, bureaucratic details, legal technicalities and number crunching as that is above my pay grade. To be fair, I feel many are probably in the same position - maybe even those in charge!
I do worry how an United Kingdom outside of an EU, instead of being leaders within it, would lose opportunities. I worry science and technology research and development would lose out, by not sharing knowledge, policies, objectives, infrastructure and freedom of movement being curtailed. Being out of EU would give us full control of our front door, however I worry that we would be less safe when knowing much less of what’s happening in the rest of the neighbourhood, let alone count on their help. I worry the British economic clout may be diminished when on its own, as well as more volatile.
I abhor and despair with how the EU has become too complex and burdened with red tape, excessive running costs and obnoxious agendas some try to push. I don’t think Europe is ready for a true federalist solution. However, I believe the futures of the UK and Europe are inexorably linked, wether you like it or not. I would much rather see the UK leading from within, pushing for a 'leaner and meaner EU’, than staying aside without a say in it. You may say they’ve tried and failed, concomitantly it has not helped that anti-EU British MEPs keep getting voted in large numbers, when they only boycott and undermine proceedings whilst still taking advantage of their EU perks they claim to protest against.
Finally, the eligible voter will decide. I hope whatever the result, things will go well for the country which I have made my own for over 10 years now and intend to continue contributing to. I would feel better if the UK stayed and fought for a prosperous and safe Europe from a position of influence, after all Brits having been doing that for quite a while. At times, let us not forget, with great human cost. Would be a shame to turn our backs now.
Eurico Martins is a GDP, who qualified in his home country of Portugal, he has been working as an associate in the south of England for the last 10 years.