These past few days, all I’ve been hearing is talks of the EU Referendum, and people asking me if I’m going to vote, and if so what am I going to vote for. For me the answer is pretty simple, yes I will cast my vote and I do want Britain to stay in the EU.
As an Erasmus student, the most important reason why I want Britain to stay is because of the Free Movement principle that is currently in place. This basically means that I can travel and work within the EU without the need of a Visa or permit. In the last 9 months, I’ve travelled to 7 countries and over 15 cities, and the thought of getting a visa each time I travel would have been so tedious, and expensive. The most attractive part of travelling within Europe is that I can just get up and go, right this second I can get my passport and a backpack and take the 20 minutes bus to Germany and that would be perfectly acceptable.
One of the most talked about reasons why Britain should leave the EU is because of the amount of migrant workers that enter Britain. This is of course a valid point, as the reduction of migrant workers, in theory, means the increase of job opportunities for British citizens. But one key factor that all the critics seem to forget is the number of British citizens working in the EU. Like I’ve mentioned above, I’ve done a fair bit of travelling since starting my year abroad, and one thing I’ve noticed is the amount of British people in the work force of EU countries outside Britain. When I went to Lanzarote (part of Spain) 3 weeks ago, almost all the tour guides/ restaurant staff/ hotel employees were British, with very distinctive British accents. And a lot of these people are recent graduates. And this is what is important, most of these British migrants in the EU are like you and me, students who have studied and obtained their degree and are looking for better work opportunities. That is what the EU provides. Better work opportunities for all EU citizens, whether that’s the Polish and Romanian workers in the UK, or British citizens in Spain and Germany.
So to answer the question of whether or not we should stay, the answer is yes. As students in our current economy, we need as many job opportunities in as many countries as possible. We need all the options we can get. So please, my fellow students, don’t sit at home on June 23rd thinking that the referendum has nothing to do with you, because it does. It affects all of us, so please, for the sake of better job opportunities, I beg you, go out and vote!