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Brexit! Dicing With Death...A Leap Into The Unknown
So on Thursday, Britain goes to the polls in what has been dubbed "a once in a generation" referendum; in which every vote will be of paramount importance. When I was chatting with some of my friends and family members, it was brought to my attention that the general consensus was that it was better for our community if we voted to leave the EU. What alarmed me further, was the notion that what ever the likes of Boris Jonson, Michael Gove and Nigel Farage said, it was unquestionably true. Not only that, but the myths that they have peddled for their own self-interest has not been questioned. In this article, I will not tell anyone which way to vote, however I will tackle the assertion that Brexit is the best way of safeguarding the future of our flourishing community. In fact, in my opinion if people believe that Brexit is the way of ensuring that our children get jobs and security in their lives, that notion is the equivalent of taking your ill child to intensive care only just to turn off the life support machines. In this article, I will attempt to use what I have learnt over the two years of my law undergraduate degree, to convey the factual reasons of why we must remain in the EU to ensure future prosperity for our families. 

The first point of contention and from my experience why many are tempted by the Brexit vote is the matter of "uncontrolled" immigration; as well as the potential increase in refugees coming to Britain. The latter concern about refugees are totally unfounded. First of all, refugees are people fleeing desperate situations, caused by war and persecution. As a result; whether or not Britain remains in the EU has very little impact on the refugee intake. This is because; it is Britain that controls the number of refugees it chooses to accept, not the EU. This is indicated by the fact that Germany has accepted nearly 800,000 refugees compared to Britain's pledge to accept 20,000 by 2020. If you think the number of 20,000 is too much, I refer you to Lebanon; which has taken in a million refugees, despite the fact that its population is merely 4 million. Likewise, many people may be worried that the EU may force a European quota of refugees on Britain; which it would be powerless to refuse. However, this is also impossible; as Britain has a veto on such an eventuality. Thus voting to leave the EU to reduce the number of refugees coming to Britain is completely meaningless. 

Now we come to the question of the "uncontrolled" immigration from the EU; which many feel reduces our opportunities of a better living standard. Before addressing this issue, I urge everyone to have a look into previous comments that the likes of Boris Johnson (our future Prime Minister in case of Brexit) and other leaders of the leave campaign such as Nigel Farage have said about multi-culturalism and immigration. It is clear that they will exploit hatred towards our community if it benefited them. So the leave logic is that we in Britain have "uncontrolled" immigration due to the EU principle of free movement of people; as a result by leaving the EU we can regain control. This seems faultless logic, until you consider the fact that Britain will have to renegotiate access to the single market; as 43% of British goods are sold to the EU. This means that, if Britain does not have access to the single market, there will be increased unemployment; which is severely detrimental to the chances of our community being prosperous in the future. In this scenario, Britain will be coming to the negotiating table against the leaders of the 27 other EU nations; each of whom will have a veto on the deal Britain will be offered. Therefore, it is clear that freedom of movement will be one of the concessions that Britain will have to make, in order to have access to the single market. I have not made this up, there are only a few European countries who have access to the single market; whilst not being members of the EU. These include Switzerland and Norway, both of which are subject to the freedom of movement principle. In fact, both countries have far higher levels of EU immigration than the UK as a proportion of their populations. If the UK had the same rate of EU immigration per head as Switzerland, the gross inflow of EU migration would have been 719,248 rather than the actual figure of around 180,000. Finally, the rhetoric of Turkey potentially joining the EU is merely just that. This is because; Turkey has to complete 35 steps including the acceptance of democracy and the rule of law, to qualify for membership and in over a decade they have only managed one. Recently, any hopes of a speeding up of the process were quashed by fellow EU leaders.

As unlikely as it is, let us say for arguments sake that Boris and co somehow manages to negotiate a deal without the freedom of movement principle and persuades none of the countries to use their veto, you may think this will be a victory for our community. However, there are many reasons why this will be catastrophic for us. There is no clarity on what will happen to the EU migrants who are already here, not to mention the 1.2m British nationals living across Europe. Under international law, they will more than likely have to be permitted to stay. This shows that voting to leave the EU, is not really a solution to the problem, but creating new ones for our community. It is clear that racism is increasing in Britain; as shown by the increasing support for groups like UKIP and "Britain First". Studies have overwhelmingly shown that London is the area of England; which is least racist and it is its diversity that is credited with this phenomenon. Thus if Britain chooses to leave the EU and the economy does not improve, the same people who are blaming the problems of Britain on the EU will need another scapegoat. If we do leave the EU, it is clear that in the short-term at least, there will be economic problems. This has been forecasted by every independent economic think-tank, such as the Institute of fiscal Studies and even some leave campaigners. This is because; while Britain is negotiating a deal with Europe, no companies will invest in Britain, thus increasing the possibility of unemployment. It is unclear, how long the renegotiation process will take, however it is clear that it will be time-consuming. An example of this, is the fact that it took Canada 7 years to negotiate a trade agreement with the EU. Likewise, trade agreements with other countries will also have to be put on hold, whilst the renegotiation is taking place. This is because; those civil servants will be needed for the talks with the EU. As a result, when those economic troubles hit Britain, the people who are blaming the EU now, will need someone else to blame. The people they choose to blame will be Muslims; as attacks due to Islamophobia have grown exponentially in recent times. Members of our community, who are thinking of voting to leave the EU may think this will not affect them, as they are not Muslim but I am certain that it will. Here is an example: when someone calls either you or your child a "pakki" or tell you to "go back to your country" do they first ask whether you have a British passport or not? Do they ask you whether or not you are indeed a Muslim or from Pakistan? The answer is an unequivocal no, the fact that your skin is brown, in their eyes makes you a Muslim no matter what religion you are. As a result, I want every member of our community who votes to leave the EU to acknowledge the fact that they are putting both them and their family members at a greater risk of racist attacks; not to mention the fact that they are being complicit in the rise of the right-wing ideology across Europe.

Another crucial reason why I feel it is essential that our community votes to remain in the EU is due to the benefits it provides us; not to mention the political instability a Brexit vote would cause. There are numerous advantages with EU membership; for a minority community such as ours. First of all, all anti-discriminatory legislation is heavily protected under EU law. Therefore, no one cannot discriminate against you for your colour, gender or religion under any circumstances; whilst we remain a member of the EU. However, if we leave, then these protections will be at the whim of the government of the day. Thus, if a racist government is elected, then they could legally discriminate against you; for the mere fact that you originate from India. The laws regarding maternity and paternity leave, not to mention payment for holidays are also similarly protected under EU law. Finally, every living Prime Minister, such as Tony Blair advocate remaining in the EU. This is because; they recognise the political instability it will cause; as well as increasing Britain's chances of being a victim of a terrorist attack. If people vote for Brexit, it will cause instability with both Ireland and Scotland. This is because; SNP leaders have indicated that in the eventuality of a Brexit vote, there will be another referendum of Scottish membership of the UK. In such an event, it is highly likely that Scotland will this time choose to leave the UK. This will mean that Britain will lose access to North Sea oil and more significantly the "death" of the Labour party. This is problematic for our community, as it will mean a lurch to the right in British politics. However, Ireland should be a source of greater concern. This is because; there will be need of a border between Northern and the Republic of Ireland. This is due to the fact that the latter will be a member of the EU whilst the former being a member of the UK will not. As a result, a border is necessary; since if there isn't one, then people could illegally exploit it to enter the UK. However, if a border is introduced, then it could trigger violence; and could potentially lead to increased terrorist attacks in England, by groups such as the IRA. Likewise, the membership of the EU could also help combat terrorist groups, such as IS. This is because; the different EU countries would be able to share information more easily. An example of this is the European arrest warrant; which enables the arresting and extradition of a criminal no matter which country they are in, in the EU. A scenario in which this was used, was in the case of Hussain Osman. He was convicted of terrorist acts against Britain, but with the help of EU membership, he was arrested in Italy.

In conclusion, people in our Malayali community, who are considering Brexit, must accept that they are potentially voting for a more racist, poorer, unstable and dangerous Britain. Is that what you want for yourselves and your children?
 
Bibliography:
 
2)http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/feb/25/workers-rights-are-on-the
line-in-eu-referendum-warns-tuc
3) https://tompride.wordpress.com/2016/04/15/leading-members-of-brexit-
campaign-call-for-privatisation-of-the-nhs-and-much-worse/
4) https://fullfact.org/immigration/eu-migration-and-uk/
5) http://openeurope.org.uk/intelligence/immigration-and-justice/norway-and
-switzerland/
6) http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-eu-referendum-35832035
7) http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200102/cmhansrd/vo020417
/debtext/20417-24.htm#20417þ24_spnew8
8) http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/eu-referendum-brexit-boris
-johnson-vote-leave-leaders-have-advocated-charging-for-nhs-and-cutting
-a6986631.html 
9)http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/jeremy-hunt-privatise-
nhs-tories-privatising-private-insurance-market-replacement-direct-
democracy-a6865306.html 
10)http://press.labour.org.uk/post/145797040389/brexit-risks-charges-in-
nhs-labour-warn 
11)http://press.strongerin.co.uk/post/143848688387/yvette-cooper-boris-johnson-
and-michael-gove-are 
12)https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/in/pages/2189/attachments/original/
1459520190/Leave_campaigners_cannot_be_trusted_on_the_NHS_v2.pdf?14595
20190 
13)http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jun/15/the-guardian-view-
on-turkey-and-europe-separating-facts-from-fiction
 14)  http://ec.europa.eu/enlargement/pdf/key_documents/2015/20151110_report_
turkey.pdf 
15) http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/erdogan-tells-eu-well-go-
our-way-you-go-yours-over-anti-terror-laws-a7017906.html

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