Use Your Vote

70 percent of people eligible to vote declined to engage with the political process.

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The local election votes are counted and the voting slips consigned to the recycling bins. Turnout was expected to be low and it did not disappoint. 70 percent of those eligible to vote declined to engage with the political process.

I can’t work out why the EU Referendum wasn’t held at the same time. Voters were given two slips, one for a local council vote and another for the Police and Crime Commissioner. A third one giving the voters the choice to remain in the EU or leave would have been economical at a time local authorities face heavy funding cuts.

The arguments for and against have been made, even the most powerful man in the world popped across on Air Force One to offer his opinion. I can’t imagine Farage and Boris coming up with any more reasons for their side of the argument.

I’m firmly on the side to remain in the EU. As a small business owner, I want the UK to stay engaged with Europe and have a seat at the table. The EU is the world’s richest and therefore most powerful trading bloc in the world. The UK is the fifth largest economy in the world. It is a position we have attained as members of the European Union and not one we should risk by choosing isolation.

I don’t know if Barack Obama’s comments were helpful in the campaign. He had every right to state the Leave campaign were wrong in making presumptions about what a United States trade deal outside of the EU would look like. Suggesting we would be at the ‘back of the queue’ should we exit the EU was blunt but we demand straight answers from politicians. It’s rare we get an answer as straight as this.

The EU Referendum outcome is uncertain and after the disastrous predictions in the 2015 General Election, it would be a brave soul who claim they can predict the answer. The campaign has divided friends as well as parties. It’s important to take a position on an issue as important as this. It’s a decision that will affect younger people, many of whom are not eligible to vote.

I hope the turnout for the EU Referendum reflects the importance of the decision. Public confidence in politicians should not knock our confidence in the democratic process. Use your vote.

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