SluggerReport: As we reach the brink, vote (or not) with your conscience…

Some final thoughts, and why you should vote, or not vote…

Leave, if for you the democratic argument does trump all else, then do it. If you lose then you strengthen the hand of Cameron or anyone else to push for stronger reforms (and maybe) a reversal of trajectories. See Michael (“non-dom”) Ashcroft.

Remain, even if you don’t feel strongly, not voting will change history in ways that are likely to be profound and which remain unquantified. Most claims that Leave will bring specific social benefits are thin to non-existent. See Chris Dillow.

Don’t know, the best rule of thumb I can think to share is if you don’t know, vote no. You can only Leave once, and for my money, there’s been no convincing argument as to why now?

Don’t care, there’s always Gloria Gaynor and our Slugger Brexit Playlist to get you through. For everyone else, there’s Slugger’s Live Blog from tomorrow night at 11pm.

  • chrisjones2

    …but Mick if you vote REMAIN you are locking the UK into an unstable political system that is failing economically. You then assume all the risks of the UK plus all those that flow from the future withering / demise of the EU as well.

    Surely the logical response of a Dont Know should at least be not to vote at all

  • Zorin001

    I’m remain for a number of reasons:

    1) I don’t trust worker protections to remain in place with a Tory Government in charge post-Brexit.
    2) I’m not a natural Free-Marketer (far from it) or massive fan of Globalisation but Vote Leave has given me very little in the way of a coherent argument to sway me.
    3) I’ve little in the way of emotional ties to either the UK or Ireland and have always viewed myself as European and would feel it a tragedy to put up barriers between ourselves and the continent.
    4) My fiancee is Spanish and I have understandable concerns over her status in the event of a Brexit.
    5) While Remain has regrettably harnessed “Project Fear” instead of a more positive argument the xenophobia from Leave has been shameful.

  • mickfealty

    It’s a matter of making an active as opposed to a passive decision Chris. Let me put it like this, if we vote to leave, we are almost certainly pushing the plunger and making the deconstruction of European unity happen in a quicker and in a more beautifully and pristinely uncontrolled manner.

    In voting Leave you are piling new levels of risk on top of the existing risk, and then casually casting a match over your left shoulder and onto the top of the whole blessed mess.

  • hgreen

    This from Ben Goldacre at


    I tried to ignore the EU referendum but idiots blaming foreigners, for problems we created, made me too cross.

    Here are my reasons for voting Remain.

    1. A smaller democracy will not be “more representative”.
    The UK government is no more under your control than the EU. Diluting your vote one in 65m or one in 500m amounts to the same thing: no control. You couldn’t get political agreement from the people in one family, one pub, or one bus. You can’t “vote them out”, you’ve never done that, stop pretending you can do it in the future. Politics is about compromise: terrible, soul-destroying, mature compromise with other people, most of whom are awful. Your local council don’t represent your views and values any better than your MEP.

    2. Immigration is just going to happen.
    In or out of the EU, there will be lots, and lots of immigration: bad luck if you don’t like that. We’re perfectly able to control non-EU immigration, right now, and yet no government ever does. They never will. This is not the fault of the EU, it’s more complicated than that. Deal with it. Immigration will never stop.

    3. “Straining” schools, waiting lists, and hospitals are your fault.
    This is not the fault of the EU. It’s your fault. It’s happened slowly. The UK has failed to build houses, failed to train hospital staff, failed to invest in the NHS, failed to build schools. Your country. Your UK. Your government. Your fault. Nobody else. The NHS is staffed by immigrants, they keep it running, they will save your life and build your house. Don’t try to blame them for things that are your fault.

    4. The EU is a good shot at preserving peace.
    Remember that news story about the British generals who think we should leave the EU because NATO preserves peace, not the EU? These are bad generals who only know about guns. Russia right now is an odd, aggressive country. But they didn’t show up at the Ukrainian border with tanks, out of the blue: they manufactured a social and economic pretext before they rolled in. A strong EU makes this kind of pretext harder to contrive. You want to be good close friends with all your neighbours, and their neighbours, as far as the eye can see. That’s how you hold a line that preserves peace: by sharing friendship, sharing trade, and sharing grumbles about crap admin in Brussels. You do not preserve peace by buying and using weapons.

    5. Brexit use language that’s targeted at losers.
    The Brexit campaign talk about “taking control”, about “building an optimistic future” for yourself. These are things you say to losers: to people who feel they have no control, or a gloomy future. It’s the language of crap self-help books in airport bookshops. You are better than that.

    6. Countries come and go.
    Right now, people talk about Eastern Europeans like they’re biologically destined to be parasites, because their countries are poorer, and some of their citizens travel for work. That could change, really fast. Polish people are not a biologically inferior race: they lived under communism for four decades, and now they’re catching up. Poland has the fastest growing economy in Europe (faster than Central Europe, faster than the EU-15). Warsaw is full of skyscrapers. Be nice. Make friends now. Cement those ties to a large, fast growing European economy with a rich cultural history.

    7. Brexit will hurt the economy.
    This means your children and neighbours. Stop pretending you don’t care. Just vote remain. It’s boring, there’s nothing awesome about it, but sometimes you have to take a break from useful productive work to stop idiots breaking things.

    Ben Goldacre

  • NMS

    Personally, part of me sort of hopes the UK votes to Leave. It negates the GFA, and means Article 2 of Irish Constitution is not compatible with EU law as non EU nationals would have great rights than EU nationals in Ireland. Then Ireland can get on with being in the EU, join Schengen and forget about the North once and for all. The hard Border would be in place and Nigel Dodds cam see people dressed up in Customs uniforms just like his daddy. (We could even give Donegal away as a goodbye present.)

    The I consider the alternative, self induced political instability just up the road etc. Much of the existing problems the EU has are driven by external forces and will exist with or without the EU. Indeed the UK via its Middle Eastern & North African expeditions (which had nothing to do with the EU) played a major part in creating.

    The economic changes, which are driving much of the move to the populist right, are again not a local EU issue, rather a global one as Martin Sandbu describes in this column in the FT.

  • Angry Mob

    If one country of twenty eight voting to leave almost certainly ensures the deconstruction of the project then just how robust is that project in the first place, if all it takes is one to go it just goes to show how weak the project actually is and more of a reason to actually leave before it all goes pear shaped? As we heard this afternoon from Juncker, there is no chance of reform.

    Then on the other side of the coin, some European politicians have actually said if the UK did go it would allow them to get on with ever closer union without the UK holding them back and I say if that’s what the other member nations electorate really want then leave them to it but they should be asked at the very least.

    The status quo is a perilous risk to the leave camp so I wouldn’t advocate a remain vote as there is little chance we will get this opportunity again.

  • mickfealty

    Still think that if you don’t know you should vote against it.