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Bremain, Brexit, Undecided – Make Your Voice Heard

Bremain, Brexit, Undecided – Make Your Voice Heard

Thursday 23 June 2016 – a date we must all put in our calendar as this will be the day we vote to either remain or exit the European Union (EU).
It is important that we use our vote – whether you are in or out, make your voice heard!

For more information about EU Referendum, please click on the link below:
http://www.aboutmyvote.co.uk/upcoming-elections-and-referendums/eu-referendum

NHSF (UK) represents a variety of members with different opinions. Whether you are part of the Remain or Exit Campaign, we urge you all to vote. Here are a few interviews we conducted to gauge the opinions of our members.

Please note, these are the opinions of our members and not NHSF (UK)’s stance on this topic.

Bremain

What does the UK’s membership of the EU mean to you?

The EU remains the single most successful collaborative union of countries in the modern history of the world. It aims to achieve the greatest good for the greatest number of people. As one of the strongest countries in the EU, it is our duty as Britons to support this Union for the betterment of a wider population, beyond the British.

Have you always supported this view or have recent events changed your opinion?

I have always supported this view. It forms the core of my ethos – Vasudeva Kutumbakam, “the world in one family”.

What threats do you see to the UK in the coming years, should it not leave the EU?

With greater political instability across the Middle East, Eastern Europe and Southern Europe and even France, Britain will be expected to play a more supportive role in the EU. Migration will cause greater friction amongst communities within the UK and many will argue that smaller businesses without the ability to leverage their size will suffer. However, is it not for the politicians of our country to negotiate a better deal, just as those in Germany and Belgium have?

What opportunities are there through continued membership of the EU by the UK?

Opportunities remain greater than just those within this country as has been the main drive by politicians throughout the Remain campaign. History has proven time and time again that the lowering of trade and movement barriers has boosted the global economy. Allowing freedom of movement has seen a better understanding of cultures develop in the developed world. Staying in gives the British the opportunity to continue that legacy.

What are the key issues Hindu students in the UK should consider when making their decision on the UK’s membership of the EU?

Whilst economic and political issues will take centre stage on this debate, Hindu students should think more deeply about the values that we hold dear. Instead of seeing immigration as a problem, remember the thoughts of “Nar Sewa, Narayan Sewa” – “Service to man is service to God”. Instead of saying that the EU remains wholly undemocratic (ironic for a nation with an unelected House of Lords with the ability to veto government legislation), remember our duty of service to the world. We should remember that there are always two sides to every coin.

Yajur Shah, National President

Brexit

Have you always held your present opinion or have recent events regarding the referendum changed your opinion?

Recent engagement with issues about the referendum has swayed me to the Brexit side. Previously, I would have held a neutral position.

What threats do you see to the UK in the coming years, should it not leave the EU?

Should Britain not leave the EU in the long term, I believe we will be worse off – a failing economic union and an undemocratic political union, which appears to be incapable of reform. The main challenges I can see, if we do not leave the EU, are with migration, economics and security. The EU is an economic union without growth and appears to be a quickly sinking ship, which only has any chance of recovery with further (and unwanted, I think) political union.

I also believe that migration and security are big challenges, and the UK has not yet effectively dealt with the pace of immigration in the recent past, which has led to a failed multicultural policy (not with all immigrant communities), and given the migration crisis (note that I say migration and not refugee), which is crippling Europe, I think we would be better off out of the EU. Such a rapid pace of immigration which we are experiencing at the moment is putting pressure on infrastructure and leading to a failed model of an integrated cohesive society.

The EU is an anti-democratic institution with very little transparency and I believe there should not be a group of unaccountable commissioners dictating legislature to its member states. Over the years, it has shown itself to be incapable of serious reform and I believe this will carry on into the future.

We will have more freedom and more opportunities to dictate our own future should we leave.

What opportunities are there through continued membership of the EU by the UK?

There are clear short term trade benefits and short term economic benefits. We will avoid short term shocks to our economy, which have been predicted (by organisations with vested interests, it seems), and we will head into much more known territory.

What are the key issues Hindu students in the UK should consider when making their decision on the UK’s membership of the EU?

Hindu students should consider what they believe is in the best interests of the country and whether they wish to be part of an organisation with the ethos and structure of the European Union. I believe that, as a Hindu student, the clear answer is that an organisation like the EU, which is incapable of reform, does not act in the interests of its member states, but acts in the interests of its own commissioners and hence, isn’t something that I think we should be part of and we’d be better off out of it.

Hinesh Shah, National Learning Coordinator

Undecided

What does the UK’s membership of the EU mean to you?

For me, the UK’s membership of the EU means access for the UK to the trade opportunities offered by the EU. As an engineer, having worked in the automobile industry, I am aware of the many industrial benefits that this has brought with factories in lower cost areas compared to the UK, which lead to lower prices for our goods and services. For me, I like having the freedom of travel without having to worry about visas. As a migrant to the UK; I can understand the reasons why many would prefer moving to the UK, I also respect the view that this also leads to our borders being less secure.

I have heard quite a bit about why we need to exit to reduce the numbers of migrants to the UK, but there are also a lot of migrants from the UK moving to the EU for work (few who I have worked with) and retirement purposes. Does this mean they would have to come back to the UK; which kind of evens itself out as far as reducing overall numbers in which UK is concerned?

For me, and probably many others, I am not sure of the economic effects this has on me. I am not sure how much of my taxes go to the EU. I am not sure how much money comes to me from the EU. This all leads to a cloudy state of uncertainty for me as to whether I’m Bremain or Brexit.

Have you always supported this view or have recent events changed your opinion?

Yes. Since the talk of the EU referendum started, I have had this view. I have read articles for both pro and against Bremain, and despite this, I am uncertain.

What threats do you see to the UK in the coming years, should it not leave the EU?

The biggest threat I see is a growing population in our major cities, which will need to be addressed. A lot of people would point towards the security of our borders, but I’m of the opinion that we just need to police these better. A lot of people coming in are with good intentions, which often leads to a few causing a bad name for the majority.

What opportunities are there through continued membership of the EU by the UK?

Status Quo. For me the biggest opportunity has to be the financial state that we have built ourselves. Yes, it may not be as good as it was, but it is definitely better than 2005. I do not know if leaving will affect this, but I do know that remaining will not change this much. It was only a few days ago that the pound dropped on the basis that a poll suggested a marginal out vote, but the polls also suggested that we would have a Labour government at the last election, so I’m not sure how accurate those polls are.

What are the key issues Hindu students in the UK should consider when making their decision on the UK’s membership of the EU?

I think the key issue for many students, Hindus or non-Hindus, is employment. I have seen it mentioned in a few places that leaving would improve our employment rates in the UK – I am not sure how valid this statement is. What I do know is that leaving will stop or make it difficult for us to access wider opportunities for employment in the EU. I remember as an engineer in my final year, I was looking at opportunities at companies and manufacturing industries in France and Germany.

The other issue is the standard of education. During my time at university, there were many brilliant minded lecturers from the EU applying their trade at my university and I felt privileged learning from them. I am not sure how an exit vote would work here? Requirements of work permits? Increased fees? Access to funding grants for PhD students?
My one advice for students will be to make an informed decision, being undecided myself, I am going to look around to see if there is any argument of why I should vote in or out.

– Rasik Kanji, National Treasurer