The EU Referendum

Why did the UK decide to leave the EU?

January 31, 2020

On June 23, 2016 the UK voted by a narrow margin to terminate its membership of the European Union. On March 31, 2017 the UK government invoked Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty to begin the procedure for leaving. The process was expected to take two years. In fact the UK left the EU on January 31, 2020.

Some questions to start you talking:

Why do you think the vote went the way it did?

What was the principal reason that motivated the founders of the European project after the end of WWII?  Does that idea no longer resonate with people in the UK and across Europe?

Among older voters the majority voted to leave.  Among younger voters the majority voted to remain.  Why do you think that was? What difference do you think leaving the EU will make to your future?

The Remainers say it is better for the UK to work with other countries in Europe on transborder issues such migration, terrorism, climate change. Leavers say it is better for the UK to tackle these issues on its own. What do you think?

One reason the leavers voted to leave was to regain control of the making of laws. At present many laws are made by the EU. Member states participate in law making but in some cases their wishes are outvoted.

Migration was another factor in the debate.  Those voting to leave want to see a reduction in the number of immigrants from the EU. Do you know of migrant workers from the EU in your community? What have they added if anything to the quality of life locally? Do you mix with students and older people from different European countries? What would you miss if they all disappeared?

Do you know what your family and adult friends think of UK's leaving the EU? What arguments would you use to challenge their viewpoint or persuade them to change their minds one way or the other?