by GK Strategy 26th November, 2016
3 min read

EU Referendum GK Strategy Digest No. 2

Welcome to GK’s second EU Referendum Digest, helping you navigate what is happening in both the Leave and Remain camps and getting to the heart of the key issues driving the debate on the UK’s membership of the EU. With less than a month to go before the vote, this digest features unique insight from GK Associate and former Government Minister, Phil Hope. Phil anticipates what will be going through the minds of Government Ministers as we approach the referendum and, perhaps more importantly, the expected ministerial reshuffle later this year. Additionally, our fact-checkers have been taking a look at some of the claims made by both camps, deleting the jargon and untangling the spin to give you an unbiased view of the increasingly hostile arguments. The update also includes our regular polling analysis of latest voter intentions.

With only a month until the vote, both Stronger In and Vote Leave have sought to define their arguments. Stronger In continues to put forward the case for staying in the EU on the basis of economic prosperity, security and global influence, aided in recent weeks by interventions from President Obama and a range of business leaders. As part of Stronger In’s focus on security, David Cameron has warned that leaving the EU would risk the peace and stability of Europe which the Union has been highly successful in maintaining. Meanwhile, Barack Obama’s claim that Brexit would leave Britain “at the back of the queue” in negotiations for a trade deal, accompanied by similarly blunt warnings from Bank of England Governor, Mark Carney and Simon Stevens, Chief Executive of NHS England.

Vote Leave, in an attempt to respond to specific voter concerns, has presented more emotive arguments claiming Brexit will “make Britain great again”, particularly emphasising the need to reduce pressure on public services and strengthen border controls. Iain Duncan Smith referred to the EU as a “force for injustice” with uncontrolled immigration driving down wages for low paid workers, while Michael Gove has argued that EU immigration, particularly were other countries like Turkey to join the EU, would make the NHS even more financially unsustainable by 2030. The increased infighting in the Tory party raises as many questions about the stability of the Government after the vote as it does of potential political instability across the continent. What is clear is that the repercussions of the vote, whatever the outcome, span far wider than Brussels.

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