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Live Updates

By Alex Campbell & the Newsnight team

All times stated are UK

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Thanks for following along...

Ian Katz

Newsnight Editor

We've just wrapped up the post-mortem on tonight's show about sovereignty and the EU. The prevailing view on the production team was that we tried to squeeze too many voices into the show, with the result that several of our very knowledgable experts barely got a word in edgeways. 

The idea behind tonight's format was to cut through the tit-for-tat quality of much of the referendum debate by calling on experts who could tell us whether the claims of the politicians stacked up. But our main guests, Chris Grayling and Peter Mandelson, were so keen to slug it out with each other that we didn't hear as much from the experts as we'd hoped. (They were still arguing about how many Brussels meetings Grayling had attended when they left the studio.) We'll be tuning the format ahead of the next of these special shows - about security - next Monday. All feedback very welcome.

A few quick thoughts post-show...

Evan Davis

Newsnight Presenter

My thoughts on our sovereignty debate (apart from how much longer we could have spent arguing about the issue.) The Remain side made much more of the fact that we influence European legislation than I expected. Peter Mandelson was keen to impress on us that EU laws are not imposed, but we contribute to them. It is true, but of course we can be outvoted and then suffer under laws we don't want.

I had thought we'd hear more about the benefits of our influence on others, constraining their behaviour and getting laws that suit us in return for the ones that don't.

I was also interested in the importance everyone attaches to the fluid EU situation. The club we see voting on remaining in, is not a constant. It is changing. Quite whether that means we should duck out while we can, or stay to help shape it, I'm not sure.

Recap: How many UK laws are made in the EU?

We asked Queenie, a British bulldog (and national symbol) to answer that question. She got the BBC's legal affairs correspondent, Clive Coleman, to help.  

Recap: Evan Davis visits the self-declared principality of Sealand

Earlier this evening we got to see Evan Davis being winched up onto the Sealand as part of his film about sovereignty. 

If you missed it, or even if you just want to re-watch Evan dangling from a swing in a hard hat, here it is again:

Evan Davis visits the self-declared principality of Sealand

Highlights from our sovereignty debate

Just some of the key quotes

It's hard to see any sovereign body within the EU. If there were one they would be able to solve the Euro crisis and they would be able to solve the migrant crisis... What we seem to be having is a dysfunctional and probably unworkable system of many nations

Professor Robert TombsUniversity of Cambridge

When you look across government activity that is not wholly or partly shaped by the EU, you are looking at quite a small number of areas

Chris Grayling MPLeader of the House of Commons

He (Chris Grayling) talks about this legislation and these EU obligations and this terrible impact as if it has been something over which we have no influence. It's very fundamental. This is not legislation imposed on us, we are a part of the process."

Peter MandelsonEuropean Commissioner for Trade, 2004-2008

We’re all about independence, freedom, carving your own path in life. The EU isn’t really for us

Prince Liam of Sealand

We’ve lost the right to govern ourselves. Once you’re in the European Union , you have to ask the permission of the others… you are no longer in control

John Redwood MPConservative

You give up some of your sovereignty because you choose to do so. Because it makes a lot of commercial and economic sense

Vicky PriceHead of the Government Economic Service, 2007-10

What did our undecided voters think?

Have any of them been persuaded?

We've just spoken to three of our undecided voters after they've braved an hour in the studio. Here's what they have to say after hearing the arguments:

I haven’t come to a decision but it’s widened my scope of issues. I’m actually probably pro-leaving slightly more because of all the issues Chris (Grayling) mentioned

Angela Garvin

I’m still undecided but it seems to me from what I heard tonight I’ll be leaning more towards stay at the moment. The scaring tactic is not working.

Shan Abizadeh

I’m still undecided, I still have more to hear. Based on sovereignty, based on law, I don’t think that the EU making decisions for us is entirely a bad thing so I think I am swinging more towards remain.

Lewis Dockery

Who are ya?

EU referendum... lessons from 1975

Michael Cockerell looks back at the UK's 1975 referendum on Europe – and draws out similarities and differences between then and now.  

Who still thinks the economy is more important than sovereignty?

After an hour of discussing sovereignty, how important do our undecided voters think sovereignty is in the EU debate?

Six panelists raise their hands
BBC

Not as important as the economy, apparently. But we do have a referendum special on the economy on the 25th April so plenty more on that soon. 

Here is Padraig on feeling European:

The EU was originally set up to keep warring nations on the same side. I'm Irish and I feel more European.

PadraigWorks in the printing business

What a difference £25 makes

Chris Cook

Newsnight Policy Editor

As we end the first of our of specials on the upcoming EU referendum, it’s worth bearing in mind how the campaigns are considering the questions at stake. Evan started the programme by talking about how we want to help you make up your mind. We’ll do our best, but it may be quite a challenge.

Something I’ve heard from a lot of people on both sides of the fence is that there is a decent number of undecided voters who are seeking certain facts that will tell them which way to vote in the referendum. They don’t want an argument, they want to know “the answer” to the question of In or Out.

I think there is a graph which bears on that here, produced by Prof Philip Cowley of QMUL (although it’s not how he presents it). He asked YouGov to ask people how they’d vote if they knew that going in would cost them or gain them a variety of sums of money.

A graph showing impact of money on how people will vote
Philip Cowley

You can see how, if you tell people that they’ll be £25 down from Brexit, a segment of voters will move so the result is a fairly resounding vote against. If you tell them they’ll be £25 better off, they swing back behind it.  This segment is big enough to decide the election. That’s all it takes.

Prof Cowley notes that this polling helps you see "how much economic considerations might affect things.” That’s surely right - and his reading of it is borne out by other research. But also note his conclusion that increasing the sum of money on offer makes "not all that much difference”. 

I read the fact that the lead doesn’t grow that much as supporting that idea that there is a bloc of certainty-hunting voters. They don’t care much about whether they’re £1 better off or £1,000. They want the certainty of the “right” answer and will back it. Why does this matter? Because there is no such answer. 

On that big question - “will you better off out of the EU?” - there’s little uncontested truth out there. The “right" answer for you depends on your political priorities. Do you care more about defence or farming? So all we can give you is enough information for you to work out what you think.

That might sound a bit trite, but - somewhat counterintuitively - this may mean there’s another adjustment you have to make to your reading of the polls.  People on both sides of the campaign say the polls may understate final Remain’s position at the very end, because a number will only realise in the final days that they have not the certain facts they crave. 

Research and prior experience suggests, then, that having had their heart back Leave during the campaign, they may then get worried as they approach the ballot box. And so, at the very end, there may be a break back to Remain, which is campaigning as the safer status quo option. 

Vernon Bogdanor on European history

We've often seen ourselves as separate from European... Twice in the last century governments who have wanted to isolate themselves away from Europe found themselves forced into World Wars because of events that happened in far away parts of Europe

Vernon BogdanorKing's College London

Sovereignty bill?

David Grossman

Newsnight

What on earth has happened to the Sovereignty bill? David Cameron promised us one. He said it would help reassure anyone who wanted a guarantee that the UK parliament was sovereign over EU law. Mr Cameron told us that the government had already established the primacy of UK law in the European Union Act of 2011 but if people wanted even more clarification, to “put the matter beyond doubt” he hoped to publish a new sovereignty bill at the same time as wrapping up the EU renegotiations in Brussels.  

The EU heads of government shook hands on that deal in the middle of February, and yet we are still waiting for the new bill. Some said at the time that it was a fatuous exercise which had the sole objective of stopping Boris Johnson campaigning to leave the EU.

Boris has let it be known that he had been initially happy with first draft of the sovereignty bill, but once it came back from the government lawyers it was so toothless and meaningless that he couldn’t accept it.

Once the Boris horse bolted to the leave side there was little point in the government pressing ahead with it.

Indeed it is hard to see how the government could do much more than point out the obvious. The UK is only subject to EU law because the UK parliament passed the European Communities Act of 1972. Parliament has the (sovereign) power to repeal that act and no longer be subject to EU law.

However, trying to pretend that such an obvious constitutional point is in some way marks an important advancement of UK sovereignty is likely to be counterproductive. For that reason I’m not expecting to see the promised bill any time soon.  

The EU Charter of Fundamental Rights

In 2000, as part of the Treaty of Nice, the European Union gathered together in a single document all of the existing rights of every individual within the EU as established by the case law of the Court of Justice of the EU, the rights and freedoms enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights, and “other rights and principles resulting from the common constitutional traditions of EU countries and other international instruments”.

The document - the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights – was initially non-binding, but in December 2009, as part of the Lisbon Treaty, it became legally binding on the EU institutions and on national governments. During the treaty negotiations, the British government was given a written assurance (“Protocol 30”) that the UK would only implement the Charter insofar as its provisions were already “recognised in the law or practices of the United Kingdom.”

Some critics have expressed concern that – in spite of Protocol 30 - British judges have invoked the Charter when ruling on cases, and that Britain’s opt-out has therefore been undermined.

Robert Tombs on a 'dysfunctional' EU

It's hard to see any sovereign body within the EU. If there were one they would be able to solve the Euro crisis and they would be able to solve the migrant crisis... What we seem to be having is a dysfunctional and probably unworkable system of many nations

Robert TombsCambridge University
Robert Tombs
BBC
Robert Tombs

Then and Now

Was sovereignty ignored in the 1975 referendum?

A 1975 referendum leaflet
Museum of London
A 1975 leaflet from the "No" campaign

One of the popular arguments about sovereignty is that supporters of the European Economic Community back in 1975 were not honest about conceding power to Europe.

That the British people simply never had the opportunity to argue whether giving up powers to be part of something bigger is a worthy transaction.

Take this piece from Dominic Lawson. 

He argues that the UK never had a true debate about sovereignty; that the then Conservative government led by Edward Heath “skilfully evaded the issue.”

To what extent is that the case? Well, one tiny snapshot of the 1975 referendum debate is the official leaflets circulated by each campaign.

It may be interesting to note that some of these excerpts seem rather similar to the phrases we’re hearing tonight.

“The fundamental question is whether or not we remain free to rule ourselves in our own way,” ran the No campaign’s leaflet urging voters to reject the EEC. The banner: “The right to rule ourselves.”

On the other side, the question: “Why can’t we go it alone?”

“If we came out, the Community would go on taking decisions which affect us vitally – but we should have no say in them. We would be clinging to the shadow of British sovereignty while its substance flies out of the window.”

More of your thoughts on sovereignty

Lots of comments coming in from people watching at home. Here are just a few.

It’s ”slippery concept about which people have unrealistically black and white ideas” night on Newsnight. Again. twitter.com/BBCNewsnight/s…

Again - the fact we're having a referendum to stay in or leave the EU suggests we do still have control of our sovereignty 🙄 @BBCNewsnight

@BBCNewsnight we have not lost soverignty cause can repeal euro communities act tomorrow. We don't have same legislative control over #nato

I don't care if current laws are more British than European or visa versa. What I care about is whether they are just or not. #Newsnight

EU laws: The numbers game

I wouldn't be arguing in terms of numbers, the questions I would be asking would be in terms of impact

Chris GraylingLeader of the House of Commons

It's very, very fundamental. This is not legislation imposed on us. We are part of the legislative process. If he went to Brussels more often he might understand how it works

Peter MandelsonEuropean Commissioner for Trade, 2004-2008
Mandelson
BBC
Mandelson

Are there 26,911 words of EU regulations on the sale of cabbage?

Radio 4's More or Less have had a look

Lord's Prayer - 66 words 10 Commandments - 179 words Gettysburg address - 286 words EU regulations on the sale of cabbage - 26,911 words

We can give you a straight answer on this one: It's false.

Just under 2,000 words of regulations on the size and labelling of cabbages were repealed in 2009. Today there are no regulations specifically about cabbages.

Radio 4's More or Less

The whole, myth-busting article is worth a read; it even suggests that British industry guidelines are more wordy than EU regulations.

How much UK law comes from the EU?

Clive Coleman

BBC legal correspondent

Well, it depends who you ask. Business for Britain, which campaigns for the UK to leave the EU, claims it is over 60% and a major burden. Others put the figure as low as 13%. It’s a massive difference based on what you count in or out. Between 1993 and 2014, parliament passed 945 Acts of which 231 implemented EU obligations of some sort. It also passed 33,160 Statutory Instruments, 4,283 of which implemented EU obligations. Add both of these together and divide by the total number of laws passed, and you get the 13% figure.

Clive holding the original of the 1972 EU Communities Act which took UK into EU
BBC
Clive Coleman holding the original of the 1972 EU Communities Act which took UK into EU

But most EU regulations don’t require new UK laws. They can be implemented in the UK without new legislation. So, if you count all EU regulations, EU-related Acts of Parliament, and EU-related Statutory instruments, about 62% of laws introduced between 1993 and 2014 that apply in the UK implemented EU obligations.

These headline figures make it easy to take a position on the relative influence of EU law, but do they mean anything?

Some EU regulations are agreed by all member states but don’t actually affect us at all.  Like those governing the production of olive oil and tobacco because we don’t do have those industries. We also adopt some which codify existing UK law at a European level, so we’d effectively have that law anyway.

And the numbers game doesn’t assess impact – it's tiny in areas like defence, much larger in areas at the heart of the EU, like trade. 

The Luxembourg Compromise

How Europe "ground to a halt"

The Luxembourg Compromise was an agreement made in 1966 to resolve an "empty chair" crisis preventing decisions being made by the European community.  

France's Charles de Gaulle objected to the community's move to increase the use of majority voting so that one member state couldn't block particular measures - especially in agriculture.

Effectively, he wanted a veto. And he knew how to get it.

Sir Stephen Wall, former permanent representative to the EU, explains: "The French left an empty chair.

"And effectively for about six months, from the middle of 65 to the beginning of 66 , the European Community ground to a halt."

The name, Sir Stephen thinks, was a little generous.

"It was basically a unilateral statement by the French", he adds.

Prominent Brexiteer John Redwood argues it was never viable - having tried to suggest its use when in government.

"I remember on a couple of occasions saying to the government, maybe this is a time we really need to use the Luxembourg Compromise and the official government machine was horrified and nobody wanted to go anywhere near it," he said.

"Of course, we didn’t use it. And over the years of non-use it gradually lapsed."

Re-cycling

A note on Chris Grayling's claim

Chris Grayling cited – as an example of the EU blocking rule-changes that Britain would be able to implement if it had sovereignty - Boris Johnson in the Telegraph on cycle safety:

“I discovered, in 2013, that there was nothing we could do to bring in better-designed cab windows for trucks, to stop cyclists being crushed. It had to be done at a European level, and the French were opposed.”

In fact, the UK government itself opposed the introduction of new cab windows for trucks. The Mayor himself lobbied Transport Minister Stephen Hammond in protest at the government’s position on the proposed change.

Siobhan Benita on EU laws

Laws don't get imposed upon us. We are there negotiating around the table, negotiating on each of those laws as they come in. It's a misunderstanding to say somehow these things are done to us.... In my time in the civil service the EU played a very small part in the policies coming across my desk

Siobhan BenitaWarwick University

Wheelers all round

There’s an unwritten rule on Newsnight that momentous occasions in European history cannot be covered without a Wheeler being involved. Tonight, as Britain’s membership of the EU hangs in the balance, we haveMarina Wheeler in the studio. But 26 years ago, on the night of German reunification, it was her father Charles who presided over proceedings, alongside a visibly-amused Jeremy Paxman. You can see that famous episode here...

View more on youtube

Mandelson on the benefits of EU memberships

It's not simply Britain standing aside in splendid isolation by itself, that's the easiest thing in the world... Who do you think got rid of roaming charges for mobile telephones? The European Union.

Peter MandelsonEuropean Commissioner for Trade, 2004-2008

Chris Grayling on EU laws

When you look across government activity that is not wholly or partly shaped by the EU, you are looking at quite a small number of areas

Chris Grayling MPLeader of the House of Commons

Angela says sovereignty is vital

She's one of our undecided voters

I think it's vital. It's how we make our laws, how we raise our taxes, who governs our waters. It's the number one key issue

AngelaFull time PA
Angela
BBC

What does sovereignty mean to you?

Thanks for getting in touch to let us know your thoughts on sovereignty using #newsnight. Here's a selection...

The UK cannot remain in the EU & keep its sovereignty as their goal will always be to form a single nation federal Europe. #Newsnight

Britain was the world leader in aviation,science,engineering,education etc etc long before becoming members of the EU #newsnight

#Newsnight Surely British people are ultimately sovereign because we can unilaterally choose to have a referendum and remain or leave.

Tonight's panel of experts

  • Marina Wheeler is a human rights lawyer. Her article for The Spectator expressing concerns about David Cameron’s EU renegotiation was described by the Daily Telegraph as one of the most “erudite contributions to the often stale arguments around the forthcoming EU referendum.” Some say her arguments have helped persuade husband Boris Johnson MP to back Brexit. We look forward to hearing from her.
  • Sir Francis Jacobs served as Advocate General of the European Court of Justice from 1988 to 2006. Now a professor at King’s College London, he will be providing the expertise on the UK’s relationship with the European courts.
  • Siobhan Benita joins us as a former senior civil servant with over 15 years’ experience at the heart of government, working in departments from Transport to Local Government  and holding senior roles in the Cabinet Office and Treasury. She’s now an academic at Warwick University.
  • For our historical analysis and context, we welcome author and professor Robert Tombs of Cambridge University - a world-renowned expert on modern European history.
  • Vernon Bogdanor is one of Britain's foremost constitutional experts who has written extensively on political and constitutional issues. He has been an adviser to a number of governments, including those of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Kosovo, Israel and Slovakia. One of Bogdanor's former students is the Prime Minister David Cameron.  "David was one of the nicest and ablest students I ever taught," Bogdanor says. "But I'm not responsible for his views."

Tonight's political guests

Chris Grayling MP
Getty Images

Tonight’s political heavyweights, each arguing from a different side of the EU referendum divide, include a serving Conservative cabinet minister and one of the biggest figures in Tony Blair’s Labour party.

Chris Grayling MP served as Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice between 2012 and 2015.

He is now Leader of the House of Commons, and one of the seven ministers in David Cameron’s 30-strong cabinet who are choosing to directly oppose the Prime Minister in campaigning for Brexit.

Up against him is Baron Peter Mandelson, who under New Labour held some of the highest offices in government and later served as a European Commissioner.

His reputation on Fleet Street as one of Labour’s most ruthless and media savvy figures earned him the nickname “The Prince of Darkness.”

There’s no darkness or mystery surrounding his views on the EU though – Mandelson will passionately be arguing that Britain must stay in.

Let battle commence.

Peter Mandelson
Getty Images

DIY nations

From Pimlico to 'Petoria'

Christiania in Copenhagen
Getty Images
Christiania in Copenhagen

One fairly extreme option for those who really don’t like living by somebody else’s rules may be to declare independence. 

And Sealand isn’t the first place to declare sovereignty over unclaimed territory. In fact, there’s so many of them they have a name: Micronations.

They’re defined as small communities which make persistent and formal claims to be independent.

The hippy commune of Christiania in Copenhagen, for example, has enjoyed various rights to self-governance. For a time Danish governments tolerated its open trade in cannabis.

Tourists visiting the Italian Riviera may chance upon the Principality of Seborga. The village was declared independent in the 1960s by Giorgio Carbone, a flower-seller, who discovered documents purporting to show it had never been part of Italy.

Carbone took the humble title of His Tremendousness and claimed a lifetime of free cheese and ham from the village shop. Extraordinarily about 20 states are said to have recognised Seborga. Sadly for His Tremendousness, Italy was not among them.

The concept has long fascinated film and TV producers too. The 1949 Ealing Comedy ‘Passport to Pimlico’ saw Londoners annexe part of the capital after discovering an old treaty.

A six-part BBC series, ‘How To Start Your Own Country’, saw comedian Danny Wallace present then Prime Minister Tony Blair with a proposal for sovereignty over his flat in Bow, London.

And younger readers may also recall the Family Guy episode in which Peter Griffin establishes ‘Petoria’; a micronation in the family home which welcomed allies including Muammar Gaddafi and Osama Bin Laden at a pool party.

"It makes commercial and economic sense"

Excerpts from our Sealand film

“It’s our small slice of freedom in a highly-regulated world,” says Liam Bates, Prince of Sealand.

It may not be a surprise to learn that Sealand is not part of the European Union. Its self-declared monarchs aren’t all that keen on joining, either.

“We’re all about independence, freedom, carving your own path in life. EU isn’t really for us,” adds Prince Liam.

For a nation which exists entirely without international recognition on an offshore war rig, this lack of will for cooperation in governance may not be an enormous surprise.

But what about established nations? Is there a benefit to ceding some control of a nation’s decision-making in exchange for being part of something bigger? That’s at the heart of the sovereignty debate.

For Vicky Price, former head of the government economic service, it’s a price worth paying.

“If you're looking at it from an economic perspective and a business perspective, what you want is to have a level playing field,” she tells us.

“So you give up some of your sovereignty because you choose to do so. Because it makes a lot of commercial and economic sense.”

John Redwood, a Conservative MP strongly in favour of Brexit, is not convinced.

“We’ve lost the right to govern ourselves,” he tells us.

“Once you’re in the European Union , you have to ask the permission of the others…you are no longer in control.”

And Labour’s Gisela Stuart MP, who backs Brexit, argues the issue of sovereignty is something more personal.

“Where is the essence of… when I close my eyes and say “we”?” she says.

For her, that inward view of home is not Europe but the United Kingdom. And that’s the most important part of all.

Watch the whole piece in the live coverage tab at the top of this page.

Sealand in 10 facts

The offshore platform known as Sealand
BBC
The Principality of Sealand
  • A self-declared principality, its ruling monarch is Prince Michael Bates. He took over from his father Roy, who died in 2012
  • Roy Bates, a former army major, proclaimed the territory in 1967 on HM Fort Roughs – one of several offshore platforms built to defend UK during the Second World War
  • Mr Bates occupied the abandoned platform after his pirate radio station was shut down. He intended to broadcast from the fort, which was considered to be in international waters, but instead declared it a sovereign nation
  • It has its own flag, national anthem and coat of arms
  • Since its formation, Sealand has issued its own coins and stamps and continues to sell official titles such as “Lord” and “Count” in order to fund the upkeep of the fort
  • It was invaded in 1978 by a German businessman, resulting in a man being imprisoned on the fort and a visit from a German diplomat  
  • Much of the structure was damaged in a major fire caused by an electrical fault in 2006
  • Sealand has formed its own international football team which has played several friendly matches. Home fixtures are played in Surrey because there isn’t enough space on the fort for a pitch
  • The UK government has never recognised it as independent land, but a UK court once declared it beyond its jurisdiction
  • The family take turns and employs staff to make sure someone is always on the fort

Sealand and its flag
BBC
Sealand and its flag

The Principality of Sealand: a profile

Founded: September 2, 1967

Area: Approx 10,000 sq ft  

Demonym: Sealandic, Sealanders 

Political status: Monarchy 

Head of State: Prince Michael Bates

Language: English 

Currency: Sealand Dollar (pegged to the United States dollar) 

Motto: “E Mare Libertas” (Latin) “From the Sea, Freedom” (English translation)

Population: Between one and four

The voter panel

There is a powerful group of people spread across the country that will have a big influence on whether the UK stays in the EU or leaves it. It’s not an official campaign group. They are the “undecided”. They make up as much as a third of the voting population according to recent polls, and tonight's panel of will be taking part in Newsnight’s special referendum coverage.

How was the panel selected? Well, very carefully. Ipsos MORI’s Paul Carroll explains:

“Ipsos MORI’s Social Research Institute, an independent research organisation, has chosen eight undecided voters for Newsnight, taking in factors including race, gender, age and past voting behaviour to ensure they make up a wide cross-section of the population.

"The eight ‘undecideds’  have been invited to attend six episodes of Newsnight over the next seven weeks; in each they will talk about different topics relating to the referendum and how it might affect their decision on how to vote.

"The selection process was conducted in accordance with the Market Research Society (MRS) code of conduct and ethical guidance from Government Social Research guidelines.

"Panels like this are exploratory – they aren’t meant to be statistically representative like a survey. But the eight voters will provide insight into what people think and do.”

The undecided voters

What they are hoping for tonight?

Our selection of undecided voters arrived earlier this evening, excited to have their questions answered. Here are the eight voter who will return for each of our EU referendum specials.

Eight undecided voters
BBC
The undecided voters

Ahead of the programme tonight, Shan, 60, told us: “I don’t feel we are getting honesty from either side of the debate and there has been a lot of scaremongering. Although I do think we should be sovereign, there have been benefits [to EU membership] like there not being any wars."

Shan
BBC
Shan is 60 and the managing director of a medical company

Janey, a psychotherapist and writer, said “The only argument that I can see that I can agree with is this idea of we want to be able to make our own decisions, and I like the idea that if we vote politicians in, then they should get to choose what happens, whereas in the wider world of Europe we haven’t chosen those people. The flip side of it is that I don’t know what would change if we came out.”

Janey
BBC
Janey is from West Yorkshire but has recently moved to London

And Lewis, 23, told us that “as a young person I’m worried about the future of the economy, especially problems with housing. Having laws made by the EU has had benefits, like gender equality, but sometimes I don’t feel they’ve had a positive impact”

Lewis
BBC
Lewis is 23 and lives with his parents and two younger brothers

Bipin, 49, says: “In terms of sovereignty, I think that we should have a degree of autonomy to govern ourselves to make our own decisions, however, there are some times that perhaps the United Kingdom may not have a monopoly on best ideas in the world and perhaps we can capitalise elsewhere.”

Bipin
BBC
Bipin is 49 and works in a senior role in an IT company.