THE BLOG

Why the EU Referendum Has Been an Embarrassment for the UK

21/06/2016 13:10 | Updated 21 June 2016

On the face of it, a vote on whether the UK should remain or leave the European Union is a simple, democratic question that every British citizen should be given the opportunity to answer. The value of the EU has long been under scrutiny and now, finally, the people have been given a voice.

Of course, this isn't the first time the British people have been given the opportunity to vote on both a sentimental and economic issue. Indeed, in 2014 we witnessed the Scottish Referendum unfold, in what was largely a peaceful, democratic and civilised debate. As a Scot residing in England at the time, I was not granted a vote, but I was left feeling proud of my country for (on the whole) acting with dignity and grace during a period which had the potential to cause huge divisions and tension.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the EU Referendum, with members of both sides resorting to lies, slander and slurs. Indeed, the Prime Minister himself wrote in the Telegraph that not one credible voice believes the UK should leave the EU (insulting millions in the process), there have been some questionable campaign defections, the Out campaign has been making up statistics to further its cause and then there's Sayeeda Warsi, who's just recently said that Brexiteers are not the sort of people she'd 'get on a night bus with' - that's a sizeable chunk of the population then, Miss.

We've also witnessed individuals, both high ranking and low, using the death of an MP to further their own political agenda - a move which really does shed light on how ugly this political debate has become.

Perhaps we shouldn't have been surprised - David Cameron's EU negotiations in Europe some time ago left many with a red face. But who knew the debate would get this dirty. For those on the fence, it's near impossible to decide which option is more favourable, for every next article you read seems to contradict the last alongside the tittle tattle from members of both sides.

The distasteful debate has done neither side any favours - it just appears to have distracted from any credible points either campaign is trying to make with headlines too often more concerned with gossip than genuine arguments. As a young Conservative, I am somewhat used to being casually abused for my voting affinities but I can confidently assert that the Remain camp has been every bit as distasteful as Brexit in this referendum.

Days before the vote, we are still unsure which way this vote will go but one thing is for sure - whatever the outcome, the response is not going to be pretty.

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