Still not sure how to vote in the EU referendum? Here's a round-up of the key arguments to help you


With the referendum on Britain's future in the European Union just hours away, there's not much time to get clued up on the issues if you're still not sure how to vote.

Luckily, we've put together a simple list of the key issues and how each side views them.

It's the most important political issue of a generation, so read up, pick a side, and get out to vote!

1. Economy

Fifty, Twenty, Ten, and Five pound notes in a wallet
(Chris Radburn/PA)

Leave: UK companies would be freed from EU regulation. We spend millions of pounds each week to be part of the European Union. The euro is a failing currency and Britain shouldn't be tied to a failing economic union.

Remain: The majority of UK businesses of all sizes and the majority of economists support remaining in the EU. There would be a recession and job losses if we left. Whenever a Brexit poll comes out in favour of leaving, the pound falls and billions gets wiped off the stock market. The economic benefits of the EU outweigh membership costs.

2. Farming and Fishing

(Matt Dunham/AP)

Leave: Britain pays more into the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) than it gets out. The Common Fisheries Policy, which sets quotas for the amount of fish each country's boats can catch, has harmed the British fishing industry by restricting their trade.

Remain: EU subsidies make up 50% of British farm incomes and British farmers would go out of business without the CAP. The Common Fisheries Policy helps prevent overfishing.

3. Immigration

Ukip leader Nigel Farage launching an EU referendum poster campaign
(Philip Toscano/PA)

Leave: The EU's principle of freedom of movement means it's impossible to have full control of our borders and immigration levels from within the European Union. Unlimited immigration puts a strain on public services such as the NHS and local schools. The points-based system which is currently used to assess citizens outside the EU should be extended to EU citizens to make the process fairer.

Remain: Migrants are net contributors to the economy: they pay more in tax than they take out in benefits. David Cameron has successfully negotiated a deal with Europe on putting an "emergency brake" on providing benefits to EU citizens for their first four years in the country.

4. Security

General view of passengers going through UK Border at Terminal 2 of Heathrow Airport.
(Steve Parsons/PA)

Leave: Freedom of movement makes it easier for terrorists to travel between European countries and enter Britain. EU courts make it hard for Britain to deport violent criminals and terror suspects.

Remain: Britain still has border control as it is not part of the Schengen area. Being part of Europol gives us access to EU-wide databases and information which helps prevent crime and catch criminals.

5. Sovereignty

General view of the Houses of Parliament in central London, following sunset.
(Anthony Devlin/PA)

Leave: EU regulations are binding across all member states, including Britain. Many European laws are proposed and made by unelected officials within the EU. Leaving the EU is the only way to give full sovereignty back to the MPs who are democratically elected by the British public.

Remain: Britain has the power of veto in many important areas, and elected MEPs vote on legislation. A minority of UK laws are made in Brussels, and there are economic and national benefits to sharing sovereignty and co-operating.

6. Trade

From right, Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron, European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso, US president Barack Obama and European Council president Herman Van Rompuy participate in a media conference regarding EU-US trade at the G-8 summit
(Andrew Winning/AP)

Leave: Britain could negotiate new trade deals with the rest of the world and EU countries. Britain has a strong economy, and other countries would want to trade with us and give us good deals.

Remain: New trade deals would take years to complete - the Canada-EU trade deal has been seven years in the making. The EU could punish us with unfavourable terms to disincentivise other countries from leaving. Britain would take bad terms because without quickly negotiated deals Britain is a risky bet for businesses, leading to low investment and a shrinking economy.

7. Work

Britain's Prime Minister, and leader of the Conservative Party, David Cameron, 2nd left, talks with construction workers as he visits Longbridge redevelopment site
(Carl Court/AP)

Leave: Immigration to the UK undercuts wages as employers use cheap foreign labour. If we leave, British businesses would not be tied to EU regulation, freeing up money to create more jobs.

Remain: The EU was responsible for maternity pay, holiday pay and workers' rights. Leaving could put that in jeopardy.