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What if Britain left the EU in 2017?

The possibility of a UK referendum is now nearly a reality. Early polls suggest that the majority of the population favour the vote. This means that Britain will leave the European Union should a Yes vote prevails.

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Best dressed politicians in the UK

But it is not that easy to leave from one day to another because there are several implications if such an outcome occurs. In addition, there are already hurdles before the referendum happens. For one, voters might not even be aware of the pros and cons of leaving the EU. Here, we enumerate the advantages and disadvantages of a Brexit.

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Best dressed politicians in the UK

One of the major reasons for withdrawal is that the organisation is a big bureaucracy. Britain feels that it has lost its sovereignty because Brussels imposes rules and regulations on such matters like immigration and legal systems, to name a few.

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Best dressed politicians in the UK

One of the major reasons for withdrawal is that the organisation is a big bureaucracy. Britain feels that it has lost its sovereignty because Brussels imposes rules and regulations on such matters like immigration and legal systems, to name a few.

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Best dressed politicians in the UK

Another argument in favour of the exit is that the UK contributes from £8-£20 for its membership which is a sizeable fortune. Hence, it is estimated that savings in this amount will be generated once the UK leaves.

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Best dressed politicians in the UK

Jumping ship for Eurosceptics or Europhobics means that the UK will open new doors for 'global economic cooperation and integration.' It will also mean turning away Eastern European migrants who are taking advantage of the welfare state.

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Best dressed politicians in the UK

But, it is not that easy to just turn away from the EU. For business, it will probably be a bad move since the EU is the biggest trading partner of the UK. In addition, foreign companies know that access to UK markets also means the rest of the EU.

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Best dressed politicians in the UK

But, it is not that easy to just turn away from the EU. For business, it will probably be a bad move since the EU is the biggest trading partner of the UK. In addition, foreign companies know that access to UK markets also means the rest of the EU.

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Best dressed politicians in the UK

Financial services will also suffer considering that the industry including asset management, banking and insurance are doing very well inside and not outside of Europe. Eurosceptics, however, argue that this is a chance to reshape Britain's economy using Switzerland as a model.

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Best dressed politicians in the UK

At the heart of all these issues is the touchy immigration problem. UKIP and Murdoch are pushing for the points system adopted by Australia to allow immigrants in. However, it seems that the real impact of migration on the UK economy is not well understood. Studies show that in the long run, immigration has a positive impact on the labour market by pushing wages up.

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Best dressed politicians in the UK

Another issue that will be highlighted is freedom of movement. There are many British communities living in the EU. In Spain, at least one million expats have settled. A Brexit will affect these communities and there would be admin issues to think of. Visas, filing of income tax returns and even driving tests have to be done. It will not be easy to move from the UK to mainland Europe. There might be border problems with countries such as Ireland. Scotland has also made it clear it wants to stay in the EU.

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Best dressed politicians in the UK

In effect, there are valid arguments for leaving or staying in the EU. Voters will be pressed to make choices. But, as James Ind puts it, "when it comes down to cold, hard choices, people vote with their wallets."

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Best dressed politicians in the UK

In effect, there are valid arguments for leaving or staying in the EU. Voters will be pressed to make choices. But, as James Ind puts it, "when it comes down to cold, hard choices, people vote with their wallets."

Photo: Getty Images

Best dressed politicians in the UK

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