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Help – I haven’t a clue about the EU!

The EU referendum on 23rd June is a huge decision which could dramatically affect the future of everyone in Britain. A proper debate about the issues is needed for people to make an informed decision. Creating opportunities for informed discussion could also change the political culture of the country, as the independence referendum did in Scotland.

People need space to think through the issues, get reliable information and make up their own minds. Every education institution, civil society organisation and media platform should create opportunities to explore the issues, and think about what happens afterwards. Whatever the result, it will have a profound impact on Britain and Europe.

So far most activity at a local level has been by Grassroots Go and Leave campaigners. People need to hear all sides of the argument. Education and civil society can strengthen public participation by organising debates, workshops, courses and other activities about the EU and the choice facing everyone on 23 June.

Where and how to learn more

A good place to start is the BBC summary of  arguments for and against, with links to current news, further information and a Reality Check on statements from both sides.

The House of Commons Library has published a reading list of books, articles, blogs and other publications from all sides of the argument, as well as a summary and analysis of the new settlement for the UK in the EU negotiated by the government.

The Economist has also produced a concise summary of the arguments with infographics and graphs. John Hilary, Executive Director, War on Want, wrote a critical analysis of ‘the Good, the Bad and the Ugly’ about the EU from a left wing perspective.

The WEA is running courses on Europe Democracy and Citizenship in the 21st Century: find your nearest one here or ask your local WEA branch if they are running a day school or course on the EU.

Evidence from the Case for Leave

Vote Leave is the ‘official’ campaign. Leave.EU and Grassroots Out are also campaigning to leave.

Get Britain Out: EU Myths and Facts

Business for Britain: Change or Go

The Institute for Economic Affair Brexit Prize: A Blueprint for Britain – Openness not Isolation: “The total long-term impact is estimated to be between -2.6% and +1.1% of GDP, with a best estimate of +0.1%”

Evidence from the Remain camp

Britain Stronger in Europe is the ‘official’ campaign to stay in Europe

In Facts aims to make the fact-based case for Britain to remain in the EU, founded by a group of editors who “believe it is in our interest to stay in the EU despite its imperfections” with “myth-busting articles”.

The Government’s analysis of the long-term economic impact of EU membership and costs of leaving claims that “our GDP would be 6.2% lower, families would be £4,300 worse off and our tax receipts would face an annual £36 billion black hole” after 15 years outside the EU.

The Financial Times published what it called The hard-headed case for the UK to stay in the EU

The Independent set out its case on Why Britain should stay in the EU

Find out more

House of Commons Library Briefings on the Referendum, including links to the main campaign groups for and against staying in the EU, and further reading

BBC guide to the referendum, including a rundown of the arguments for and against.

What UK EU ThinksImpartial information on public attitudes towards the EU and UK polling on referendum vote intention. See About the site for details. Run by NatCen Social Research with funding from the ESRC programme The UK in a Changing Europe


Information about the EU, from the EU: how it works, latest news and links to information on the Europe.euwebsites of EU institutions and agencies.


Full Fact : independent fact checkers respond to statements from both sides and answer your questions

Directory of websites and information on the EU at Reading University

Ask the EUGet information from any EU institution within three weeks:


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