In light of the recent mass-media attention on ISIS and the heated controversy over the mass-migration to Europe from Middle-Eastern refugees, a relevant topic in the form of the upcoming "in-out" referendum planned for 2017 by the British as to whether or not they will continue being a part of the European Union has been largely overshadowed.
To give you some background, one of the Conservatives' primary platform promises in Britain while running for election was to hold a referendum (nation-wide vote) on whether or not the UK should stay in or leave the EU. The EU is an economic and political partnership involving 28 different countries that was started after WWII to foster economic co-operation and growth on the idea that countries dependent on each other for trade are less likely to have conflict and go to war with one another. It has since expanded to become what has been termed a "single market" where the member states essentially are part of one large country and mostly use the same currency in form of the euro.
Though there has always been support for passing the referendum, especially in older age groups (62% of those over the age of 65 want to leave the EU), the recent hysteria and backlash against the immigration in many EU countries has caused public opinion to shift in favor of passing the referendum, according to an opinion poll for The Independent - the first time their monthly survey has shown a majority for the "Brexit" (short for British-exit). 52% of those surveyed want to see Britain leave the EU while 48% wants to stay and preserve the status quo. However, as we went over in class, polls are not infallible and often fail to account for circumstances relevant to the issue at hand. For one, the sample size of The Indepedent's monthly survey was only 2000 people; in a nation of 64.1 million people, that sample size is hardly representative of the whole and leaves room for an enormously large margin of error that is only amplified by the fact that the people subscribed to the Independent and taking the survey are likely more inclined to change and expressing their opinions through taking this poll than those more moderate and more likely to vote no in the upcoming referendum but less likely to express their opinion in this poll. However, even taking all of this into account, it is still undeniably true that there is at least a marked upwards shift in public support for a change of some kind in response to the economic instability and social issues plaguing the EU today. In our world today in which all countries are inextricably linked to one another in some shape or form, Britain - being one of the core members and founders of the EU - leaving will undoubtedly have significant side-effects and unforeseeable consequences to the stability of Europe as a whole.
What do you think the British public should do in regard to the referendum? Is their argument for change and the backlash against the Middle-Eastern refugee migration and extremist terrorism valid? What will the long-lasting effects, if there are any to speak of, be if the British were to leave the EU in the 2017 referendum?