LUU holds big ‘Brexit’ debate

Are you in or out?

Last Thursday LUU held a debate on the EU referendum between students on either side of the issue.

The speakers for Vote Leave were  Emily Webb and Tom Howell and the speakers for Britain Stronger In Europe were Luke Downham and Jess Reed.

Left to right: Emily Webb and Tom Howell from Vote Leave. Jack Palmer : debate chair. Luke Downham and Jess Reed from Britain Stronger in Europe

Left to right: Emily Webb and Tom Howell from Vote Leave. Jack Palmer : debate chair. Luke Downham and Jess Reed from Britain Stronger in Europe

Here’s a brief summary of the issues from the debate.


Jess from the remain side stressed that the UK can still make it’s own decisions while being in the EU. For example we opted out of having the Euro as well as the Schengen Agreement on open borders. She also emphasised that the EU doesn’t control everything that the UK does for example the UK is in charge of its education policy as well as the NHS.

Emily from Vote Leave however has argued that TTIP trade deal between the EU and the USA is  a great cause for concern for the UK. This is particularly related to the NHS as TTIP could force the privatisation of the NHS, or the USA might be able to sue the UK if it does not have access to the NHS.


Luke from Britain Stronger in Europe argued that the EU is still accountable to the UK.  He argued that the UK has 73 MEPs, which is the second most in the EU. It also has one commissioner as does every EU nation. He also added that the UK Parliament sells out its sovereignty to other nations such as China over nuclear energy which has nothing to do with the EU.

The Vote Leave speakers highlighted how despite the UK having a Commissioner, the Commission as a whole is an unelected body which creates the law of the EU and therefore it is unaccountable to all Member States.

Economic Factors

Vote Leave argued that there are five million jobs in the EU that rely on exports to the UK. They argued that unless these nations want to make huge redundancies over night and turn their backs on us it is unlikely that they will cease to trade with the UK.

Luke from the remain side argued that what the UK gets in return is worth us staying in. As one in seven jobs in Yorkshire are linked to the EU, with one in 10 in the UK as a whole. He argued that it would not be worth leaving something to then have to come back and negotiate trade deals with.

Student Issues

Jess from Britain Stronger in Europe argued that Erasmus makes study abroad in the EU cheaper and easier and the EU also lets people go and work abroad. This allows us to learn a new language which can be hugely beneficial for students looking for jobs.

Emily from Vote Leave argued that countries outside the EU have access to Erasmus such as Canada and Israel and therefore there is nothing to make the United Kingdom leave the scheme if we were to leave the EU. Therefore students would still be able to go on study abroad in the EU at a lower cost.