Given that we have only one day left before the referendum I thought I'd weigh in with my thoughts on whether it is a good idea to leave or stay.
One thing I have noticed is that everyone is quite happy for you to have an opinion, as long as it matches theirs, if it doesn't, then you are wrong, misguided and dimissed as an idiot. Mostly though I have noticed this is from the out supporters.
Both sides are appealing to their base support which is quite natural, both agree that Europe needs to change the question is do you want to try and change it from the outside or the inside. Many argue that we don't need to be inside for change to occur but then they can't seem to say why would we want to change it if were we out.
Duncan Smith argues that Italy has been stagnent for the last 10 years, Greece is taking money and is virtually bankrupt. That may well be the case but the UK has thrived during this time along with Germany because of our strength in the financial, technology and manufacturing markets, added to that leadership and entreprenurialship.
Mr Dyson has come out and said we need to leave, I'm sorry I forgot that he was such a patriot, have we forgotton he ditched the manufacturing in this country to take his factory overseas and made hundreds here redundant.
I could go on and on but I've expect you've seen and heard the rhetoric from both sides.
The two things I have looked at is from a personal point of view and business, what impact will it have on me in both of these situations.
From a personal point of view on a day to day basis in the short term not much apart from when I travel abroad, the currency rate will change and it will go down. Why? In the short term the pound will weaken because of short term profit taking in the market and then as the months go by the uncertainty of what place London will play in the world financial market.
In the longer term ie 6 months onwards the cost of products will go up, now I hear many of you cry you are scare mongering and the trade deals are still in place so there is no need, however you are missing the point. Most major companys will use the exit as a way to make more money and shift the blame to Europe.
As for immigration which seems to be at the forefront of the exit supporters how will this make any difference to me on a daily basis, none in my opnion. There has been a minumum of 1.5m people unemployed in this country every year for the last 30 years, I have watched Benefits Britain on the TV and seen the reports in the tabloids of people getting thousands of pounds in benefits and these are Engish people not immigrants. I think we need to change this first.
I know several people who were were born in the UK who only do 16 hours a week because anymore and they lose their benefits, that's wrong, not some man or woman coming from wherever and picking fruit (not just fruit but you get the jist) and paying tax. In fact Mr Corbyn stated that people from abroad pay more in tax than they take in benefits.
How many of you will vote Brexit and then sack the cleaner, the gardener, clean your own car, go and pick your own fruit. That will be a none of you then!
There are over 52,000 foreign workers in the NHS, why is that, because our unemployed make more on benefits than actually working.
From a business point of view will it make a difference, look at your business and your client base and the products/services you offer.
Some famers are convinced that the UK government will still give them the £4.2billion pounds in subsidies they currently get from the European Union, you can make your own mind up about that one.
Business is run on money, yes you need to offer a good service, after care support, professional products and services etc but your business has to make money or you will fail. 90% of SME's do not trade with the European Union so the arguement for you could be that it won't make any difference whether we are in or out, however, maybe it is worth considering both your products and your clients.
Where do you buy you products from and do they manufacture them or buy/import them from someone else. If it is a service you offer then what impact will that have on you being able to deliver without any external pressure, regulation changes, financial constraints. Do your clients futures depend on what you are offering, will that change if we are in or out? Look at the bigger picture and with a business perspective not from a personal view point.
Many on the exit side are saying we will be able to have more flexible trade agreements with both Europe and the rest of the world. Not sure if anyone has noticed but the UK Trade and Industry and many Chamber of Commerces have been promoting this for some years, most companys who see expansion are either in talks or already have been able to get exporting. This has nothing to do with being in the European Union. Yes of course there are some that have not but this arguement by Mr Johnson and many others really doesn't stand up to scrutiny.
Now having read some of this you have more than likely come to the conclusion that I am an advocate of staying in. I think Mr Cameron and Mr Osborne have done themselves no favours by the ridiculous statements they have made, there won't be a war, there won't be a meltdown of our economy (we are too strong for that).
We still export 40%+ to Europe and 12% etc to the USA. Why? because they want our products.
I'm no expert and neither is the SUN newspaper, nor the Times (in the interest of balance) but there are many out there that are, most economist say we should stay in and I'm going with them. It is as I said earlier, about money.
On a personal level I will still go to the pub, have a meal in a resturant, buy my weekly groceries, go on holiday, travel in my car etc. Will this cost me more, in the long run, I think it will.
From a business point of view will it have an impact on my business, yes it will, if we go out, my clients will cut back on their spending because their clients or their lives will be affected either by uncertainty, rules changes, shifting customer base.
If we stay in, will my business be affected, yes it will, my competitors will have greater access to my clients, pricing and margins will come under pressure and there will be more rules and regulations to deal with.
Whatever your thoughts on in or out the best thing you can do is vote, then you can voice an opion, it may not get listened to but you have the right to have a say. If you don't vote then shut up. The other thing you should do is listen to the younger generation because its more of their future than yours. (Listen to someone younger than you, blimey that's radical)
Either way, whether we stay in or out, over the next few years you will hear the cry above the crowd shouting "I told you so"
One thing is for certain though, all the politicans will still have their jobs.