Entering the EU debate with fluster and squeal

Every time there is any political debate, economics takes the front seat, and it’s not just economics – it’s the markets. We are told the markets don’t like uncertainty. They get flustered, worried and unsettled, and if they are unhappy the whole world will fall apart: within minutes we will all be fighting in the streets for the last can of cat food, while the City of London will be filled with brokers hitching up their petticoats and screaming like a scene from I Love Lucy! Do we really believe that the economy of the nation should, or does, rest on the emotions of people whose temperament is better suited to a Georgian farce, all fluster and squeal?

I am still very much on the fence about which way to vote in the EU referendum, but this doesn’t stop me having a strong opinion on the nature of the debate. The Outers seem not be able to make a solid case and the Inners produce prediction after prediction, all proving their argument – the irony being, of course, that neither the Treasury nor the Chancellor could predict rain on a summer bank holiday.

Economic predictions are supposed to be based on hard evidence and facts. You can bet there will be one group who will come out of the referendum better off either way, and that’s the hedge fund managers. They are quietly manipulating the markets – which, as far as the rest of us understand, most likely involves strategically placing mice in petticoats: the markets go wild, our pension pots evaporate and those who were already incalculably rich get richer.

It does at times feel like a game in which our lives are sport for the Oxford elite to play: Cameron and Osborne vs Gove and Boris. But we cannot leave it all up to them. It’s our lives and those of our children: unlike the rich and well connected, on whom radical changes seem not to impinge, whether we are in or out of Europe will affect us. So I will be voting on 23rd June because, right or wrong, surely the worst thing is not to play a part.

In the meantime, I don’t know about you but I’m buying up the cat food now… you never know!

The EU Referendum, deciding whether the UK will leave or stay in the EU, will take place on the 23rd of June. If you are not already registered to vote, you will need to register by the 7th of June in order to have your say.

Registering to vote takes just 5 minutes: simply visit gov.uk/register-to-vote. You will need your National Insurance Number, date of birth, and address.

If you are unable to vote in person on the 23rd, you may apply to vote by post or proxy. For more information on the voting process, be sure to check out www.aboutmyvote.co.uk

This piece was also posted at the Huffington Post and LinkedIn.