Countdown is on to potentially one of the most important decisions we are due to make in Britain and I for one feel completely unprepared. The referendum polling day on the 23rd June to decide whether Britain should remain in Europe is fast approaching and this makes me anxious. You see, I pride myself on always trying to make informed decisions. Initially when the date was announced I told myself I didn’t need to think about it yet, as I had plenty of time, but time stands still for no man or woman and I still don’t have a clue.

Recent polls indicate that only 5% of voters have said they are undecided. Personally, I find that hard to believe. I am the first to admit that I am not the most politically astute person in the world, and am completely ignorant when it comes to economics but, having raised the topic of the referendum with several other friends, they too are really undecided. More worrying for me is that those who have said that they have decided, when asked what had led them to their decision struggled to give me solid facts and reasons for their choice.

My real fear is that there appears to be so many contradictory ‘facts’ that have been issued by both sides of the campaign that I struggle to determine fact from fiction. Whilst I acknowledge that this is always the case, I am finding it much harder to unpick than normal. The temptation is to simply give up and ‘pick a side’ and this is what I urge people not to do. The consequences of this referendum will be far reaching and it’s too important a decision to be based on little more than a gut instinct and a quick peruse of the arguments for and against.

My hope is that during the lead up to the polling day both sides will release factual information in a clear format that is accessible to all, this will enable people to make an informed choice and that scaremongering and half-truths will halt. I am not holding my breath though…

Have a look at the following websites, I found them both really helpful with the type of information that can help make an informed choice.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-32810887

http://www.theweek.co.uk/eu-referendum

About The Author

Claire has worked with Deaf children for a number of years, initially as an Educational Communicator and then as a teacher. She recently moved into working in the community to support Deaf adults as a Community Support Worker. She is chairperson of Bedfordshire Deaf Children’s Society and secretary for Luton Deaf Football Club. She has also provided Deaf Awareness training to various organisations. Claire has her level 2 British Sign Language Certificate although she has been signing from a young age as she is deaf herself. Initially Claire was a hearing aid user but after losing her residual hearing several years ago she has had a Cochlear Implant. Claire is often accompanied to work by her hearing dog Ivy.

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