Entrepreneur and philanthropist Sir Tom Hunter is joining the EU debate with a new free book entitled ‘Britain’s Decision: Facts and Impartial Analysis’, which aims to give readers “an informed, constructive overview of the critical issues at hand for UK voters.”
Intended to eliminate, what Sir Tom calls, ‘the obfuscation, hyperbole and bluster’ surrounding the debate, the book brings together commissioned research from a varied group of academics to ensure that voters in the June 23 referendum can consider impartial, high quality analysis before making such an important decision for their future.
Commissioned by his venture philanthropy organisation, The Hunter Foundation (THF), and published by the David Hume Institute and the Centre on Constitutional Change, the book includes analysis of critical topics such as migration, security and welfare in and out of the EU. It also notes that Scotland and Northern Ireland are far more pro-European than England and Wales, to the extent that the former could swing the vote and force the latter to remain in the EU against their choice. On the other hand, the opposite could happen and Scotland and Ireland could be dragged out of the EU despite a clear majority of its citizens voting to stay – with potential constitutional ramifications.
In his Foreword, Sir Tom says: “This decision is far too important to be left to the politicians alone to inform us. For the voter its almost – at least it is for me – impossible to determine the facts and fallacies from both the Remain and Leave camps in order to understand the issues at hand.
“That’s why, with the David Hume Institute, we commissioned impartial, factual analysis around the key questions facing voters in making their own minds up on the EU vote.”
“If poll results of November 11 last year were correct and England voted 54% to leave; Scotland and Northern Ireland would be dragged along; equally if its only say 51% in England we drag the majority of the population with us…Does this lead to another constitutional crisis and meet Scotland’s First Minister’s material change definition? Probably yes…”
‘Britain’s Decision: Facts and Impartial Analysis’ lays out the context of Britain’s relationship with Europe and analyses how closely its economy is aligned with the EU, whilst further examining what benefits and costs accrue from its membership.
Ray Perman, Director of the David Hume Institute, said: “The official campaign is only just getting started, but already we are hearing some pretty sweeping assertions being made without the evidence to support them. What we are trying to do in this book is to provide voters with an easy reference on the major issues which are likely to come up – sovereignty, the economy, trade, immigration, welfare and so on. We are not trying to influence them to vote one way or another, but to give them some background information and expert opinion which might enable them to make more informed choices.”
It also looks at the arguments that have been made by the Remain and Leave campaigns so far, bringing independent analysis of the opposing arguments to voters and considering David Cameron’s package of negotiated reforms.
Finally the book considers what a Brexit would mean, laying out the various scenarios should Britain have to negotiate a new relationship with the EU, based on analysis of how countries such as Norway and Switzerland have fared. It considers the issues from the perspective of business generally and a number of sectors specifically, as well as looking at the potential effect on the environment, welfare and security.
Sir Tom said: “The academics commissioned hold no side in the debate: they analyse the facts and the relative merits or demerits therein to help voters – me included – to make their decision. “This is a major decision for us the UK voters and its important the debate leading to the vote is informed with the relevant facts and analysis – I hope in some small way “Britain’s Decision” will help.”