As voters head to the polling stations to decide the fate of our nation, the campaigners which have endeavoured to convince the public to leave or stay in the EU give you their final thoughts...
Andrew Dennis - Vote Leave Campaign Harrogate and Knaresborough
"The question we are being asked today (June 23) is this; do you think our great country should once again be a sovereign nation? One that makes its own laws? One that is control of its own borders and one that can vote out the government of the day at a general election? Or do you want our country to be ruled by a bunch of unelected bureaucrats, sitting in Brussels, that we can’t vote for and we can’t remove?
I know my answer!
Over the last few months I have met and spoken to hundreds, possibly thousands of people, from all walks of life, spanning the age divide and with differing political views, yet they all have one thing in common, their united desire to leave the EU!
Today’s choice – to stay in a stagnating organisation whose disastrous economic policies have led to rampant youth unemployment in Spain, Portugal, Italy and Greece, and failed foreign policies have seen counties erecting razor wire on their borders to stem to rising tide of migrants - is probably the most important decision we have had to make for many decades.
We will be free to trade with the whole world and not just a small part it. We will be able to control immigration and welcome in whom we want, not anyone with an EU passport.
And, instead of paying £10bn net a year to Brussels, we will be able to spends this money on our own priorities, be it schools, hospitals or much needed infrastructure projects.
Today you can help change the future for the better. Today you can Vote Leave!"
John Harris - Vote Remain Campaign Harrogate and Knaresborough
"The European Union is the most visionary political act of the dismal last century. The 2012 Nobel Peace Prize citation expresses this graphically – the EU “60 year contribution to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights”. To desert this successful shared vision of independent sovereign states (that’s us !) would be a betrayal of co-operation/mutual interest which has achieved all of this and, in addition, so much practically to promote trade and development, consumer protection, criminal justice, safety and security, human and workers’ rights, environmental improvement.
The single market of 500 customers benefits Britain - 44% of our exports, substantial inward investment/job creation, trade agreements with over 50 countries (soon covering 90% of the Commonwealth), new agreements with China, Japan, India and USA. At risk is our position with all these partners which want Britain in EU – mere Brexit assertions are not meaningful substantive evidence for the consequences of Brexit.
Our society’s priorities won’t disappear if we leave - affordable housing, education, NHS/care services, local services, infrastructure, secure/decent jobs, responsible capitalism, tax evasion, austerity, poverty and inequality, tolerance, and yes immigration policy (we control our borders; we choose who enters, to stay more than three months under EU freedom of movement you must have a job or be able to support yourself) - all this within Westminster control to tackle and there’s no £350 million pw extra available. We need the growth which EU membership stimulates.
We risk political turmoil (no confidence parliamentary votes, Johnson/Gove/Farage/Duncan Smith/Galloway in charge?), economic instability/uncertainty/isolation (no clear knowledge of what ‘leave’ means; tangible risk). Brexit is a leap into the dark; recognising risk is not project fear but project reality..."