On Polling Day

Today you and I will cast the most important vote of our lives. This is a vote which will affect all of our futures, and with that in mind I urge you not to vote on personalities or short term decisions. Don’t vote to Remain because you ‘don’t trust the Tories’, you will never get this opportunity again – if you don’t trust the Conservatives then vote them out in 2020, but do not base a decision which will affect your future on who is currently in power. Remember that you are not electing Vote Leave into office.

A vote for Leave is not a vote for Farage or Gove or Boris, in the same way that I would not tell you a vote for Remain is one for Cameron or Osborne or Corbyn or that it is a vote for Jean-Claude Juncker and his contempt for democracy. It is a vote to say that in the home of liberal democracy we think legislation needs to be made by people elected by, and accountable to, the people.

I will be voting for a future where the people with the formal powers to make our laws are people who we can see, hold to account, and vote out. I will be voting for a future where the electorate of the United Kingdom can influence our immigration policy. Whatever immigration policy you want to see – be that open borders or a points system or some other system – you should be able to influence that at the ballot box. A vote for Leave is not one for less immigration, it is one for choice – do we want our elected government to set our policies, or do we want it dictated to us by an unelected Commission?

I will be voting for a future where the businesses I work for can trade in every country of the world, not just the 27 states of the European Union. I will be voting for a future without a regressive Common External Tariff cutting us off from the rest of the world. I will be voting for a future where Britain is a strong voice, not one voice drowned out in the din of another 27. A vote for Leave is not one for isolation, it is one for globalism – do we want to trade freely with the EU and the world, or are we content just to trade with the EU?

We do not need a political union to have cooperation with Europe – cooperation between the United Kingdom and the EU27 does not need membership of the European Union. Whatever happens today there will be cooperation on security, there will be cooperation on research, there will be cooperation on climate change – that is not in dispute. I will be voting for a future where we can take the lead on global cooperation alongside European cooperative efforts.

When you go to the polls today, don’t vote with fear – vote with hope. Don’t base a decision that will affect your whole future on a government that you can change in 2020. Where the only body with formal legislative powers is unelected, you can never change their decisions and you can never hold them to account. Governments come and go – vote for democracy.

When you go to the polls today, don’t vote based on personality – vote for the future. It is not an election – a vote to Leave is not a vote for Boris and co., it is a vote for your future.

When you go to the polls today, vote Leave.

On Britain

We live in a great nation. From Shakespeare to the Sex Pistols we have been at the forefront of world culture for thousands of years. We have led the world in engineering and science – Brunel, Faraday, Newton are just a collection of the brilliant minds who have guided international advances in technical and scientific theory. Britain adopted democratic principles before any other and in Britain we saw the birth of the Enlightenment. We saw the invention of football, golf, tennis and many others (even if our sporting abilities since then have been mixed!).

The United Kingdom has always led and we will continue to do so regardless of how we vote tomorrow. We have always been a world power and we will continue to be one regardless of how we vote tomorrow. The choice then, is not between ‘Big Britain in Europe’ or ‘Little England on its own’ but between ‘Britain as one voice in Europe’ or ‘Britain as a leading voice in the world’. In the European Union our influence is diminished. They have already spoken of how we are a bit-part player in their discussions, one voice drowned out among the din of 27 others.

Britain is, and always has been, a world leader. We will continue to be a world leader outside of the EU. Let us not talk Britain down and pretend that we wouldn’t be able to survive outside of the European Union – that is not in dispute. As the fifth largest economy in the world, we would be able to trade with every economy in the world – it is a simple fact that trade occurs when it is mutually beneficial, and trade with the fifth largest economy in the world is always mutually beneficial.

Those who say that we wouldn’t be able to trade with the EU fail to grasp that we make up 16% of their exports – the Remain campaign have been throwing around some vague figure of ‘only 3% of their GDP’ in the misunderstanding that a) a market growing at less than 1% per annum can afford the lose 3% of their GDP per annum; and b) that GDP is reflective of the effects of trade. 16% of the EU’s exports come to Britain – then the EU gains a multiplier effect which increases GDP further. In addition, around 12% of the EU’s imports come from Britain – meaning that the imposition of tariffs would reduce living standards by decreasing the amount European citizens can buy. Does trade sound mutually beneficial to you?

We are an economic powerhouse, so shall we stop pretending that we will be in ruins if we leave the EU. Trade with the EU and the rest of the world without having to pay the Common External Tariff will make us even more of a powerhouse. Diplomatically we are a world power. We drove through the climate talks and climate legislation that has guided international reform. Britain can stand on our own two feet and be a global player, driving global diplomacy and global cooperation, or we can be content to be one voice amongst twenty eight.

As the nation from whence the very ideals of democracy and liberalism emerged, it is time to become globalising liberals once again. Liberals have fought for tolerance and freedom of expression – rather than banning parties from speaking, let them speak and prove them wrong. Liberals have fought for strong formal democratic processes – ensuring formal powers are wielded by a government of the people, by the people, for the people, and not by some unaccountable and unelected group of 28. Liberals have fought for reducing barriers to trade and increasing globalisation – not some regressive customs union designed to protect the EU28 from competition.

I am proud to be from a country with such a strongly liberal history. A history of upholding democracy and toleration. Britain is a country worth fighting for – we are a strong and successful country and will continue to be one regardless of how we vote tomorrow. That being said, we can do so much better.

To paraphrase one of the greatest (and possible most apt) speeches from a British Prime Minister – this relationship with Europe has become a bad relationship. It has become a relationship based on the EU taking what it wants and ignoring those things that matter to Britain (like wide-scale reforms). The fact that the EU’s answer to the possibility of Brexit has not been to say, ‘But we work together so well and we can do so much together’, but rather the embattled cry of, ‘You’d be nothing without us’, says volumes about our relationship.

We are a great country. Inside the EU, outside the EU, we will still be a great country. Tomorrow, choose to realign our relationship with the EU. It’s not a case of Little England vs Big European – it is a simple choice between a Britain working, trading and cooperating with just the EU – or a Britain working, trading and cooperating with the EU and the world.

On Immigration

Anyone who has been a regular reader of my writing during this campaign will notice that I have never given a firm stance on immigration. It is clear that immigration is an important issue within the referendum, but I do feel that the discourse on both sides has not reflected the realities of immigration. I am a firm believer that immigration can be a positive thing, but for me the problem with a Remain vote is twofold. Firstly, the way the EU imposes an immigration system upon the UK – and secondly the discriminatory nature of that system.

When the government of the United Kingdom is elected on a pledge to implement a specific set of immigration targets, it should be able to meet those targets. The commonly held belief in this country is that there needs to be a cap on the level of immigration. Whether you agree with that or not, that is what the Conservative Party was elected to do. It is fundamentally against the principles of democracy that a government elected with such a pledge should be prevented from achieving its mandated policies.

It is the same with any form of immigration system – regardless of which party is elected into office, regardless of their stance on immigration or their political viewpoint, there is only one set of decisions on immigration open to our government: free movement from the EU, and then a choice about non-EU migration. It is not democratic to have such a system in place, which elected governments cannot change.

We have to remember that this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity – if you feel strongly about open borders, do not make that your sole reason to vote Remain. This referendum is not a choice between open borders or closed borders. It is not a choice between immigration or no immigration. It is quite simply a choice between choice or no choice. It is a decision over whether you think that the British public should have a say in our immigration system, or whether you think that system should be dictated to us.

If you want open borders, don’t vote to Remain in the EU to guarantee them but take part in a democratic debate on immigration. Voting Leave does not mean supporting a system of less immigration, it means supporting the idea that the British electorate should be able to elect a government with the immigration policy they wish to see – be that a points-based system, be that open borders, or be that any system in between. You are not voting for a specific immigration system on June 23rd, you are voting for democracy.

The system of immigration that the EU thrusts upon us is inherently discriminatory. It is a system which gives people born in 27 states more of a right to come to live and work in this country than people born in the other 169 states. I don’t think that immigration should be about nationality – your result in life’s first great lottery shouldn’t make a difference to your ability to live in the UK. Should we not have an immigration system that looks only at the people, not what flag they were born under? Should we not have an immigration system that is fair to everyone – where everyone who wants to live in the UK should be considered on who they are and not where they are from?

I do not believe that it is right for a doctor from Delhi to have any less right to live in the UK than a plumber from Paris. I do not believe it is fair for a lawyer from Lahore to have any less right to live in the UK than a road-sweep from Rome. I do not believe it is just to have an immigration system where your place of birth matters more than who you are.

Together we can bring fairness back to our immigration system. Together we can end passport discrimination. Together we can guide the future of our immigration system.

It is not about immigration or no immigration; it is about choice or no choice. It is not about whether or not we should have immigration; it is about whether or not we should have a fair system. On June 23rd, vote for choice and vote for fairness – vote Leave.

On Democracy

To me, this referendum is unequivocally about the kind of democracy that we want to see in the United Kingdom. Are we happy to settle for a significant amount of legislation being dictated by people who are unelectable and unaccountable? Are we satisfied to be represented by a leadership which acts in a way which is fundamentally antidemocratic? Are we content to see British democracy weakened to the extent that local government becomes an irrelevance? I’m not.

The only body with formal power to propose legislation in the European Union is the Commission. Commissioners are unelected – we cannot hold them to account and we cannot vote them out if we are unhappy with them. I believe that in a democracy, laws should be made by people who we can see, hold to account, and vote out. There is very little transparency in the Commission – few people could name the EU Commissioner who represents the United Kingdom (who at the time of writing is The Lord Hill of Oareford) and even those who know who our Commissioner is have no way of holding them to account.

When we cannot elect our own Commissioner and hold them to account, how are we supposed to hold the other Commissioners to account? There are 28 people representing the peoples of Europe, none of whom were elected by the people over whom they legislate – that is simply not democratic. It is also simply not representative that in one corner of this union a single Commissioner is supposed to represent 64 million people’s views, while at the same time in another corner of the union another Commissioner represents the views of 420,000 people – not that representativeness makes a difference where there is no way for the populace to influence them.

The European Union has taken deliberate action to make itself even less transparent than before, including this 2014 case of restricting document access requests. It represents an antidemocratic body – the unelected Commission’s President, Jean-Claude Juncker, has oft talked of curtailing anti-EU political parties’ abilities to have their voices heard in the European Union. Juncker and the Commission forced the anti-austerity Syriza government in Greece to adopt a platform of deep austerity and imposed budget restrictions on the Portuguese and Spanish governments, forcing them to adopt a specific economic policy – regardless of the opinions of the populaces of those countries.

Democracy is, fundamentally, about being able to see the people who make our legislation, hold them to account, and vote them out. The European Union simply does not fulfil this criteria. It is not transparent. The populace cannot hold their legislators to account. Our legislators cannot be voted out if they have acted against our best interests. To put it in one simple fact that says all that needs to be said about EU democracy: Jean-Claude Juncker was elected as President of the only body with formal powers to propose legislation (and so is, in essence, our Chief Legislator) with the support of 0.0000027% of the populace he represents. That is not a democracy.

Leaving the EU enables us to revitalise our democracy. Dragging power down through the system – from supranational government, to national government, through to local government – will re-empower our local government and enable us to build a better democracy. Decisions should be made as close to the people that they affect as possible, not drawn up to levels of supranational government further and further away. By voting leave, we can ensure that the decisions that affect Southampton get made in Southampton, and the decisions which affect the United Kingdom get made in the United Kingdom.

The EU is undemocratic. The only people who can propose legislation are unelected and unaccountable. On June 23rd we have the power to restore and revitalise our democracy – we must vote Leave.

On Security

There has been a lot of misinformation in this referendum. While the Remain campaign have attempted to make European Union membership indistinguishable from European cooperation, it is important to remember that these things are independent. Arrangements which make Britain more secure also make the European Union more secure, and that is why such arrangements will continue after a Brexit.

Our policing and intelligence will continue to benefit from mutually beneficial cooperative programmes run with the EU. Services like Interpol enable the investigation of crimes in many of the world’s states, including both the EU’s members and also countries like the United States. As for intelligence, international agreements like the Five Eyes alliance (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK and the USA) will not be affected by a Brexit. It is also important to remember that MI5 and MI6 represent two of the most reputable intelligence agencies in the world.

Cooperation with the European Union will continue after this referendum, regardless of whether we vote Leave or Remain. Our policing and intelligence services will remain some of the best in the world, regardless of whether we vote Leave or Remain. The only distinguishable difference that I can see between the two options is that if we Leave the European Union, we gain a significant amount of money to invest in better policing and intelligence. Money which is currently spent on our net contribution to the EU’s budget.

It is also disingenuous to suggest that the European Union has been the cause of peace in Europe in the last seven decades. When you consider the facts – a) since World War Two most of Europe has been in a military alliance (NATO); b) there have been no major powers on the European mainland (West Germany and then Germany have had no military to speak of, and France and Britain have never looked likely to declare war on one another); and c) the balance of power shifted away from Europe and to the USA and USSR – then it is clear that there are far bigger reasons for peace in Europe than the EU.

As for peace, we have always been a strong member of NATO, and will continue to be one post-Brexit. We have always been a permanent member of the UN Security Council, and will continue to be one post-Brexit (hence the word ‘permanent’). Those are the two major organisations where we need to be at the table to guarantee our peace – the largest military partnership and the body that legitimatises wars. The only risk to those two memberships lies with membership of the European Union.

As a member of the EU, we are committed to a project whose (unelected) Commissioners are discussing the benefits of an EU Army, with a central command structure. That would inhibit our ability to be a part of NATO and help our NATO allies. The European Union is an observer state at the United Nations. What that means is that it is free to participate on our behalf at a range of summits and on a host of international bodies. It is also a firm indicator of its statist ambitions – none of the world’s other ‘trading blocs’ feel the need to sit at the UN – and those ambitions risk making our permanent seat at the Security Council a little less permanent.

War and Armageddon will not break out on June 24th if Britain votes Leave. We will continue to be a world power in terms of intelligence and policing – the EU will continue cooperating with us, rather than shunning the opportunity to get access to some of the best intelligence information in the world. Peace will continue to be guaranteed by NATO and by the United Nations.

We do not need the EU to make Britain secure. Cooperation and EU membership are not the same thing. On June 23rd, say yes to cooperation, but no to the European Union.

On Sovereignty

When you listen to the Remain campaign talk about sovereignty you would be forgiven for thinking it was some abstract 18th Century notion. Indeed the speed with which the In camp dismiss any argument that involves the concept is perhaps a symptom of a wider problem within this debate. Is it simply that Remain do not understand what sovereignty is? Do they genuinely believe that it is something that has long since been borne into irrelevance?

If it is merely ignorance that results in their swift dismissal of sovereignty as merely a notion, then I would urge them to perhaps do a quick Google search and reassess their position. Sovereignty is not some abstract 18th Century notion, irrelevant to a debate about 21st Century Britain. It is true that it is a concept from the 18th Century, indeed it is one which comes from the very founding of modern democracy – sovereignty is at the very heart of what it is to be a democracy.

To sum it up in a single word: sovereignty is power – it is about where the power in a democracy is wielded. Does that power lie with an unelected body, is it wielded by some powerful elite, or does it come from the people whom it governs? What we are discussing in the Brexit debate is power over the legislation and regulations which affect our day-to-day lives. When we debate sovereignty in the European Union’s system of governance, we are debating where our legislation is proposed and drafted. That power rests with the European Commission as the only body with formal power to propose legislation.

What that means is that power is held by a body we cannot elect, cannot hold to account, and cannot vote out. ‘Pooled sovereignty’ is the justification Remain often give to the European Union system – this idea that every member state’s government gives up a little sovereignty to an unelected body to make decisions for them. The power of you and I to influence the laws of our country only exists where power to draft and propose legislation rests with a body that you and I can elect. When the Remain camp talk about ‘pooled sovereignty’, what they mean is less power for the British electorate. If we want a democracy where we can influence the decisions that affect us, then we have to return that power to our elected Parliament.

Sovereignty is far more than some outdated notion. However much the Remain campaign want us to believe that sovereignty is something insignificant, it represents part of the underlying foundations of a liberal democracy. Sovereignty is power – it is no more an abstract 18th Century concept than democracy itself is. Democracy is inherently based on sovereignty – indeed it has always been the concern of the proponents of democracy that power should be wielded exclusively by the people. Not by some unseen elite, not by some unelected body of bureaucrats, but by a government of the people, by the people, for the people.

Where we give away our sovereignty, we give away our democracy. Where we willingly give up the power to elect the people who make our legislation, we turn our backs on the true democratic systems and processes that generations of liberals have fought to create.

On June 23rd we have the chance to restore power to the electorate of the United Kingdom – it’s a chance we cannot allow to pass.

On The Future

On Thursday the 23rd we have to make a decision which will affect all of our futures. The type of future we have as a nation will be determined by the decision we make. We need to decide whether we want to be internationalist – looking beyond the protectionist customs union in which we reside and trading with the whole world – or whether we are content to trade exclusively with the European Union. We need to decide whether we want the governments we elect to pass the legislation we mandate them to or whether we are happy to place our collective destinies in the hands of people whose decisions we cannot hold into account.

When we consider the referendum only in the context of the present it is far too easy to consider just the short term gains from either route. What we need to do is to look more long term. If you dislike the Conservative government of today, do not use that as a reason to vote to Remain in the European Union as you feel it provides some sort of check and balance on the present government. Governments come and go – where you dislike the government of the day you are free to lobby them, to hold them to account and to vote them out – where you dislike the actions of the EU, tough – you have no way of voting out the people with formal power to propose that legislation.

I’d like you to consider the future. Do you want to be able to influence the legislative agenda? Do you want to vote out your representatives if you disagree with them? Do you want your voice to count in the political process and make a difference? If you have answered yes to any of these questions then the EU is not for you in the long term. Increasingly centralised and increasingly taking on the characteristics of a nation – perhaps the EU’s greatest irony is that it’s formal legislative powers (which in its own democratic requirements for member states are what are considered important) lie exclusively with an undemocratic body.

I want to live in a Britain where any body that enacts the legislation that governs us is one in which we can vote out its legislators, one where we can hold the legislators to account. I want the policies that we mandate our government to enact to be enacted – if the Conservatives are mandated by the British public to implement a cap on migration, they should have the legislative capacity to do so. If the Labour Party are mandated by the British public to nationalise the railways, they should not be impeded by an unelected bureaucracy in their attempts to do so.

Today, trade with the European Union accounts for somewhere between 40% and 45% of our total trade, dependant on the statistic you use and your estimate of the Rotterdam Effect. That’s down from 55% ten years ago and reflects the growing importance of non-EU markets in the world economy. The European Union’s share of world trade and world GDP has been continuous declining over the last twenty years and with growth in the Eurozone stagnant, this shows no sign of faltering. Greece, Spain, Portugal, Italy and Ireland are just some of the EU’s economies facing default or uncertain economic futures.

With such low growth and the weakness of the aforementioned economies, amongst others – Remain’s claim that the UK would fail to get an attractive deal with the European Union seems unfounded. With the United Kingdom representing the largest export destination for the EU27 and with particular consideration of the impact that losing approximately 16% of their exports would have on a stagnant economy (whereas UK export-losses in a worst-case scenario would be offset by the benefits of removing the Common External Tariff on UK-non EU trade) it is clear that both sides would receive economic benefits from a continuation of some form of free trade relationship and thus the economic incentives for trade make a UK-EU free trading arrangement a certainty.

What we are offered by leaving the European Union is a future where we can trade freely with the growing markets of the world – including China, India and the United States – and with the established economies of the EU27. We are offered the opportunity for the businesses we work in and found in the future to trade globally, rather than just within the European Union.

We are being offered the chance to retake our seat on the World Trade Organisation and have a voice in the negotiations on regulations which govern international trade – the top table, if you will. We can, we must, and we shall have a voice in those regulations – as opposed to one twenty-eighth of a voice.

Don’t look at the status quo, look at the future. The European Union is increasingly expansionist and statist – its future is very much in further integration and further power to an undemocratic body. Outside the EU we can have a global future – trade with the EU and the world unimpeded by a Common External Tariff, rather than just with the EU. Outside the EU we can have a democratic future – where our legislators are elected by – and accountable to – us, and where the governments we elect can enact the legislation we mandated them to.

Outside the EU we can have a better future. On June 23rd, vote for that future – vote Leave.

On Europe

Throughout the entirety of this referendum the Britain Stronger In Europe campaign have attempted to play on your identities and emotions by conflating the idea of Europe and the European Union. They would have you believe that you are voting on membership of Europe, and by association that Brexit involves casting aside our European friends and allies. They are wrong. The continent of Europe is a great one, the history and culture of which binds its nations – from the giants of France and Germany to the tiny nations of Liechtenstein and Monaco. It is a continent whose common history, cultural advancements and shared destiny has shaped the Britain we see today.

But European cooperation and European identity are not what is being disputed. I have not yet met any of the so-called ‘Little Englanders’ whom the In campaign paint as being isolationist. If anything, the campaign that is isolationist is the one which says that 28 nations acting together and trading together, is superior to 197 nations living, trading, cooperating as one. I want to embrace Europe in the same way that I want to embrace the world, but I do not wish to share a political union with them and I do not wish to share a Common External Tariff with them which cuts us off from the world.

European history shows us that we are at our best when we work to benefit all of us. The European Union simply does not do this. The EU is a system which does not benefit the nations of our great continent. It provides us with a political system which undermines our democracy. Legislation that populaces from Aberdeen to Athens did not vote for. Legislation that populaces from Stockholm to Sicily can do nothing to effect. Legislation which is proposed exclusively by an undemocratic body so unfit for democratic rule that its Chief Legislator openly talks about antidemocratic actions against countries who fail to fall into line. When Jean-Claude Juncker’s reaction to the people of Austria coming to within a hair’s breadth of electing a far right President is to talk about banning political parties, one does have to ask whether the European Union does justice to our continent’s proud history.

As a continent, we have always sought to expand our horizons – to do more, to trade more, to innovate more. So lets. There is, on the European continent, a wonderful, progressive union which enables trade with the great nations of Europe and the great nations of the world. A progressive economic union, not a regressive customs union. I talk, of course, about EFTA. The alternative agreement which Iceland, Norway and Switzerland all benefit from.

Shall we stop talking about identity? Shall we stop pretending that the European Union is the only way to engage with Europe, to trade with Europe, to be a part of Europe? Shall we stop belittling the people of Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Andorra, Monaco, San Marino, Vatican City, Turkey, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Albania, Kosovo, Montenegro, Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova by implying that not being in the club means you are not in Europe?

Europe is a great continent. It has done great things and has a proud history. From Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome right through to the modern day we have been a proud continent of innovators and inventors, of scholars and artists, of poets and playwrights. Most importantly, we have been a continent of friends and neighbours. The EU is a political organisation – we will always be part of Europe. Together, let’s be able to turn to Europe, hold our heads a little bit higher and on June 23rd let’s say to our European friends, neighbours and allies that we love Europe, but the EU is not Europe and it does not represent it.

The EU does not do justice to our proud history and our proud cultures. The EU is not Europe, the EU does not benefit Europe, and it does not benefit Britain. Let’s be part of Europe but not the EU.

Oxford Votes to Remain in NUS Amongst Referendum Controversies

In the latest of the recent referenda on disaffiliation from the National Union of Students, Oxford University have voted to remain in the NUS. With 57.1% voters at the University coming down in favour of affiliation it will be a blow to many campaigners who have fought valiantly for disaffiliation.

It has been a referendum campaign marred with controversies, including allegations against NUS Vice President Richard Brooks. The NUS Vice President has been accused of violating referendum regulations by using a banned mailing list to promote the Yes to NUS campaign, who have emerged victorious. The Yes to NUS campaign were accused of breaking rules on a separate occasion earlier in the week by campaigning on another set of banned mailing lists, with campaign leader Becky Howe calling it an ‘innocent mistake’.

Campaigners on both sides at Christ Church College broke regulations, with a No Thanks NUS campaigner campaigning in a JCR Facebook group and the Yes to NUS campaign accused of ripping up opposition posters.

Of course this is not the first time an NUS referendum at Oxford has been controversial, with the University’s 2014 referendum experiencing similar accusations.

Are Remain Complacent or Incompetent With Young Voters?

With the In campaign’s supposed strength lying with the young vote, you would have thought they might know a thing or two about how to target young people. Indeed, if they have the sort of backing and support from young people oft claimed in the media, you would imagine that their campaigns would be slick and focused. Instead the campaign has had a fundamental disconnect with the student vote which begs the question, are the Remain camp complacent or incompetent?

They have quickly gone to great lengths to claim that the ‘#Votin’ adverts were made deliberately so that people would ridicule them. If that was the case then they were certainly very effective, with the adverts showing a clear and patronisin’ disrespect for young people. Rather than providing a series of clear and articulate arguments about the benefits of staying in the European Union, they decided that students and young people would identify better with a series of words missin’ a g at the end.

Perhaps unable to tell us how exactly workin’, learnin’, earnin’, shoppin’, ravin’, chattin’, roamin’, makin’, meetin’, sharin’, goin’, and livin’ would be worse off outside of the European Union they do however seek to assure us that ‘life’s better in the EU but it’s at risk’ and that we should be votin’ to stay in. Well, that’s certainly my mind made up – clearly us young people wouldn’t have been able to cope with a set of reasons or some vague rationale for stayin’ in and instead we are safe and happy in the knowledge that the Remain campaign have some buzz words and a vague assurance that life is better in the EU.

If it was indeed deliberate then the advert smacks of complacency. Indeed if it was deliberate then the Remainers must be feeling secure in the arrogant belief that young people will toe the line regardless of how they are treated. For a generation often accused of being disengaged and disenfranchised with politics, one can hardly blame students for seeing that ad and giving up all hope of being represented. For a campaign supposedly so reliant on young people, for a campaign about our futures, such complacency is disturbing.

The alternative must of course be considered: that is, that the advert was not intended to be ridiculed and that they genuinely thought it would connect with young people. If so then the incompetence displayed is overwhelming. Whereas Vote Leave have allowed students to lead their campaign, with groups like BeLeave and Students for Britain providing clear messages on the streets of the United Kingdom about why we are better outside of the EU; the In campaign have taken the schoolmaster approach and sent in some politicians and ad agencies with no hope of understanding young people and told us that we must vote to remain. No reasons given, no discourse promoted, just that we must listen to our elders and vote how they say.

It isn’t just this advert either, when David Cameron began his one man tour of the country’s universities by turning up at Exeter in the middle of the holidays, with enough stealth to make James Bond jealous, it felt just a little bit patronising. Sort of as though we (the students) had been a little bit naughty and had to be told what to do. No student speakers were invited to share the stage with Mr Cameron, no young voices were permitted.

The Chancellor and Prime Minister feel Brexit will cause a DIY recession, and there is certainly a DIY feel about the Remain camp’s attempts to connect with young voters. Unfortunately it is less the sort of DIY you would expect at B&Q and more the kind you would expect if you asked me to put up a shed.

So the real question is: incompetence or complacency? Is it simply that the Remain campaign do not know how to engage young people? Do they not have any young people in their campaign they can turn to for advice? Perhaps that is the case, perhaps Students for Europe simply don’t have the ideas to help the campaign out. Perhaps the lack of young people seen on Remain campaign days is indicative of the campaign as a whole.

Or do Remain think the young are not worth wasting their time on? They imagine they can throw a stupid ad at young people, they can come to campuses when students aren’t there, because they think that at the end of the day we’ll do as we are told. Or is it simply that they don’t think we’ll bother to vote this time?

Only they can tell us, but it is definitely a question worth considering. If the Remain campaign believe what they tell us – that it is vital that young people vote to stay in – is their failure to connect with us a result of their complacency or their incompetence?