A referendum is a nationwide voting on a specific decision usually reserved for issues which are considered very, VERY critical for a country.
Previously UK witnessed another referendum when Scotland had to decide whether to stay in UK or act as an independent country. People voted in large numbers and retained the identity of A UNITED KINGDOM comprising of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Again, the people of United Kingdom have been entrusted to make a decision for UK to either stay or leave the European Union, a political-economic union of 28 member states. European Union was hailed as a fitting competitor to United States of America, and it has been providing the whole of Europe with extensive economic and political benefits, successfully. Ranging from a common Union-wide currency to an unmanned geographical border with free movement of people across member countries, the European Union has been a very peaceful and prosperous region in Europe for a very long time.
UK Prime Minister David Cameron had promised the people for this referendum in last year’s general elections. The reason he quoted was “a growing influence of EU on UK’s political functioning”. According to his MPs and conservative UK Independence Party (UKIP) European Union has been exercising more power and control over their “daily lives” and policy making. On the other hand, surprisingly, David Cameron wants UK to stay in the European Union and has been making a strong appeal to people to vote in favour of the referendum and remain a member of EU.
UK’s exit from EU is considered to bring a blow to political and economical spheres. Most of the active laws in UK are derived from EU. Businesses in all member European countries overlap without geographical boundaries. It is going to be a disaster for most of them because the business model, demand-supply chain, currency and all the economy related factors would need a complete restructure in case UK decides to leave EU.
There’s another very potent reason for referendum. That reason is the recent immigration crisis because of the unrest in Middle East. Extremist factions in Islamic countries are engaged in civil wars for years. Civilians are trying to escape to the “very generous” European countries in huge numbers. UK has been pitching continuously for independence in running their own affairs to tackle vast number of refugees flowing in daily. EU doesn’t have a mechanism to weed out extremists from the crowd and potential terrorists have been given open invitations to breach European territories without any interrogation.
In any case, whether the people of United Kingdom decide to stay in or leave EU, the referendum is going to change a lot of things in European Union, its functioning and laws, creating a landmark in European context.