Those in favour of the UK leaving the EU:
Have generally believed that EU membership cost more to the UK (particularly through British contributions to EU budgets) than it has benefited the UK.
It is important to note however, that the UK Government (Prime Minister David Cameron) denies the validity of this theory. Cameron takes the view that the main economic advantage of EU membership largely surpasses its main economic disadvantage.
He sees, as the main economic advantage, the benefit of free trade among EU members which has been a major plus to the British economy for years, in terms of production and export opportunities. In other words, in terms of job creation and income for families.
Overall, the contention of the UK being more a loser than a winner within the EU is not convincing. This is Cameron’s position, and he is likely to win the June referendum (to have the YES to EU win).
Those in favour of the UK leaving the EU also largely reject the idea of Britain having to open its borders to massive inflows of migrants by virtue of EU decisions. This mind frame is a major position, particularly from the UKIP (an anti-European Union party).
Those in favour of the UK remaining within the EU:
Are generally pragmatic, and tend to think, not only that the EU brings more economic pluses than minuses, but also that it is better to be inside than to be outside an economic and political entity like the EU, which is a heavy weight in world affairs.
Being outside the EU family, they say, would deprive Britain of the possibility of influencing important world affairs, and of being associated with major international decisions at EU level.
But an important part of Cameron’s position on this question is that, to be happy within the European arena, the UK will need special concessions from EU institutions.
Such concessions were recently gained by Cameron in Brussels, where he went with a plea for special treatment. An example of such concessions is the possibility for the UK of not having to provide non-EU immigrants legally established in Britain with the same welfare subsidies as what UK citizens get, (too expensive for the Government’s budget). Cameron came back from Brussels happy after this concession was granted to him by other EU leaders, most of whom hope for a continuation of UK membership.
The pro-European Brits also appreciate the possibility for the UK of remaining outside the euro zone, and outside the Schengen Treaty (the free movement of non-EU citizens within the Schengen zone).