Londoners talk Brexit and fears of a UK without EU

Al Jazeera speaks to residents of the capital about the upcoming referendum on the UK's continued membership of the EU.

    Londoners talk Brexit and fears of a UK without EU
    Activists with the EU flag and Union Jack painted on their faces kiss [Hannibal Hanschke/Reuters]

    London, United Kingdom - The UK will soon know if it will continue to be a member of the European Union - or whether it will be heading for a Brexit.

    The referendum scheduled for Thursday is too close to call with the Leave campaign, once trailing by double digits, now two points ahead, according to pollster YouGov.

    The Remain campaign - led by Prime Minister David Cameron and the opposition Labour party - has struggled to contain the populist Eurosceptic appeal of their opponents, most notably the UK Independence Party (UKIP).

    Those in favour of remaining in the 27-country bloc argue that the UK's economic security is reliant on its continued membership.

    Supporters of the Brexit campaign, however, argue leaving the EU will give the UK increased control over immigration and protect its sovereignty from what they say is an increasing transfer of power from London to Brussels.

    Al Jazeera spoke to residents on the streets of the British capital about their views on the referendum and their fears or hopes should the UK decide to leave the EU.

    Beth Humphreys - against Brexit   
    British citizen

    United we stand, divided we fall - I think there is a lot of support provided by the EU.

    We have better trade opportunities with them, we have more choice in our shops, we have better travel through the freedom of movement.

    We are a small island and need support from other nations.

    I do think we would be more isolated if we leave and we would lack the new ideas that come across from Europe and the liaison with other governments.

    I'm not against immigration. I love meeting people from different cultures and backgrounds and I think it adds a real richness to our country and society.  

    Conor Sheehan - against Brexit
    British citizen

    I want to stay in the EU because I haven't heard any good arguments for leaving, and with all the uncertainty with leaving I don't know why we should take a step into the dark.

    I've spent a year living in Europe and I don't want to be restricted in moving around.

    People are saying we pay so much money in the EU, but then we're going to have to pay money if were in the free trade area.

    I just think there is no genuine argument for leaving.

    Mira Ishisaka - undecided 
    Slovakian citizen

    I'm undecided because to be honest I feel as though I'm not that deeply informed about both sides.

    I'm leaning towards staying in because I am scared about leaving - it's like opening a mystery unknown box. Why risk it? 

    Mohammed Mughal - supports Brexit  
    British citizen

    I fully support Brexit. I've been self-employed for 32 years and I've seen businesses going downhill because of the influx of outside manpower.

    With the new people coming in, nobody is worried about the quality - just the price - since they work for cheaper pay.

    We as British businesses are suffering. 

    Farukh Mukhamedov - undecided  
    Russian citizen

    Having restrictions on skilled workers coming in the country (if Brexit happens) is anti-economical when a lot of Europeans contribute highly to our society.

    Rabile Mahamud - against Brexit  
    Danish citizen

    I don't support the Brexit campaign being an EU national myself, so I might be biased.

    I just think we need to stay stronger together in the European Union. Our position as a nation is so much stronger in the EU.

    We trade easily and it benefits us by giving us the freedom of movement.

    If we segregate ourselves from the mainland, we'll only be making lives difficult for ourselves

    Farrukh Alladin - supports Brexit  
    British/Pakistani citizen

    The influx of unskilled migrants is likely to create more trouble, more crime and more problems in schools, housing and other things that are struggling right now. 

    I think there should be a cap on immigration. You cannot come up and say you're going to use the benefits of the country.

    I'm a graduate and have a Master's in Business Administration - I bring my skills here. 

    Djamila Izza - against Brexit  
    British citizen

    I would like the UK to remain because it protects us with a lot of human rights laws like workers' rights
    and environmental rights, which I'm passionate about.

    I think we should be working towards a world without borders, so leaving and shutting up shop is a backward step.

    I think the anti-immigrant rhetoric used is disgusting. It's scaremongering, it's racist, and it's not what being British is about.

    Giorgia D'innocenzo - against Brexit  
    Italian citizen

    I don't support the Brexit campaign - the concept of the EU is about different countries coming together and establishing policies where they help each other.

    I'm scared being European of being personally affected if Britain did leave the EU.

    I've been listening to debates and nobody seems to answer what would happen to EU citizens like myself in Britain.

    I am scared and confused about my standing in Britain. I'm left wondering things such as would I need a visa, would my rights and finances change. So I am very worried and confused.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera



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