Leave Means Leave campaign - ANSWERS!

Robert Bates picture.jpeg

Rob Bates is the Head of Outreach at the Leave Means Leave campaign group. Prior to this he studied European International Politics at Warwick University.

Q) Why did more people vote to leave the EU then stay? From active_mouse, John Ray Junior School

A) The main reason why more people voted to leave was because many felt that the EU was making too many decisions on our behalf without us being able to say ‘no’ if we did not like something that they did. For example, rules like what crops a farmer can plant, what paperwork a businessman has to fill in, or how many fish a fisherman can catch, make a lot of people’s lives harder.

These rules are made by people who cannot be fired if they are doing a bad job and a lot of people, both Leavers and Remainers, are concerned that this is not democratic. More people felt that people who make decisions about our lives should be directly responsible to us and should have to explain themselves to us if they do something wrong. This cannot happen whilst we are a member of the EU.

Q) Do you think everyone had the enough information they needed to make an informed decision? From honest_wilddog, Notley Green Primary School

A) Yes, I do. Before the Referendum the UK had been debating our place in the European Union since it was created in 1992. During this time, those on both sides had been pushing their information for people to look at and analyse. Polling after the vote has shown that a lot of people had made up their minds which way they were going to vote before politicians had even started campaigning! What everyone did know is that the result, whichever way it went, would be a big deal and that if Brexit won then it would mean that things would change. It was not a decision that people on both sides took lightly!

What will change is that the UK will now be able to make new trading friendships with countries like America and India – something we can’t do at the moment.

Robert Bates, Leave Means Leave campaign

Q) Why did they lie about giving money to NHS? From creative_starfruit, New Horizons Children's Academy

A) The UK currently has to send a lot of money to the EU which we do not get back. Instead this money gets spent in other countries and often on silly things like trying to manufacture make-up out of donkey milk or on a museum about cheese!

The big red bus was making the point that after we leave the European Union people can actually choose how to spend this money. The NHS is a big priority for a lot of UK voters and - given the choice - a lot of people would prefer that their money is given to that, rather than funding outlandish projects on the continent.

Q) Will much more be different or is it going to be the same? From committed_football, Beverley St Nicholas Primary School

A) Lots of things will stay the same. The EU has said that we will still be able to go on holiday to Europe very easily, and mobile phone companies have said that prices will not go up for using mobile data abroad.

What will change is that the UK will now be able to make new trading friendships with countries like America and India – something we can’t do at the moment. This will mean that we can buy more products from them and that British businesses have the chance to sell things to them a lot more easily.

Even if we had voted to stay, then things would still have changed. EU rules are constantly being created and with each new one someone, somewhere, is affected. For example, a lot of YouTubers are currently worried that a new EU rule will make it a lot harder for them to make videos!

Comments (9)

  • New-Horizons-logo-250x250.jpg fearless_tree | New Horizons Children's Academy
    25 Mar 2019

    Why can’t we trade with countries like America and India?

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    1. The-Ruth-Gorse-logo-250x250.jpg creative_sparrow | The Ruth Gorse Academy | United Kingdom
      fearless_tree's comment 26 Mar 2019

      Hi fearless_tree!

      The UK do trade with America and India, it’s just not a Free Trade Deal so there are tariffs place on goods. Free trade comes with a cost. Currently India and Australia have both said “in exchange for free trade, UK must relax their Immigration rules.” And the senior Indian diplomat warned “Britain should accept more immigrants if it wants free trade deals” (from The Independent) Bear this in mind, Immigration is a primary concern for Leavers so I'm not too sure how comfortable they would feel about that.

      It’s easy to google and find more information about trade with other countries. You can see that America is a big trading partner with the UK, in fact we sell most of our goods to America than any other country and the US is also the 2nd country after Germany where we buy most of our goods from. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-44802666

      However there are concern with America’s own demands in exchange for a free trade pact. There are numerous reports such as “US drug firms would be able to charge NHS more under Trump trade plan” from The Guardian and ‘Let American firms run hospitals, urges free trade group’ from The Times. Britain is very proud of the NHS and what it stands for, so a lot of UK citizens would be extremely worried if the Americans were allowed to meddle with our great institution.

      Under the EU block we have higher food safety standards and protection. One of the hot topic is chlorine-washed chicken from the US which the EU continues to ban imports of because The European Food Safety Authority has said "whilst there are “no safety concerns” with the chlorination of chicken, but it has also said this practice might not be sufficient for maintaining good hygiene standards throughout the slaughter process.” fullfacts.org. After Brexit, there’s a debate over whether the UK should relax this on poultry imports from the US.

      Currently UK already has free trade as being a member of the EU with more than 48 other countries, including many from the Commonwealth. If we leave, starting negotiations from scratch could take some time. I agree that the UK would certainly have more control. Whether the UK would do better pursuing our own trade deals remains to be seen, but at what cost? I’m definitely no expert on trade but I’m skeptical about it being ‘easy’ and if America, India and Australia are already making stipulation, I wonder what demands from other countries would be in exchange for a Trade Deal?

      It’s complicated and there’s lots I don’t know, but I hope this helped.


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  • Arnhem-Wharf-logo-250x250.jpg radical_reality | Arnhem Wharf Primary School
    25 Mar 2019

    Why dose Theresa May keep on postponing the date when we are supposed to leave the EU?

    Reply to this comment
    1. Tiff-Avatar.jpg Tiff @ Topical Talk
      radical_reality's comment 26 Mar 2019

      MPs can't decide on a 'deal' with the EU so the date is being pushed back whilst they try to sort one out.

      Reply to this comment
  • Foxfield-logo-250x250.jpg calm_redcurrant | Foxfield Primary School
    04 Apr 2019

    Why is Brexit such a chaos?

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  • The-Ruth-Gorse-logo-250x250.jpg balanced_singer | The Ruth Gorse Academy | United Kingdom
    06 Apr 2019

    This is for the Easter Holiday competition...

    I agree with most of the answers that Rob Bates gave; however, I believe that the answer to the question: do you think everyone had enough information they needed to make an informed decision? which was from, honest_wilddog, Notley Green Primary School is not correct. Nonetheless, I can see where he's coming from, so he's partially correct.

    He is correct because when David Cameron was in the general election to be prime minister, he said that he went forward with the referendum for Brexit, as it was part of his manifesto. Therefore, if people wished, they could go and find some information which could help them in the future. But I feel that at the time they wouldn't have known that if we left or stayed it would take a very long time. I asked my Dad if he thought he had enough information to make a decision (he voted to stay by the way). He said yes because there were many news articles out at the time stating the pros and cons. One of these articles is this one:
    This article is more than three years old so before the referendum. It says that some experts estimated that ''the economy will suffer permanent losses on the back of weaker trade and investment.'' So this may draw some people away from voting for Brexit. But it also says that ''others say freedom from the rules, as well as the costs, that come with EU membership, would make Britain more prosperous.'' However, that may be a lie because we are now aware that once we leave prices for things will go up, so people will lose money individually; also we may not be able to make free trade deals with other countries. So money will be spent on trade.

    On the other hand, he is wrong. I think this because although we have news articles to tell us the pros and cons, a lot of the things they have said are wrong. One simple example is that we will leave on the 29 March 2019. We all know that the date has passed. Another example is that Boris Johnson said, "There will continue to be free trade and access to the single market." But since it's taking so long to decide on a deal, we could potentially have a no deal Brexit. I've been using this example a lot lately but it's a good one. Furthermore, the government may not have told the people the consequences of the information. People who do things like campaigns will also not tell the full story because they want to lure people into voting for what they want. MPs have said that they will not turn their backs on the decision that the country makes. But they have pushed Brexit back and I feel like we are going to have a second referendum because lots of people are wanting one and also we just want Brexit to be over and done with. Another reason is that Theresa May said that she will stand down if MPs don't back her deal.

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  • Upton-Cross-logo-250x250.jpg thoughtful_raisin | Upton Cross Primary School | United Kingdom
    08 Apr 2019

    I agree with Robert Bates because most people want to make a desicion them self not other people too, people want to express there feelings and to say something and actually DO SOMETHING not just to never get your opinion read I mean MPS how would U feel if you never get to have your choice picked its frustrating every day be worryed about something

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  • The-Ruth-Gorse-logo-250x250.jpg creative_sparrow | The Ruth Gorse Academy | United Kingdom
    09 Apr 2019

    I have gone through all the MP’s comments (except for Stephen Barclay which I can’t get access to) Based on my research so far, there are a fair few Robert Bates comments that I disagree with. Some of the points I think are misleading. One example was he say’s “the UK will now be able to make new trading friendships with countries like America and India – something we can’t do at the moment.” This statement is incorrect/misleading. This might have prompted many BNC members to think that we don’t do trade at all with these countries. It certainly prompted one BNC member to ask “Why can’t we trade with countries like America and India?” I have said in my earlier comments that the UK does trade with these counties, In fact the US is the largest export market for the UK, but what we don’t have is free trade agreement with these countries.

    I also disagree when he says ‘The UK currently has to send a lot of money to the EU which we do not get back’ This is not true because the UK does get a rebate and a lot of the rebate is redirected to struggling communities like in Wales and lots of science projects rely on EU funding; in fact, large parts of the HS2 railway funding would have come from EU money.

    I also disagree when he say everyone had enough information they needed to make a decision. I strongly believe not ‘everyone’ did. My parents friends and families admitted they didn’t know all the real facts. We can’t assume all people read the news in depth or whether the sources they go to are fully unbiased. People are often too busy or stressed so they will rely on sound bites and short news summaries through social media. And there were people who truly believed that " NHS to get £350m a week." Very recently on the news, I even heard a Daily Mail writer Peter Oborne who use to be a strong Brexiteer, he says, with more information now, he has changed his mind and he now believes it would be a huge mistake for the UK to leave the EU as it would be very bad for the economy, jobs and our industry. Nearly 3 years on I think we all know that the plan to leave EU was never a clear one because every Brexit MP had their own version of what ‘Leave’ meant and that the Northern Ireland border was never a consideration when it came to Brexit, hence why Brexit has become such a huge mess.

    I do not know everything that goes on within making EU laws nor can I say it’s a perfect system, but I do know that we have 74 MEPs in parliament that makes up the EU laws on our behalf. Since 1999, British ministers have voted against EU laws 2% of the time. According to fullfacts.org- ‘abstained 3% of the time and on the losing side 2%,’ which means that 95% of the time, the UK gets what it wants, which to me is incredibly good. So, in my opinion, I do not think the UK is being bossed around by the EU and in fact the UK does have a lot of influence within the EU state.

    On the other hand, it may be true with “how many fish a fisherman can catch, make a lot of people’s lives harder’ The EU’s common fishing policy quota is very complicated for me to fully understand, but I do understand that the policy was based on environmental concerns for over-fishing and was set based on scientific advice. The quotas were set for all EU members, it applies to how much of each stock (cod, haddock etc) can be caught sustainably and what areas they’re allowed to fish in. Having said that, I can understand how tensions can easily rise between other EU nations and it would be very easy to dislike the EU for this reason.

    Lastly, when he says "YouTubers are currently worried that a new EU rule will make it a lot harder for them to make videos!" In my opinion, he sounds too vague on this matter as he doesn’t explain what the EU rule could be. More specific information would be good then we can debate whether it’s a good or a bad thing. I think it leads to scaremongering and makes people like me more wary of what's not being said (ie. the actual facts).


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