My name is Vijay, I’m 28 years old and I have a learning disability.
On Thursday 23rd June 2016, people with a learning disability like myself will vote in a referendum to decide whether we want to leave or remain in the EU.
So far I’m undecided if I think the UK should remain or leave the EU.
I find it hard to understand some of the arguments when I watch the news on the television. The issues are complicated and a lot of jargon is used.
It is even more complicated because the Leave and Remain campaigns do not agree and argue a lot.
What I want is clear facts. I think sometimes politicians are trying to say things to scare people into voting one way or the other!
The EU Referendum vote is going to be important for me and other people with a learning disability and it’s important we have our say.
I would think it will make things easier for me if there were clear facts about the EU Referendum.
It’s great that the Leave and Remain campaigns have produced easy read information. Hopefully they will help me make up my mind, I would encourage other people to read them!
Why I think the UK should leave the EU.
I am very interested in the EU referendum and have been watching the debates on the TV. I think it is a very important debate and I hope that we vote to leave the EU in the Referendum on 23rd June.
Firstly, I think that we as a country should be able to make all decisions ourselves. I don’t think it is right that laws made in Brussels by the EU affect us. We should have more power. I don’t just mean politicians but the people ourselves.
If we leave the EU we can concentrate on making things better in this country and creating more jobs instead of worrying about laws made in Brussels.
I also think we also need to be very careful with immigration. Lots of people want to come and work in this country. I think this is okay if there are jobs but I’m worried the NHS and other services can’t cope with lots of new people coming to live here.
I’m also worried that if a lot of people come here looking for work it means there are less opportunities for people with a learning disability to find a job.
I also believe our economy will be the same or better if we leave the EU. We have been trading with Europe for hundreds of years before the EU and I think that will continue. I don’t believe it would stop. That’s just a story from the Government trying to frighten us to vote to remain!
I strongly believe it is really important that the EU debate is made more accessible. It is very complicated and sometimes difficult to understand.
There is too much information. Each day politicians seem to say completely different things it’s impossible to know who to trust. I find it hard to understand information due to my learning disability but this referendum has been the most inaccessible topic I have ever come across.
I think it’s really important that people with a learning disability make their voices heard at the EU Referendum vote on 23rd June.
I’m very worried that if we left the EU it would have a bad affect on our economy. I’m worried that there would be more austerity, more cuts and less money to be spent on services. People with a learning disability might lose out.
Recently I read an article called, Will the health and social care sector be better off under Brexit? There are more than 10 million disabled people in UK getting some kind of care and support. Robert Stephenson-Padron, Managing Director of a London care provider said there are huge problems with recruiting new staff in the social care sector. He is very worried if we leave the EU the sector will be in big trouble because it relies on people from the EU.
I’m also worried that there will be less jobs in construction and other industries if we are outside of Europe because the economy will be in a bad way. These industries are linked to the EU and our economy may get worse if we leave.
I think that the EU has made some good laws on worker’s rights and I think that these have helped disabled people and women, for example rights to maternity leave, Annual leave and to speak up at work if you are treated unfair or wrongfully dismissed.
I’m concerned about the future of the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities. If we leave the EU I don’t know if the Government might try to get rid of this as well. This has some really important rights for disabled people and we shouldn’t get rid of it.
In general, I’m feeling quite anxious about leaving the EU. Both the Leave and Remain campaigns are trying to scare people and I think that is really bad and makes people worry. More honesty and no fibbing from politicians would make their campaigns a lot better and helpful for everyone.
I think if we did leave then it would have to happen slowly over years and the Government would have to make sure people with a learning disability were protected. This is important because the EU is very good with disability rights and this needs to be protected.
I am really delighted that the Leave and Remain campaign made easy read guides so that people with a learning disability can understand their arguments and make their choice! I do think easy-read guides are helpful but they need to come out a lot sooner to give more people a proper chance to read them and make an informed decision.
We will be running a helpline for people to call on the day of the EU Referendum on Thursday 23rd June. You can call between 7am and 10pm if have questions about the EU Referendum or if you have any problems voting. The number is: 0207 696 6952
If the number is busy you can call: 07506 921 856