Academics produce free e-book demystifying EU referendum

Sir Tom Hunter

The Hunter Foundation has teamed up with some of the UK’s leading European scholars to produce a free ebook to answer voters’ questions before the EU referendum on 23 June.

The ebook, Britain’s Decision – Facts and Impartial Analysis, was written by scholars from the Centre on Constitutional Change and the David Hume Institute. They have identified 19 key questions that underpin the debate and they offer objective, independent analysis of these issues.

The book is edited by Ray Perman, director of the David Hume Institute and Charlie Jeffery, professor of politics at the University of Edinburgh and a fellow of the Centre on Constitutional Change.

It also contains chapters from Professors Michael KeatingLaura CramDavid BellNicola McEwen and Aileen McHarg, among others and has a contribution from Andrew Wilson and Kevin Pringle, making the case to remain and from Brian Monteith, putting forward the case for Brexit.

Sir Tom Hunter said: “This decision is far too important to be left to the politicians alone to inform us. For the voter it’s almost – at least it is for me – impossible to determine the facts and fallacies from both the Remain and Leave camps in order to understand the issues at hand.

“That’s why, with the David Hume Institute and the Centre on Constitutional Change, we commissioned impartial, factual analysis around the key questions facing voters in making their own minds up on the EU vote.”

Mr Perman explained that the book is intended as a guide to the issues: “We can’t, alas, provide an easy check list – a series of boxes to tick which by the end of the book would enable readers to add up a score which would tell them which way to vote.

“What we hope to do is provide a reference, so that when a claim is made you can go to the appropriate chapter to learn something of the background and the underlying facts – if they can be simply stated. Sometimes the author will be able to give an impartial expert opinion.”

Professor Jeffery added: “When we issued a similar book for the Scottish independence referendum, Scotland’s Decision, we found an enormous public appetite for neutral, academic assessments of the key issues in that campaign. In some ways, this book is the sequel.

“As the whole of the UK confronts a decision with political, economic and legal implications for this and future generations, we’ve asked some of the country’s foremost experts to cut through the political hyperbole and set out, as far as possible, what that decision could mean.”