"Should I stay or should I go?" asked The Clash in 1982. And, on June 23, UK citizens will be asking themselves just that as they walk into voting booths across Britain and make the all-important decision on the UK's EU membership.

Despite now living half the world away, I have been unable to avoid the referendum buildup and, so far, it has all been a bit farcical. Former London mayor - and consistent source of national embarrassment - Boris Johnson recently compared the EU to Nazi Germany.

It is the biggest decision the British public will make in a generation and yet both campaigns have been largely devoid of facts, choosing instead to employ scaremongering tactics to win over voters. Various public figures from outside the political sphere have also weighed in on the debate, including Stephen Hawking (remain), Sir Richard Branson (remain) and Sir Michael Caine (leave).

This referendum has come about due to increasing calls from senior politicians for Britain to leave the EU, arguing that membership is no longer beneficial for the UK. Earlier this year, Prime Minister David Cameron negotiated what he termed a "special deal" between the UK and the EU, and has since been campaigning for Britain to remain.


Personally, I will be agreeing with Cameron (for perhaps the first time) and putting a cross in the "remain" box on my postal vote. But I am not confident at this point that I will be on the winning side. The British public is divided, with polls at the time of writing showing that it is too close to call - split 44 per cent/44 per cent, with the rest undecided or not intending to vote.

The Leave campaign has gained traction in recent weeks, with a focus on the loss of sovereignty that EU membership has caused the UK to suffer; unelected bureaucrats in Brussels calling the shots instead. The contentious issue of immigration has also been a key booster for Leave, attracting all manner of bigots and imperialists that fear immigrants are somehow simultaneously stealing our jobs and our benefits.

While there is no doubt that the in-flow should be reduced, European immigrants do have a positive effect on the UK economy, contributing billions of pounds and filling skills gaps along the way. Leave, however, have aligned high migration figures with a watering down of British culture in the hope that this simplistic and emotive rhetoric is what sticks in people's minds on polling day.

The truth is that no-one really knows what life would be like outside of the EU.

A Facebook user came up with a brilliant analogy for a Brexit: It's like that point at 2am on a Saturday when a mate turns to you in the club and says, "This place is rubbish, let's go," then when you're outside you realise he has no idea where to go next, but now you're not allowed back into the club and you're left standing in a kebab shop arguing about whose fault it is.

No, the EU is not perfect, but what relationship is? Staying in may be a risk, but isn't it better to remain and try to resolve the issues rather than be stuck outside, wishing we hadn't left so hastily?

Studies conducted by International Monetary Fund, the Bank of England, the OECD and others indicate that a Brexit could be disastrous for the UK economy. Leaving wouldn't just directly affect those businesses that trade with EU countries - 44 per cent of all UK exports go to Europe - but also those in the supply chain, which equates to hundreds of thousands of jobs. The argument that we could tear up the trade legislation rulebook if we went it alone is a weak one. British businesses that trade with EU member countries still have to abide by EU legislation, so it makes sense to be able to have a say on it.

The ripple effect of a Brexit could be felt as far away as this country. Business leaders here have said it is in New Zealand's best interests for the UK to remain part of the EU as, following a Brexit, the UK's ensuing economic instability could pose significant problems for New Zealand. Its strength as a New Zealand ally in trade negotiations with other countries would also be compromised.

While it is a complex dispute fraught with "coulds" and "mights", I think ultimately Britain is in a much stronger position as part of the EU than it would be outside of it.

Any gains provided by greater sovereignty, which would be somewhat diluted anyway thanks to globalisation, do not outweigh the risk to the economy.

A Brexit would be a leap into the dark and, make no mistake, here be monsters. Businesses would no longer be bound to EU laws on some workers' rights; countries could refuse to extradite fugitives to the UK; British citizens' consumer rights would be affected; the list goes on.

Speaking of monsters, Donald Trump has come out in support of a Brexit. And if that isn't cause to remain, I don't know what is.