Opinion: Don’t know which way to vote in EU referendum on June 23? Here’s how to decide…

With referendum day approaching on June 23rd, whether the UK should leave the European Union, or not, is sure to dominate the news over the next few months

I have many friends on both sides of the argument and it seems there are good reasons to stay, & good reasons to go! The matter even divides some families.

The question also perplexes many of the politicians and other people we expect to know the answer, so how can the man or woman on the street decide when our leaders disagree so vehemently?

In or around 1740 one of the founding fathers of America developed a method of answering difficult questions. I thought it might be useful to apply it to the perplexing question of Brexit so I tried it.

Benjamin Franklin was a polymath who had the ability to do many things very well. He was especially famed for thinking clearly.

Franklin developed what become known as The Benjamin Franklin Balance sheet.

He would write two headings on a sheet of plain paper. ‘For’ & ‘Against’! Mr F would then start writing fast in each column, listing all the reasons for, and those against, until he had exhausted his thought process.

Walking away from his desk for a moment Franklin would return and start marking each answer out of ten. At the bottom he would total both up. Whichever scored highest was his final decision.

If you haven’t decided on Brexit yet the exercise might prove useful to you? It did to me when I did it yesterday.

I have now made my mind up which way I will vote & it isn’t the way I thought it would be! On one side I ended up with 98 and on the other 27 so my answer was clear.

As Benjamin Franklin was a hugely intelligent, measured, & thoughtful man, who rarely made mistakes, who am I to disagree with a method he advised to make important decisions?

It’s essential to read all the arguments on both sides first of course so that you have some knowledge of the subject.

Millions of lives will be affected by the decision made on June 23rd. It will dictate the way our country travels, probably into the next millennia, so getting it right is vital.

I would encourage people to vote regardless of their point of view because it’s essential that there is a good turn out to get the best possible decision. In my opinion the more people that vote the fairer and more representative the result will be.

It is clear that there are dividing lines within our two largest political parties as there are MPs from Labour and The Conservatives in both camps. This argument has transcended traditional party politics as can be seen by Nigel Farage and George Galloway joining forces to push the ‘out’ agenda. I must admit I never thought that I would see those two linking arms!

I will do another BF balance sheet next month and then one on polling day, minutes before I enter my cross. My decision? Now that would be telling!

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