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Should we stay or should we go? A beginner’s cheat sheet to the EU referendum

This Thursday, the UK will take to the polls to decide whether to leave or remain in the EU. Whatever the outcome, it will mark the end of one of the most bitterly-fought and baffling political campaigns in modern British history. 

Most people are familiar with the idea that politicians can be, to borrow an infamous Thatcher-era phrase, "economical with the truth". But the rival campaigns in the run-up to the EU Referendum have been remarkable for the frequency and intensity with which their arguments - presented always as cold, hard facts - have totally contradicted one another.

Some say the UK's economy will be fine if we leave the EU; far more seem to think that it will be a disaster. Vote In campaigners argue that Britain's security will be threatened without EU support; Brexiteers insist we are more at risk while our borders are "open". It's enough to make your head feel like it's been put through a blender.

But judgement day will soon be here. So if you're still feeling confused about how to vote on Thursday, we've put together a quick refresher guide to the key arguments for both Leave and Remain. We hope it helps to cut through the noise.

Oh, and one last thing. While the Stylist team would never tell our readers which way to vote, we do encourage you to get down to the polling booth. We are now living in an age where dedicated, principled women like Jo Cox are murdered in the street; where female MPs are bombarded with rape threats and death threats via social media; where female voices are conspicuously absent from the most important debate of a generation. Whether you decide you want to Leave or Remain, you have a democratic voice. The time has come to use it.

Contributing writers: Amy Lewis and Victoria Gray. Images: iStock, Rex Features


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