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    Why Today Is The Most Important Vote Of Your Life

    If you're going to cast one vote in your entire miserable life, do it in the EU referendum.

    Right, guys. After what feels like 8,000 years, it's finally upon us: It's time to vote in the EU referendum.

    By this point, the very thought of voting probably makes you sick.

    But as much as you may like to shut your eyes and fall into a deep, blissful coma for the next few days until it's all over, this referendum is the most important thing you'll ever vote on.

    As you've probably noticed by now, the referendum campaign has been full of lies and misleading statements. But the one thing both sides can agree on is that this is a once-in-a-generation vote.

    Here's the thing. Maybe you don't like the current government.

    Perhaps you hate everything about it, and everyone involved, and the sight of their fucking faces.

    But that's just not the point of this referendum.

    The last time the British public got to vote on its involvement in the EU was 1975.

    Can you name who was in Harold Wilson's cabinet in 1975? No, you can't, because you weren't alive, and you're not a fucking nerd.

    But even if you're so #YOLO that you don't care what happens in the future, it's worth knowing the ways this referendum will affect the economy right away.

    Depending on the assumptions you pick, reasonable economic arguments could be made to support both Leave and Remain.

    According to the independent Institute for Fiscal Studies, Brexit would mean £20 billion to £40 billion less in the public finances by 2020. That means a smaller economy.

    But maybe you don't know what "a smaller economy" actually means. That's OK! Again, it's because you're not a fucking nerd.

    Also, any economic crisis and uncertainty within the EU would still affect the UK whether it's in or out.

    All of this economic uncertainty would last until Britain reaches a new arrangement with the EU’s remaining members. This would take, give or take, a decade.

    Right. So it's a once-in-a-generation vote that may shake the economy to its core. But maybe you're still not convinced you're gonna vote. Maybe you have plans on Thursday.

    OK, let's talk about the single market, then. It's either a wondrous thing or a suffocating nightmare, depending who you ask.

    Just under half of all UK exports go to the EU and nearly 50% of investment into the UK comes from the EU.

    "Britain should trade with the rest of the world". Why does Germany, in the EU, trade so much more with China?

    By comparison, about 1% of UK investments comes from China, and trade with individual non-EU nations is far smaller. Exiting the EU may well change that balance, but it would take a long time, and may not materialise at all.

    Germany, for example, a member of the EU and the eurozone, already trades significantly more with China than Britain does. What aren't you telling us, Germany?

    Or hey, maybe you're hoping for the downfall of global capitalism and don't give a damn about the single market. But also, you'd quite like to go live in Berlin, because your crush moved there.

    Speaking of freedom of movement: You've probably heard a lot about migration in the Brexit debate. Whichever side you're on, this debate has probably made you angry and sad.

    Who are all these migrants anyway? EU nationals comprise about 5% of Britain’s population. But freedom of movement works both ways.

    Also, shout-out to EU migrants: The vast majority of EU nationals in the UK are in work.

    Britain’s population is projected to increase to 74.3 million by mid-2039. Half of the expected increase is due to trends in net migration, and the other half will be because people live longer.

    OK, one last thing: What does the EU have to do with your sweet, sweet human rights? Well, it's mattered a lot to the development of equality legislation – for example, by requiring that its member states ensure "that men and women should receive equal pay for equal work".

    So. That's a lot of things to consider, yes. But the one thing to take away, even if you don't believe anything that anybody is saying, is that this vote matters a great deal – especially if you're young.

    Every young person who can vote in this referendum should vote in it, because we are the ones who will suffer or benefit from the decision.

    If the past is of any guidance, it will be decades – nay, GENERATIONS – before Britons get another say on this issue.