Five Ways to Follow Britain’s EU Referendum

Jessica Elsey / June 21, 2016

A picture shows printed examples of what an EU referendum ballot paper is expected to look like downloaded from the Stockton on Tees Borough Council website and photographed as an illustration in London on June 8, 2016. Britain will vote in an in/out referendum on whether to leave or remain in the European Union on June 23. / AFP / BEN STANSALL (Photo credit should read BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images)

A printed example of what an EU referendum ballot paper is expected to look like. (BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images)

UK residents will make a hugely consequential decision Thursday when they choose whether to vote “in” or “out” of the European Union (EU) in a referendum.

The EU is a body of 28 nations combined to make economic and political decisions regarding its 500 million members. Along with the UK, the 27 other member states include Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. It was first created in 1957 with the aim of fostering a stronger combined continent following World War II, encouraging countries to trade together.

Each country that joins must meet specific criteria including having a free-market economy and a stable democracy. The EU is overseen by Members of European Parliament (MEPs) who vote on laws proposed by the European Commission. The UK previously chose to opt out of some EU rulings including adopting the euro in 1992 and changes in border control via the Schengen Treaty.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 6: Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron speaks at a Remain in the EU campaign event at the Oval cricket ground on June 6, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Dylan Martinez - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron speaks at a Remain in the EU campaign event on June 6, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Dylan Martinez – WPA Pool/Getty Images)

The UK’s Remain campaign, headed by British Prime Minister David Cameron, fear Britain’s global status would be damaged by leaving the EU. They argue staying in the EU gives Britain the greatest power as a member of one of the biggest economies in the world.

The Leave campaign is supporting “Brexit,” Britain’s exit from the EU. Fronted by former London Mayor Boris Johnson, Brexit supporters say leaving the EU would make the UK a richer nation with better border control and a greater opportunity to make decisions independently.

YORK, ENGLAND - MAY 23: Boris Johnson MP addresses members of the public in Parliament St, York during the Brexit Battle Bus tour of the UK on May 23, 2016 in York, England. Boris Johnson and the Vote Leave campaign are touring the UK in their Brexit Battle Bus. The campaign is hoping to persuade voters to back leaving the European Union in the Referendum on the 23rd June 2016. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

Boris Johnson MP addresses members of the public during the Brexit Battle Bus tour of the UK on May 23, 2016 in York, England. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

Over recent months the two sides have taken turns at the top of the polls, with the final outcome looking too close to call ahead of voting. The business world in particular is closely monitoring as markets face uncertainty until a decision is announced.

Both sides suspended campaigning over the weekend following the death of Labour MP Jo Cox. After returning to Parliament Monday to remember their colleague, Britain’s politicians ramped up for the final days of the race.

Track the latest as voting takes place via these Flipboard topics and magazines.

David Cameron: Read up on the British PM’s campaign to stay in the EU

Boris Johnson: Follow Boris as he fights for “Brexit”

UK Politics: Learn more about how the vote will impact UK politics

EU Referendum 2016 by FlipboardUK: Coverage of the vote from all sides, hand curated by the FlipboardUK newsdesk

Brexit Briefing by The Wall Street Journal: Stories offering a deeper look at the reason’s behind both arguments, by The Wall Street Journal

~JessE is reading the Glastonbury topic