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Decision day: Britain votes on EU

Thursday, June 23, 2016 - 01:50

Polls open across the UK as referendum voters head to the ballot box to decide whether to stay or leave the European Union. Stuart McDill reports.

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After months of fierce debate and political infighting, it's time for Britain to decide its future in the EU. Polls are now open to voters across the UK. The question they face, a simple yes or no: Should the United Kingdom remain in the European Union or give up its membership? (SOUNDBITE) (English) TEACHER, VICTORIA WALVIS, SAYING: "I think there are a lot of benefits of being in the European Union and I think in order to make decisions alongside other countries we need to be sitting around the same table." (SOUNDBITE) (English) VOTER, ALICE CARSE, SAYING: "I feel that there is a lack of democracy in the European Union and the decisions are taken at a level that is too far away from the ordinary members of the Union so that is why I voted to leave." More than forty six milion people are registered to vote - a UK record. The government's website crashing under demand, forcing parliament to extend the deadline. And that's because while the question might be simple - the consequences are anything but. (SOUNDBITE) (English) LAWYER, KRISTY DUANE, SAYING: "I think it's (campaigning) a very complex issue and I don't think we've enough time to explore it in detail so I don't think it's particularly evidence-based, I think it's a lot more emotive which is always going to be difficult, that would be my only comment, that it's without facts, to be honest." Prime Minister David Cameron promised a referendum in the run to last year's general election - He's led the remain camp since announcing the date in February - starting four months of increasingly acrimonious debate, often among his fellow Conservatives. Ballot boxes close at 10pm on Thursday - and a result is expected within hours. With earlier opinion polls showing major division among voters, Britain could be waking up to a very new dawn.

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Decision day: Britain votes on EU

Thursday, June 23, 2016 - 01:50