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Scott’s Blog

The European Union - My Case for 'Better Off Out'

Monday, May 19, 2014

 

Making the case for leaving the EU I argue that we are losing our sovereignty, the right to govern ourselves and that there is no economic benefit to our membership of the EU that we could not gain if we were not a member.

Do you know how much being in the EU costs?

There are lots of statistics banded around about what our membership of the EU actually costs. A realistic estimate is that our membership contribution and the cost to the British economy of implementing the various EU directives and regulations annually is around £15 billion pounds a year. That takes into account adjustment for the British rebate and the fact that British civil servants make some EU directives and regulations more expensive for British industry by ‘gold plating’ the rules.

We operate a trade deficit with the rest of the EU which is around £55billion a year and rising annually.

There are also other net costs to the British economy in respect of the high levels of unskilled EU migration into Britain and their impact on the cost of paying benefits, the jobs they take away from British citizens and the costs pressures on local infrastructure to support EU migration in terms of the health service, education and housing.

The European Convention which is an essential and mandatory obligation of our membership of the EU costs the British economy in respect of human rights rulings in favour of foreign criminals, illegal asylum seekers et al. There are for example over 11,000 foreign criminals in British prisons, many of whom, are EU nationals and they cannot be deported due to the protection they are afforded under the various Human Rights Conventions that are upheld and enforced by our EU membership.

Some say there are benefits to the British economy from skilled EU migrants. While this is certainly true the statistics do not bear out that there is an overall net benefit to the British economy from EU migration to Britain.

There is no credible data or economic indicators that suggest British membership of the EU is economically beneficial to the British economy. In fact, the restrictions our EU membership has on our ability to trade freely with nations outside of the EU is accepted on all sides as a financial cost to Britain.

Busting some myths

  • Jobs

It’s said that if we leave the EU 3.5 million jobs would be at risk in Britain. This is simply untrue and not supported by any evidence. Trade is so stacked in favour of the rest of the EU countries with Britain that trade would continue as normal and on the same terms whether we were a member of the EU or not. Access to the single market would not be denied to Britain.

European car manufacturers sell in excess of 1 million of their cars to British consumers every year, the European wine industry sell in excess of 1 billion bottles of wine each year to British consumers and 80% of all financial transactions within the EU take place through the City of London. 

These are just three examples of why the EU would not want to alter the trading arrangements with Britain should we decide to leave the EU. They would not want to see trade interrupted, stopped, changed or tariffs imposed on these goods and services flowing into Britain. The economic impact this would have on jobs in Europe would be catastrophic, so it simply will not happen.

  • We’d lose European money to some of our poorest regions

Britain is a net contributor to the EU. Any money that comes back is only money the British taxpayer has already paid in. Put simply, the money is ours in the first place and packaged as a ‘gift’ from the EU.

Britain is the lead EU nation in terms of inward investment into the EU. When Britain refused to join the Euro, the pro-EU lobby warned that jobs and investment would drain out of Britain. Of course, the opposite has happened. Britain leaving the EU is accompanied by the same warnings and threats, but they are not supported with any evidence by the pro-EU lobby.

  • 50% of all our trade is with the EU

The facts are that 80% of the British economy is domestic. It trades with itself and exports nothing, (but still has to endure all the costs of EU directives and regulations).

The estimate is that of the remaining 20% of the British economy that actually exports its good and services, around 46% is trade with the EU, and that figure is falling year on year. It’s estimated that by 2020 it will have reduced to around 35%.

  • If Britain left the EU we would be all alone in the world, irrelevant and isolated

This is perhaps the biggest myth peddled by the pro-EU lobby. Britain is a major player in the world in its own right, a key member of NAT0, a permanent member of the UN Security Council, the Head of the Commonwealth and a major player in all of the other main international organisations.

Britain does not occupy these positions because it is a member of the EU. Britain does so, because we lead the world in the industries of today and tomorrow, pharmaceuticals, gas and oil exploration, civil engineering, aviation and space technology, renewable energy, the digital economy, multi-media, broadband and IT are to name but a few.

We are a trading nation with a global reach and global influence through our leadership in the world of financial services and the City of London being the centre of the financial and trading world, we have a highly regarded and respected military with global expeditionary capability and we have the English language, the international language of the world and of business.

Summing up

Britain needs to be confident about the future, proud of its past and ready to meet the challenges of today.

We can do all of this without signing up to the political and economic union that is currently causing immense problems on the European continent. 

There is scope for Britain to leave the EU, make billions of pounds of savings each year as a result and still enjoy access to the single market, develop and continue a deep friendship with our European neighbours through a political and economic partnership that allows us to trade freely with one another and to co-operate on major areas of concern such as climate change, terrorism and international defence and security.

Britain out of the EU would allow us to trade freely with the rest of the world, control our own borders and govern ourselves and make our own laws and judicial rulings free from interference from the eurocrats in Brussels.

Want the other side of the argument? Read Dr Ed Gouge's BRIT Review on The Case for EU Membership 

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