The old claim that three million Btritish jobs depend on Britain’s EU membership was spun by “Britain in Europe” from a 2000 NIESR report (1). This calculated that 3.5 million jobs don’t depend on EU membership, but on trade with Europe. Dr Martin Weale, NIESR director, outraged by this misuse of the study, called it "pure Goebbels …. in many years of academic research I cannot recall such a wilful distortion of the facts."(2)
Trade with the EU would not stop if we left.
Free Trade with Europe – and with the World
If we left the EU, we could negotiate a free trade agreement – what most of us want. Why should they refuse? We buy more from them than they buy from us – our trade deficit with the EU is over £3bn every month. The EU already has free trade agreements with 53 countries - as diverse as Switzerland and Mexico – why not with us? World Trade Organisation rules would make it illegal to discriminate against the UK.
They say we must have a voice in how the EU sets its rules. Why? The Americans and Japanese have no say in our rules and regulations, and we have none in theirs. It doesn't seem to stop us trading.
Trade barriers have come down across the world – trading blocs are now much less important.
- We have the eighth largest economy in the world.
- We have traded worldwide with great success for centuries.
- We have excellent contacts with up-and-coming regions like India and the Far East, and with the US.
Do we want to shackle ourselves to a declining Europe, or go where the opportunities are?
The EU Single Market is a Burden, not a Benefit
The much-vaunted single market in effect amounts to harmonising a heavy burden of regulation right across the EU, so that all EU businesses are equally handicapped. The EU Commission itself has estimated that EU regulation costs businesses 600 billion Euros a year, while the savings from the free market amount to only 180 billion Euros. The growth regions of the world flourish without this burden. We could too.
EU employment law in particular hampers growth. Replace it by a sensible level of protection, designed for the British job market, and our businesses would be free to create more jobs.
Trade Deals for Britain, not for the EU
Outside the EU, we would be free to negotiate our own trade deals with countries like India, China, Japan, the US, Brazil and Australia - the growing regions of the world. EU rules prevent us from negotiating with these countries for ourselves - the EU does it for us. Size may give the EU negotiating clout, but the objectives of the negotiation are French and German, not British. We could make much better deals for ourselves, deals that suit British trade, not the trade of Continental Europe.
Free Trade Creates Jobs
Britain's export businesses would thrive by focusing on the growth markets of the world, not declining and troubled regions like the EU. Their growth would create the new jobs we need, and keep on creating them, year after year. We built our prosperity on free trade.
Economies like the UK and the US that open themselves up to international competition benefit from it. They specialise in the things that they do best, and their industries are forced to innovate in order to survive. The EU has never understood this. France in particular tries to protect every industry threatened with international competition.
There is a myth that three million British jobs depend on British membership of the EU. They depend on trade with Europe, not EU membership. In the same way, four million EU jobs depend on trade with Britain - we are their biggest single customer. No one on either side wants to lose these jobs, and with a free trade agreement no jobs need to be lost.
Positive Benefits of Leaving the EU
A free trade agreement with the EU gives us all the advantages of EU membership, and none of the disadvantages. Leaving the EU would also:
- Save us over £20 billion gross payments into the EU budget every year, plus the estimated £65bn annual net cost to the UK economy
- Let us control our own borders and set our own immigration rules.
- Reduce the cost of food, and let British farmers meet market needs by growing what they want. This would directly benefit our poor, who spend a higher percentage of their income on food.
- Give us back control over fishing in our 200 mile territorial waters, and revive our fishing industry. The Common Fisheries Policy would no longer force us to throw half our catch back dead into the sea.
- Abolish over 100,000 pages of EU regulations, which burden our businesses and rule our lives.
- Let us help the Third World with trade and aid in our own way - far better than the EU’s slow and bureaucratic approach.
- Eliminate the EU threat to our legal safeguards and the rights of the individual.
- Restore our right to govern ourselves.
Like Other Countries, We Would Thrive Outside the EU
- Switzerland, one of the richest countries in the world, is surrounded by EU countries, and trades with them far more than we do. They are staying outside the EU and keeping the Swiss franc, a strong currency which serves them well.
- Norway flourishes outside the EU, despite grim warnings from their politicians of dire consequences if they failed to vote to join.
- Countries as diverse as Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Australia and India all have smaller economies than ours, yet all manage somehow to trade with the EU and the world without being in the EU.
Are we so uniquely weak and useless that we cannot do the same?
A country’s size has no relation to its prosperity - the four richest countries in the world are Norway, Switzerland, the US and Japan. The EU is large, but old-fashioned, bureaucratic, corrupt and inefficient. It still thinks Government knows best. We learned the hard way that it does not. We don't need the EU.