This morning I received a 4 page newspaper in the post from Britain Stronger in Europe (BSE) entitled ‘Europe and You’.
My friends in Essex had received this earlier in the week, with this mornings edition being slightly altered for London.
What hadn’t been altered was the misleading information contained in it’s pages – if you have had this through your letterbox, here are the facts that contradict the stance of the ‘remain’ campaign –
Europe and You – Even the title is misleading. This referendum is about whether we wish to remain part of the European Union (EU), a political union of 28 of the 48 countries in Europe, not the continental land mass that makes up Europe.
The Six key facts you need to know – Let us take these one at a time –
1 – Over 3 million jobs are linked to our trade with the EU. The reality is that approximately 3.4 million people work for companies that trade with other countries that are in the EU – This is around 10% of our workforce. This trade will not disappear if we leave the EU and it is not in the interests of the companies in the EU to stop trading with us. Indeed, far more jobs in other EU countries depend on their trade with the UK than jobs here depend on EU countries. Also bear in mind that our most profitable trade is with countries outside of the EU – By leaving, we can negotiate our own trade deals and increase trade and therefore jobs in growing economies around the world whilst trade on the whole in the EU member states is in decline.It is also worth noting that whilst 10% of our companies deal with the EU, 90% do not but are still bound by the rules and red tape inflicted on them, hampering competitiveness.
2 – Being in the EU means cheaper prices in our shops, saving you on average £450 per year. Ignoring the fact that the source of this is the EU Commission itself (Turkeys don’t vote for Christmas), the disastrous EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) costs billions a year in subsidy paid to inefficient farmers in other EU countries. A combination of quotas, taxes, subsidies and other policies all push up the prices that we pay for food. For example, New Zealand Lamb is 18% more expensive in the UK than the USA due to EU policies.
Research by Ryan Bourne of the IEA (Institute of Economic Affairs), ‘Low pay and the cost of living’, shows that Beef is 36% more expensive, turkey 22% more, lamb 11% more, wheat 15% more, chicken 22% more and potatoes 10% more due to the EU. On average, a family of 2 adults and 2 children would save £45 per month on their food bills if we left the EU. Research by Alan Matthews and Business for Britain backs up this hypothesis.
3 – Independent experts estimate the benefits of being in the EU are worth £3000 per year to the average household. This claim relies on an estimate by the pro EU CBI in 2013. At the time, Channel 4’s fact check said, “This very precise number is not based on any real evidence”. It is also worth noting that the CBI receives a large amount of funding from the EU – they also advised that our country would be massively damaged by not joining the Euro ten years ago when the reality is that the UK is growing at a faster rate than those who did join and many, such as Greece, are now in serious financial difficulty.
4 – We are safer thanks to the European Arrest Warrant (EAW). This is the most outrageous statement of them all. The EAW allows Police from other countries to come to the UK , make a claim against a UK citizen and extradite them for trial without need to provide any evidence whatsoever – a clear breach of the rights laid down for all UK citizens in the Magna Carta 800 years ago. (The assumption of innocence until proven guilty and the right to a trial of your peers). Miscarriages of justice down to the EAW are all too common, as shown in such high profile cases as those of Deborah Darke and Andrew Symeou, accused of a crime he did not commit and left in a Greek jail without trial for a year before the case against him collapsed due to no evidence being forthcoming.
If you want to see the reality of the imposition of EU law over UK law being carried out currently, I would recommend taking 10 minutes to watch this attached video
We can work with other countries through such organisations as Interpol to combat cross border crime – we would also be able to act much more quickly in deporting foreign criminals and terrorists without interference from the European Court of Justice.
5 – 200,000 UK businesses trade with the EU, helping them to create more jobs. No, 200,000 businesses trade with other businesses in the countries that are a part of the EU. This business will not cease when we leave as previously pointed out in the answer to the 3 million jobs fallacy. The big growth areas around the world are actually outside of the EU, countries that we cannot negotiate our own deals with currently to provide the new jobs that we need.
6 – The UK gets £66 million of investment every day from EU countries, creating more jobs and opportunities for UK families. The bulk of that investment comes from trade deals, not from the EU. In 2010 a survey by Ernst & Young on the attractiveness of the UK to foreign investors found that we remained the number one destination for foreign investment because of the City of London and our close corporate links to the US. EU membership did not figure in their table of key investment factors.
Besides, we currently pay in excess of £55 million per day to the EU (Our net contribution last year was over £10 billion) with less than half of that money coming back for projects that the EU tell us we can run.
Is leaving Europe a leap in the dark?
Apart from the once again disingenuous use of ‘Europe’ instead of the EU, no it’s not. Once outside of the EU, we can retake our seat at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and on UNECE – both affect global trade and their decisions are taken at a higher level than the EU. The UK can take back it’s own destiny and not be reliant on unelected EU bureaucrats taking decisions for us, many of which are on behalf of the 28 nations in the EU and not in the British national interest.
We are also part of over 100 other organisations worldwide – indeed, we are one of only a small number of permanent seats on the UN security council, a seat that the EU are looking at with envious eyes. Many far smaller nations than the UK stand on their own and trade worldwide – Switzerland, for example, has a GDP per head of population over 4 times that of the UK. Do they really believe that the sixth largest economy in the world would be taking a ‘leap in to the dark’ by re-engaging with the wider market outside of the European Union?
The back page makes a number of spurious claims about ‘UKIP propaganda’. Besides the fact that these are patently wrong, the fight to leave the EU is not just about UKIP – This is a cross party issue and there are many in the other political parties who share our wish to Leave. Both the Conservatives and Labour have campaign groups pushing for this result, Conservatives for Britain and Labour Leave. Today also saw the launch of GO (Grassroots Out) which is a platform for all those engaging in the fight to regain our democracy and saw speakers at the launch event from UKIP, Labour, Conservatives and non-aligned campaign groups.
Let’s have a look at these claims with a little help from my UKIP colleague, Roger Helmer MEP –
Myth #1: “We pay in money to the EU and get nothing back”. UKIP says no such thing. But we do say that we get only about half back of what we pay in. They give us back a little of our own money, they tell us what to do with it, and then they expect us to be grateful.
Myth #2: “We have to do whatever the EU tells us — they make our laws”. Of course they don’t make all our laws, and we never said they did. But the widely accepted estimate is that they make around 70% of our laws, and in most areas we have no veto. An official German government study said that Brussels makes 80% of their laws. EU Commissioner Viviane Reding has stated that 75% of our laws come from Brussels.
Myth #3: “Your family won’t be affected if we leave”. It certainly will be — and in a good way. UKIP wants to leave the EU because it will make us all better off. Currently EU policies are destroying jobs (think steel closures) and compressing wages for working people. Time to break free.
Myth #4: “Being in the EU stops us from trading with the rest of the world”. No it doesn’t. But it stops us making our own trade deals, with Commonwealth countries, with China, with the USA. Did you know that small countries like Switzerland and even Iceland have made their own trade deals with China? While we’re in the EU, we can’t, and the EU hasn’t.
Myth #5: “Leaving the EU will stop immigration”. No it won’t. We never said it would, and anyway UKIP doesn’t want to “stop immigration”. We just want to get it under control. In the EU, we can’t control the numbers, or our borders, and we are forced to discriminate in favour of unskilled Romanians and against highly qualified people from elsewhere.
Myth #6: “The EU has done nothing for London”. No one in UKIP has ever said this. We know that money has come from Brussels to London and some of it has been spent usefully. But it’s not EU money — it’s our money. Every pound we get from Brussels costs the UK economy around £3. So after we leave, we’ll have more money to spend on schools and hospitals and scientific research and the other good things we all want to do.
So, as you can see, the claims of BSE are founded either in ignorance or are wilfully disingenuous. The UK will be far better off with control of our destiny back in the hands of our own democratically elected Parliament – after all, if we don’t like what they are doing we can remove them at the ballot box.(Something we can’t do with the unelected bureaucrats of the EU Commission who set most of our laws and stop us from running our own affairs)
Come the Referendum, vote Leave for a better future for all of the people of the UK