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by derekdeedman on 17 June, 2015

–    as part of the world’s largest single market, UK firms can export freely to more than 500 million people in the EU. The EU provides a 4-5% per annum benefit to UK GDP.  60% of City based firms are based in London because the UK is an EU member. 1,600 Japanese companies have invested in UK because we have unfettered access to the EU single market. For example, UK based car makers export 80% of their production of which 61% goes to the EU market. 10% of UK jobs (3.1 million) directly depend on our membership in the EU (CBI, 2013 and UK Treasury, June 2014). Outside the EU, our access to the single EU market would be impaired by tariff and non-tariff barriers, and foreign investment (and jobs) in the UK would gradually decline because corporate profit margins would be eroded, if not eliminated.


–    as part of the EU, the UK benefits from better trade deals which generates more UK jobs and direct investment in the UK.  Each UK household is better off by £3.000 per annum (CBI, 2013). If the UK left the EU, we would not benefit from existing and potential EU free trade arrangements with the US, Japan and rising economies. Alone the UK, the world’s ninth largest economy with only 2% of global GDP, would have less weight in international negotiations with major economies and be a less attractive destination for foreign investment.


–    as part of the EU, the UK is able to influence decision making in Brussels. The UK influences and agrees all EU legislation through the participation of our elected ministers in the EU Council and elected members in the European Parliament. If the UK is not at the table, it cannot influence EU decisions. Non-members such as Norway and Switzerland still have to abide by EU legislation if they want access to the large Single European Market, and still have to pay. Both are unable to shape EU legislation as they are not EU members. Switzerland in particular has to negotiate time-consuming, bureaucratic and sub-optimal ad hoc deals.


free movement of labour, capital, goods and services throughout the EU benefits the UK. Free movement of people is part of the package of four EU freedoms along with free movement of capital, goods and services. If we wanted to restrict free movement of people, would we want to see restrictions on our export of goods and services to elsewhere in the EU? EU workers living in the UK help fill skills gaps, eg the NHS would collapse without them. Only 2.7% of those claiming UK job seekers allowance were nationals of the other 27 EU member states. Two and a half million UK nationals live elsewhere in the EU and they benefit from the ability to work in, study, and access health and other services offered by other EU states.


–    the UK benefits from the EU’s contribution to building peace, reconciliation, democracy and human rights across Europe (for which the EU was awarded the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize). The EU has contributed to peace in Europe for 56 years. It supported Spain and Greece in their transitions from dictatorship to democracy. The EU, with the UK in the lead, helped transform Communist Central European countries into democracies resulting in the reunification of Europe. Armed conflict between any EU state is now unthinkable.


–    the EU promotes justice, consumer protection, social values and helps curb climate change. EU arrest warrants and cross border policing help combat international crime and terrorism, which the UK cannot tackle alone. EU regulation is curbing banking excesses, customer rip offs (eg the EU has reduced mobile phone roaming charges and made air travel cheaper), and curbs tax avoidance. EU social legislation provides for more holidays, equal pay and a safer working environment. The UK cannot combat climate change alone !


Further information about the UK’s EU Membership is available on the

European Movement UK website  or contact Nick Hopkinson,

National Executive Member, European Movement on


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