Common EU Myths
The EU is a burden on business
The World Bank states the UK is 6th of 189 countries for ease of doing business in. In context, Germany is number 15.
EU immigration is a problem for Britain
In fact EU migrants make a net contribution to the UK with research suggesting they contributed over £20billion to the UK economy between 2000 and 2011.
More refugees come to Britain because of the EU
The current crisis has been driven mainly by the civil war in Syria over which the EU has no influence. However, the most effective way of dealing with the refugee crisis is to work with our European neighbours to strengthen EU action and reform how asylum claims are processed within Europe. Leaving the EU will not improve our ability to manage our borders.
The UK has no voice in the EU
As of November 2014, the new qualified voting system in the Council means the UK vote share has increased from 8.2% to 12.6%.
Many more EU citizens are in the UK than Brits in the EU
In fact there are 2.3million EU nationals living in the UK and an almost identical number at 2.2million UK citizens living elsewhere in the EU.
The EU costs too much
The jobs, trade, investment and lower costs as a result of EU membership are worth more than £3000 a year to the average UK household while the amount paid in per household is only £340. The UK pays less than any other member as a percentage of wealth due to our special rebate. Our contribution works out to be 1.07pence per citizen per day – so under £40 a year.
Brussels can impose any law it likes on the UK
The truth is that most EU laws require the consent of both the European Parliament and national parliaments. MEPs and national ministers can vote against proposals which are not in our best interests and the Prime Minister can also veto certain proposals.
The EU makes us less British or Scottish
The EU’s motto is ‘United in Diversity’ and in fact EU laws actually help to protect our famous home produced products such as Stornoway Black Pudding, Harris Tweed and Dunlop Cheddar from Ayrshire through special EU protection.
The EU has a vast bureaucracy
The institutions employ only 33,000 people. The UK civil service employs 420,000 and that is without counting out NHS, police, military and local authority staff.
Millions of Euros ‘go missing’ in Brussels
Fraud accounts for around 0.2% of the EU budget according to the European Court of Auditors (who conduct an annual report on EU finances). Member States manage 80% of EU funds and this fraud is committed inside Member States. It can be caused by the likes of farming subsidies being wrongfully claimed for. Accounting errors, which are mistakes and not fraud, vary from 2% to 5% of Commission payments for agreed expenditure.