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News


EU- Are you in or out
09-Jun-16

On Thursday 23rd June 2016 the UK will vote either to remain in or leave the European Union.

On the morning that Sarah Wollaston, who chairs the Commons health committee, changed her opinion from leave to remain due to the threat to the NHS through economic uncertainty; this article will outline the major arguments for both sides of the debate in the hope that you are better informed to make a decision on the 23rd.

1.       Immigration

The total net migration to the UK is running at over 300,000 a year despite the government’s target of cutting it to under 100,000.

Leave
·         It is impossible to control immigration as a member of the EU
·         Public services are under strain because of the number of migrants
·         High immigration has driven down wages for British workers
·         Points-based system for migrants to the UK should be extended to include those from the EU

Remain
·         Immigrants, especially those from the EU, pay more in taxes than they take out
·         Cameron's EU deal means in-work benefits for new EU migrant workers will be limited for the first four years
·         Outside the EU the UK would still have to accept free movement to gain full access to the single market
·         Immigration is good for the economy
 
2.       Trade and Economy
About half of UK overseas trade is conducted with the EU and the EU single market allows the free movement of goods, services, capital and workers. However Trade negotiations with other parts of the world are conducted by the EU, not individual member states

Leave
·         UK companies would be freed from the burden of EU regulation
·         Trade with EU countries would continue because we import more from them than we export to them
·         Britain would be able to negotiate its own trade deals with other countries

Remain
·         Brexit would cause an economic shock and growth would be slower
·         As a share of exports Britain is more dependent on the rest of the EU than they are on us
·         The UK would still have to apply EU rules to retain access to the single market
 
 
3.       The cost of membership

The UK is a net contributor to the EU budget and the gross contribution in 2015 was £17.8bn but the UK rebate was worth £4.9bn. £4.4bn was also paid back to the UK government for farm subsidies and other programmes.

Leave
·         The gross cost to the UK of membership works out at £350m a week
·         If the UK left, billions of pounds would become available for other priorities
·         The UK would also be able to decide how to spend the money that the EU transfers back to it

Remain
·         Economic benefits of EU membership easily outweigh the cost
·         Other countries contribute more per person than the UK does
·         After Brexit, the UK would still have to contribute to the EU budget to retain access to the single market

So make sure you vote on Thursday 23rd June as this is a decision that will affect everyone in the UK.  We hope this unbiased information helps you cut through the rhetoric and political manoeuvring by both sides and should have a good base of knowledge to have more confidence in your decision.
 
 
References
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-eu-referendum-36027205