Project Fact vs Project Fear

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Mar 9, 2016 Comments Off on Project Fact vs Project Fear John Butler

Myth 1. Leaving the EU will make Britain less safe.

Fact: Being in the EU is already making Britain less safe. For ideological reasons the EU does not (and will not) control its borders; either internally (between EU members) or externally between the EU, the Middle East and North Africa. Uncontrolled migration into the EU topped 1 million people in 2015 (mostly young Islamic men) and is set to continue at this level (Eurostat). According to the Head of Europol, between 3000 and 5000 terrorists have returned to Europe after fighting with Islamic State, taking advantage of the EU’s open borders. Following the November 13th Paris attacks, it emerged that several of the gunmen were able to wander freely across Europe because of the EU’s open borders. A former Head of Interpol has described the EU’s Schengen Agreement (requiring open borders within the EU) as: ’a passport free zone for terrorists to implement their plans and plan their escape’.

The UK is a member of the Organisation for Security and Co-Operation in Europe (OSCE). OSCE is not an EU body and includes the US, Canada and Russia. However Britain is prevented from speaking in our national interest, as all EU members are required to comply with EU foreign policy and have to defer to an EU ambassador before there is any debate in the OSCE chamber.

Outside of the EU, the UK security services will continue (as they always have done) to exchange and co-ordinate intelligence with other countries under existing UN international agreements.

Myth 2. The EU has brought peace to Europe. Britain leaving will increase the likelihood of war.

Fact: It is Britain’s membership of the UN Security Council and NATO that has kept peace in Europe, not the EU. Much as it would like to be, the EU is not a military alliance. World War 2 was not fought to create the EU; it was fought to liberate Europe’s nations from tyranny. The emerging EEC did help post-war French/German reconciliation (which was already happening anyway), with its Coal & Steel Community, but as we now see this was just a cover for the first steps towards a political union: a United States of Europe.

History shows that nations with parliamentary democracy (which is being eroded by the EU), do not go to war with one another, whereas artificially imposed federal states with no popular mandate or common culture (Yugoslavia, USSR), usually self-destruct, often in chaos and bloodshed.

When Cameron expresses his wish for an EU state ‘extending from the Atlantic to the Urals’’, the EU’s Cold War with Russia moves up a notch, increasing the likelihood of a stray spark igniting a major conflict (as it did in 1914).

Myth 3. Leaving the EU will end ‘free movement’. British people will no longer be able to live or work in Europe, and EU nationals will no longer be able to come here.

Fact: When EU enthusiasts talk about ’ the free movement of people’, what they actually mean is ‘the uncontrolled movement of people‘; a thoroughly irresponsible idea.

The UK and Western European countries always had a liberal borders policy within Europe long before the EU was formed in 1991. Anyone from Europe (outside the Soviet bloc) who wanted to come here to visit, or any Briton who wanted to travel abroad in other European countries, could do so freely on a national passport.

Anyone wanting to work or study here or abroad could do so easily on a work or student visa, which were widely available to all national passport holders on application to the UK authorities. Any Briton seeking citizenship of another country could apply after a short period, provided basic minimum criteria were met. Married couples from different countries could chose dual nationality, enabling them to live or work in one another’s country. That’s how it worked before the EU.

That is how it could work again. Outside the EU, Britain would have the freedom to chose an ‘Australian style’ points-based system to decide who comes to live and work here. The vital point is that the British government (elected by the British people and accountable to them through the ballot box), will ultimately decide who can or cannot come into our country.

The ‘free movement of people’ is not a necessity for free trade. Both NAFTA (North American Free Trade Area) and SAFTA (South-East Asian Free Trade Area) are successful free trading blocs which do not require the uncontrolled movement of people across national borders.

And of the 139 trade agreements that the EU has with the outside world, only 4 require ‘free movement of people’ as a condition of access to the EU ‘single market‘.

Myth 4. Leaving the EU will cost Britain jobs.

Fact: Most of Britain’s firms are small and medium sized businesses, generating around 80% of Britain’s GDP (Office of National Statistics). Most of these firms trade only within the UK but are subject to 100% of the EU’s job destroying legislation (3580 new laws between 2010 – 2013). The burden of red tape on these firms can only be lifted by leaving the EU. This will encourage these firms to expand, new enterprises to start up, and UK jobs to grow.

Staying in the EU is likely to cost Britain jobs. The EU offers financial incentives (with UK taxpayers money), to large companies seeking to re-locate to where labour and costs are cheapest (eg. Ford moving Transit production from Eastleigh to Turkey in 2013).

EU imposed ‘green taxes’ have raised the cost of UK energy to uncompetitive levels, and are partly responsible for the recent mass closure of British steel making, with the loss of thousands of jobs. Nearly 500,000 manufacturing jobs have been lost in the EU in the last decade (Eurostat).

The EU’s ’eurozone’ is the biggest engine of mass recession since the 1920’s. Youth unemployment in some Eurozone countries (Spain, Portugal, Greece) is now over 50% (Eurostat).

Myth 5. Business Favours Membership of the EU

Fact: 95% of UK firms do not sell to the EU single market at all (Business For Britain).

Large, multi-national corporations (represented by the CBI) tend to favour the EU, because it is a lobbyists paradise for them. It is much easier to gain preferential treatment on new legislation, if they only have to lobby one unaccountable organisation (the EU), rather than the elected governments of 28 member states.

In contrast, small to medium sized firms (where most of Britain’s GDP is generated), are blighted by the EU as they cannot afford this type of exclusive ‘access’, nor the costs of legislative compliance, hampering their ability to compete with their larger counterparts.

Multi-national corporations also tend to favour the EU because its open borders create a ‘churn’ of unskilled, migrant labour, driving down pay and working conditions to the lowest common denominator, and maximising shareholder profits.

Not all large businesses favour Britain staying in the EU. Executives of Nissan, Vauxhall Motors, Airbus and British Airways, all major UK employers, have confirmed that EU membership makes little difference to their plans to stay and invest in the UK. Others (eg. JCB, Dyson) consider that Britain would do better outside the EU.

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) consider most of their members would benefit by leaving the EU. The Director-General of the British Chamber of Commerce, John Longworth, told its annual conference this March that: ‘the country’s business prospects could be brighter outside the EU and that the UK would be better off leaving ….’

Myth 6. Leaving the EU will damage UK Trade

Fact: The EU’s share of global GDP has fallen from 32% in 1980 to 15% now (The World Bank). Its share of world imports and exports are in long term decline (Global Europe 2050). The UK is the fifth largest economy in the world, but less than 10% of its GDP comes from exports to the EU (ONS).

The world’s major economic growth is happening outside the EU, notably in the English speaking countries of the Commonwealth. UK exports to the rest of the world have outstripped those to the EU for 12 months in a row (Office of National Statistics). Yet the UK is unable to sign its own trade deals with emergent economies such as India, South Africa and Brazil, because of its EU membership. Meanwhile a non-EU country such as Iceland (with a population of only 350,000), has recently signed a trade agreement with China.

Remaining in the EU’s failing customs union will blight UK trade. By leaving the EU, the UK will resume its seat on the World Trade Organisation, (left vacant since joining the EEC in 1973), and regain the ability to make its own trade agreements. Any attempt by the EU to impose punitive sanctions on a UK that leaves, will be illegal under WTO rules. Six of the top 10 trading countries with the EU don’t have a trade agreement with the EU, but still trade freely with it under WTO rules.

The UK’s trade deficit with EU countries has risen five fold since 1995. On goods alone, we currently buy £77bn more annually than we sell (Office of National Statistics). EU countries therefore have every reason to continue good trading relations with a UK outside the EU, since we are one of their largest export markets.

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