The EU: Myths and Truths

GET BRITAIN OUT sets the record straight here on what will happen when Britain gets out of the EU.

Without any coherent arguments about why Britain should remain in the EU, Europhiles and Remoaners resort to constant scaremongering.


MYTH 1: Brexit would damage trade with our European neighbours.

Europhiles claim leaving the EU would sour trade relations with other countries within the EU, making it harder for Britain to trade with the Single Market.

TRUTH: British Businesses do not need the EU to trade

Britain imports more from the EU than it exports to the bloc. We are also the EU’s biggest trading partner – above China and the US – and no country would want to cut off ties with such an important customer as Britain.

The UK should leave the Single Market, but try and maintain ‘access’ via a trade deal with the EU. This will facilitate trade without sacrificing control over our own affairs.


MYTH 2: Britain cannot survive economically outside the EU

Remainers are telling us Britain cannot compete in the world without help from the EU. They argue we need to be part of a large trade bloc to be able to sign free-trade deals with the rest of the world.

TRUTH: Britain WILL thrive economically outside the EU

Britain is a global trading power, currently exporting more to the rest of the world than it does to the EU. We are the world’s 5th largest economy, on course to become the largest in Europe by 2035.

The EU’s share of the world economy is in decline. In 1980, the EEC (as it was then known) accounted for 30% of global output. By 2015 this had already shrunk to 16.5% according to the IMF.

Currently, all Britain’s trade deals must be negotiated by the EU, which on average takes twice as long as independent countries to negotiate and finalise deals. Outside the EU – and its Customs Union – the UK will be able to sign its own free-trade deals and regain its seat on the World Trade Organisation.

Since the EU Referendum, many countries have signalled their intent to sign free-trade deals with the UK once we leave the EU. So far, at least 35 countries have already expressed a strong interest in discussing free-trade deals with us, including Canada, New Zealand, India, Colombia, Australia and the USA.


MYTH 3: Britain’s membership of the European Union can be substantially reformed

For a long time it has been argued EU membership gives the UK influence to reform the way the EU operates. So-called ‘Reluctant Remainers’ accept the flaws in the ‘European Project’, but insist we are better off staying in and trying to reform the terms of our membership.

TRUTH: Substantial change to our relationship with the EU can only be achieved by Brexit

For the past 40 years, successive British Prime Ministers tried to make EU membership work for Britain. Whether it was Margaret Thatcher’s hard-line stance, or Tony Blair’s supine grovelling, none succeeded in positively changing the terms of our EU membership.

On the 19th February 2016, David Cameron stated his intention to stay within a ‘reformed’ EU after ‘renegotiating’ the terms of our membership. This was simply a replay of Harold Wilson’s ill-fated 1975 Referendum, in which a largely cosmetic ‘renegotiation’ misled the public into voting ‘Yes’. EU leaders ruled out any weakening of the principle of freedom of movement and insisted on retaining ‘open borders’.

However, the public proved they would not be fooled again and rejected Cameron’s so-called renegotiation when they voted ‘Leave’ on June 23rd.


MYTH 4: Britain will lose influence in Europe

The pro-EU lobby say Britain will lose its influence in Europe.

TRUTH: Britain has no influence in the EU to lose

Britain has opposed 72 measures in the Council of the European Union (formerly the Council of Ministers) since 1996, and every time we have been unsuccessful – the myth Britain currently wields any influence in Brussels is nonsense. Our EU membership gets us nowhere.


myth-2MYTH 5: Britain would lose three million jobs

This myth – about the loss of over 3 million jobs if we leave the EU – originated from a report by the National Institute for Economic and Social Research in 2000. The report stated 3.2 million British jobs are ‘associated’ with exports to the EU. Europhiles conflate the word ‘associated’ and ‘lost’ to suggest job losses.

TRUTH: Leaving the EU will create far more jobs for Britons in the long-term

This myth assumes the £228 billion worth of goods and services Britain exports to the EU would drop to zero the day after Britain leaves the EU. This was comprehensively refuted by Treasury civil servants in August 2014.

In addition, the then Director of the National Institute of Economic and Social Research, Martin Weale, confirmed the report does not claim 3 million jobs rely on our EU membership, denouncing this Europhile propaganda as “pure Goebbels”.


myth-6MYTH 6: Britain will be isolated on the ‘world stage’ if we leave the EU

We are told Britain must be a member of the European Union in order to have influence in the world.

TRUTH: Britain will be able to work closer with our natural allies in the Commonwealth – and the rest of the world

The EU is not the sole international organisation in the world. The UK is already a leading member of NATO, and also has a seat on the UN Security Council.

We have cultural and historic links with countries all over the world and are regarded as the world’s leading ‘soft-power’ state. All of this is unrelated to our membership of the EU.

The United States; Australia; Canada; New Zealand; India; Hong Kong – Britain has strong ties with all of these important global, self-governing nations.

By leaving the EU, we will have the independence of action to co-operate more with our allies within the Commonwealth, whilst still retaining friendly relations with Europe.


myth-7MYTH 7: The EU protects democracy in Europe

The EU claims it is the guarantor of democracy and peace in Europe.

TRUTH: Westminster protects democracy in Britain

Peace in Europe has been secured through NATO, the lack of a Treaty of Versailles, the spread of democracy and the destruction of empires. It has nothing to do with the EU.

The European project destroys democracy by replacing nationally elected politicians with unelected bureaucrats.

On the rare occasion the EU has consulted the electorates of Member States, such as in referendums held by the Netherlands and France to ratify the Constitutional Treaty, the results were rejected by the EU. The Constitutional Treaty was repackaged as the Lisbon Treaty, with minor alterations. Brussels then forced Ireland to hold another referendum to approve the Lisbon Treaty after Irish voters initially rejected it.

The European Parliament cannot propose legislation. It is only able to approve or reject legislation proposed by the unelected European Commission. As such, it is a toothless institution.

The European Commission’s rulings bypass Westminster ensuring EU laws are forced upon Britain. In addition, our limited influence in Brussels ensures EU laws can be implemented even if all British MEPs vote against them.


MYTH 8: The EU has stopped seeking greater political powers for Brussels

Many believe we have reached the high-water mark of EU integration.

TRUTH: The EU will not stop until Europe has become a federal superstate

The EU’s founding treaty clearly sets out the principle of ‘ever closer union’ between Member States, and this provision continues to this day. This means it is the EU’s intention to gradually evolve into a single unified state, with Member States reduced to mere provinces of a federal Europe. The only way to prevent the UK from becoming a European province is to Get Britain Out of the EU.


MYTH 9: Brexit would drive European Premier League footballers out of the UK

Some claim two thirds of European football stars in England wouldn’t meet the criteria used for non-European overseas players to automatically qualify for a work visa. This led some to predict that Premier League football squads would be ‘decimated’ if the UK voted to leave the EU.

TRUTH: Leaving the EU would enable the Football Association and the government to loosen the requirements for foreign footballers to play in Britain.

The FA itself has recognised the recent restrictions on skilled immigration from non-EU countries are the direct consequence of the EU’s freedom of movement rules. Leaving the EU will enable the UK to relax the current requirements for foreign footballers to obtain a sponsorship licence from the FA. This would enable more top footballers to play in Britain.


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MYTH 10: Brexit will be a long drawn out process 

Europhiles claim the UK cannot leave the EU because the process will take many years and will be too difficult.

TRUTH: A Government committed to Brexit could secure a quick and painless EU divorce

The UK will leave the EU by triggering Article 50. This was done when Prime Minister Theresa May sent a letter to the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk on March 29th 2017. Triggering Article 50 has given the EU and the UK up to 2 years in which to agree a Brexit deal. This deal needs to be agreed by all Member States if the outcome of the negotiation is a ‘mixed agreement’ (such as a deal including services), but only by qualified majority if it is an EU-only matter (such as a deal based on goods).

Regarding a post-Brexit trade deal, the UK should leave the Single Market. However, the Government should attempt to maintain ‘access’ to the Single Market via a trade deal with the EU. This would be in the EU’s interests as well as ours. A mutually beneficial deal would facilitate trade, without sacrificing control over our own affairs. Failing this, the Government should be prepared to walk away. Maintaining ‘access’ to the Single Market, without the disadvantages of freedom of movement, would be in our best interest.


MYTH 11: Planes will not be able to fly to and from the continent and the UK

Europhiles claim flights will be grounded as  as there will be no Air Services Agreement in place

TRUTH: Flights do not need a formal Air Services Agreement

Many air travel routes carry on daily around the world without a formal Air Services Agreement. All you need is a landing permission in the airport you are going to, and you need to get a flight path from air traffic control in controlled space. If there is no deal then the UK will of course allow EU carriers to continue with the landing slots they currently have, and the rest of the EU will do the same for UK carriers. The EU will not want to ban plane loads of UK tourists and other visitors from going to their countries and will not want to lose the landing revenues at their airports.


MYTH 12: There would be queues of trucks at Dover if we left the Customs Union           

Europhiles claim the need for customs clearance will mean massive queues at our borders, with disruption to the supply system for the UK

TRUTH: Customs checks are more streamlined than ever, and can be done electronically

Both the EU and the UK as a member of the EU are currently putting in new streamlined customs procedures to handle third party imports. These will work fine for rest of EU goods as well if necessary. Under customs simplified procedures for freight there is already a system of electronic registration of consignments, with the ability to undertake customs clearance at the importers premises once the goods have been successfully delivered. The EU will want decent procedures on the UK side of the channel as they export so much to us, including big volumes of perishable agricultural products.


MYTH 13: Goods will be held up because they don’t meet EU rules.      

Europhiles claim the need for products to comply with EU rules will hold up movements of goods

TRUTH: There will likely be mutual recognition of standards, as with non-EU countries 

At the moment all UK goods exported to the EU conform with EU rules anyway. In future there is likely to be be mutual recognition of each other’s standard granting bodies, as with non EU country trade. There can also be continuity of the current system of self certification by manufacturers of the standards and specifications of their products. The EU will want this for their exports to the UK. None of this need physically hold up goods crossing borders, where electronic documentation will have been filed in advance and cover all necessary details about consignments.


MYTH 14: Complex supply chains will become uneconomic 

Europhiles claim tariffs and customs requirements will hinder cross-channel supply chains

TRUTH: They won’t – we have complex supply chains with non-EU countries already

Most components are zero rated for tariff if they are included in a good which attracts a tariff on final sale, or of course for a good which is rated at zero tariff. Some components do attract low level tariffs which are more than offset by the fall in sterling against the Euro. Manufacturers now rarely experience difficulties in bringing in components from non EU sources in my past life with manufacturing companies.


MYTH 15: “Rules of origin” will be too difficult to sort out in time

Europhiles say there won’t be time to resolve “Rules of origin” settlements.

TRUTH: “Rules of origin” work fine for non-EU trade already

Rules of origin work fine for non EU trade, with a system of self certification of origin available.