MYTH 1. Britain would lose out on millions of jobs if we left the EU.
FACT: This is a common deceit. In fact, the EU would lose 4 millions jobs if it ceased trading with the UK, it’s biggest customer. The EU sells more to us than we sell to it. In 2009 there was a trade deficit of £34.9bn; in 2011, that deficit was nearly £50bn.
MYTH 2. Tariff barriers will exclude us from trade with the EU.
FACT: The EU has free trade agreements with 53 countries to overcome such tariffs, and is negotiating a further 74.
MYTH 3. Britain cannot survive economically outside the EU in a world of trading blocs.
FACT: Major economies such as Japan (the world’s third largest) are not in a trading bloc. Our best trading relationships are not within the EU, but outside, with countries like the USA and Switzerland.
MYTH 4. The EU is moving towards the UK’s position on cutting regulation and bureaucracy.
FACT: Once in place, EU directives are highly unlikely to be reformed or repealed. Less than 15% of Britain’s GDP represents trade with the EU yet Brussels regulations afflict 100% of our economy. In 2010, Open Europe estimated EU regulation had cost Britain £124 billion since 1998.
MYTH 5. If we leave, we’ll have to pay the EU billions and implement all its regulations without a say.
FACT: We have little say within the EU, and would have more leverage as an independent sovereign nation. Now, we have only 8.4% of voting power ‘say’ in the EU. Our 73 MEPs are a minority within the 766 in the European Parliament.
MYTH 6. The EU has brought peace to the European continent.
FACT: It is NATO, founded in 1949 and dominated by the USA, and not the EU, that has actually kept the peace in Europe, together with parliamentary democracy. Both of which are being undermined by the EU.
MYTH 7. The EU has a positive impact on the British economy.
FACT: Industries like fishing, farming, postal services and manufacturing have been devastated by our membership of the EU which costs billions of pounds and large numbers of lost jobs thanks to red tape, substantial membership and aid contributions and other costs.
MYTH 8. We’ll lose foreign investment if we leave the EU.
FACT: In a 2010 survey on UK’s attractiveness to foreign investors, Ernst and Young found Britain remained the top Foreign Direct Investment destination in Europe thanks to the City of London and the UK’s relationship with the US.
MYTH 9. We will lose influence in the world by being outside the EU
FACT: Britain has a substantial ‘portfolio of power’: membership of the G20 and G8 Nations, a permanent seat on the UN Security Council and seats on the International Monetary Fund Board of Governors and World Trade Organisation. We are at the heart of the 54-nation Commonwealth.
MYTH 10. Legally, we can’t leave the EU.
FACT: Britain could leave the EU in a single day by repealing the European Communities Act 1972 and its attendant Amendment Acts through a single clause Bill passing through Westminster. A replacement UK/EU Free Trade Agreement would not need time-consuming negotiation on tariff reductions if it merely replicated existing EU trade arrangements.