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More on EU Referendum

29th January 2016 @ 6:06am – by Peter Oxley
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Following the recent debate and articles on the EU Referendum, I thought I would add my own views, especially on the Pro-EU leaflet that was sent out to everyone.

Like some others have mentioned on Chatbox, my eyebrows were also raised by some very interesting claims made by the Pro-EU lobby and decided to do some investigating and thought I would share my findings with AudlemOnline readers and maybe dispel a few EU-driven myths as follows:

EU debate: Claims by Pro-EU lobby:

Claim 1: 'There is a £3000/year EU membership benefit to each household'.

This myth has already been exploded by several independent studies and is actually 'more than double the likely real figure. CBI's estimates highly dubious and grossly exaggerated'. (SOURCE: Ch4 'FACT CHECKER', Times, Telegraph).

Also Canadian Bank of England Governor Mark Carney can't even get his Bank of England interest rates predictions right, so it wouldn't it be rather risky to decide our future based on anything he forecasts?

Claim 2: '£450 price reduction for every household due to competitve trading within EU'

This myth is in fact based on estimates not even based on studies of trade in Europe, but on US models for globalised trade, and this does not even take into account the cost per household of the EU common agricultural policy which artifically inflates many crop prices.

To quote the Channel 4 research: "The claim that the increased trade brings a benefit of £450 to every household is hard to take seriously as an endorsement of the EU, given that it is based on research that has nothing to do with Europe".
(SOURCE: Ch4 'FACT CHECKER', Telegraph, Times).

Claim 3: 'EU exit would destroy City of London's status as a global financial hub'.

Really? Zurich isn't doing too badly as a global financial centre and Switzerland is NOT an EU member!

Claim 4: 'Leaving EU risks jobs and our exports to Europe and the foreign car firms and others who manufacture here',- does anyone seriously believe that Bentley for example would move from Crewe just because we left the EU? VW bought the prestige of the Bentley brand BECAUSE it is made here, and a rich Arab Sheik or celebrity millionaire do not want a 'faux Bentley' made in Belgium or wherever!

Other car companies manufacture here for productivity and quality and would face enormous relocation costs for little or no benefit, (I was told this in person on a recent visit to the Toyota engine factory) because we are already not a Eurozone currency trading member anyway, so any impact would likely be extremely minimal. (SOURCE: Telegraph, Times, & talking to key manufacturers).

The UK imports approx 12-15% more goods and services from Europe than we ever export, (SOURCE: HM Revenue & Customs) so it would be very much in the EU's interest to secure a tariff-avoiding free-trade agreement with us, as they have done with Switzerland, Norway and many non-EU countries too.

As someone used to trading in Northern Europe and Scandinavia, I can also tell you that if we left the EU, other countries like Denmark would also be likely gathering at the exit door as I see little of the enthusiasm of their German neighbours and realise the way the EU has become somewhat out of control, having gone far, far beyond it's original 'Common Market' trade remit as agreed by member states in the early 1970's.

At the end of the day, in the event of a 'Leave' vote, the EU will still need to find a mutually agreeable trading deal with the UK so much of these EU scare tactics are so much baloney!

It does seem the Pro-EU lobby are extremely worried about current opinion polls suggesting a tiny majority might vote to leave and seem to be going to extraordinary lengths to try to convince to stay in, making all manner of claims and supposed 'facts' to scare people about 'Brexit' and are backed by some powerful EU institutions.

Whatever people's previous views, we should all perhaps try to discover more of the facts behind our membership of the EU before the referendum, but we should be very cautious of vested intererests using inaccurate, false and exagerated facts, figures and scare stories designed to frighten us from voting with our gut instinct based on real info.

And as for leaflets dropping through the door – these should probably treated in the same way we view party political leaflets at election time: With a large pinch of salt!


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