EU Referendum

The Question & Answer Page

Have a question regarding EU membership?  Want to know about the myth of losing 3m jobs? This Q&A page is a resource to help you understand the facts and myths used.  Email me with any questions you have:


In 2009 David Cameron demanded a referendum from Gordon Brown[1]. He has since promised a referendum, but only after he attempts to renegotiate the UK's membership. The referendum is likely to take place in 2016, some suggesting October. However, those that followed the disgraceful behaviour during the Scottish referendum will know that Cameron may call a snap referendum if he thinks the time is right - anything to get an edge.


You can view my youtube channel videos about the referendum on the sub-page.


So important is this issue to every UKIP member, and to probably 40 to 50% of the UK population, that Nigel Farage has announced that he is no longer concerned with the party, he will instead concentrate full-time on the referendum[2]. He expects that the Conservatives will call a snap referendum, so he has instead cut everything else off and is ensuring we are fully prepared.


So important is this issue that UKIP activists have all been told to join any campaign that is about leaving the EU - there are many. I personally am involved with Vote Leave[3] and me and my colleagues are involved with Better Off Out[4] and Say No To EU[5].  However, the EU referendum question is NOT about party politics.  It is essential that people from all political sides join forces to educate the public on the facts rather than the fear based statements from Mr Cameron[6].


Here are some Questions & Answers that people may have, but I would recommend reading the websites of the dedicated groups.  They have the time and resources to investigate questions much better than I can.


If we LEAVE the EU 3 million jobs will be lost - False Myth


See the Myth Page HERE from where this answers originates.


Two studies from the early noughties came to similar conclusions when they tried to estimate the number of UK jobs linked to trade with the EU:


  1. A 2000 South Bank University research paper estimated 3,445,000 jobs in the UK "depend upon exports to the EU" - 2.5 million directly and 900,000 indirectly. 'Direct' employment is people employed in industries that export to the EU, 'indirect' relates to jobs that come about as a result of increased demand for products resulting from exporters' profits and their workers' wages. It cautioned that:


"The aim of the present investigation is not an overall evaluation of EU membership, but rather an estimate of the employment effects that result from the exports of goods and services from the UK to the EU.


"Although many previous studies have sought to answer the question of what would have happened if Britain were not a member of the EU, we do not seek to test this counterfactual hypothesis"


2. A 2000 paper by the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) estimated, using similar methods, that up to 3.2 million UK jobs "are now associated directly with exports of goods and services to other EU countries". It warned that:


"there is no a priori reason to suppose that many of these [jobs], if any, would be lost permanently if Britain were to leave the EU."


Again - it goes down to the ridiculous assumption that if we leave every European country would suddenly stop trading with the UK - do you honestly think CEOs will refuse to raise a profit just because we are not a member of the EU club?  No, it is ridiculous and pathetic.  It is just project fear.


One of the authors of the original 2000 research, Professor Iain Begg, commented to the Telegraph last year that:


"The key point is to establish that such a high proportion of jobs in the export sector depend on demand from other countries in the European Union, and they become a bit more vulnerable if Britain decides to leave the European Union.


"It wouldn't mean an overnight loss of jobs; it wouldn't mean there would be a loss of prosperity instantly, just that the risks become greater."


Even though the jobs identified in the studies are being linked to EU trade rather than membership, there's still a possibility that leaving the EU could have an effect on the trading figures at some point. At the same time, it's difficult if not impossible to quantify this.


UK Jobs Dependent on the EU: South Bank University study from 2000.

The jobs content of UK trade 1995-2004: Research paper by the now-defunct Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform.

UK-EU economic relations - key statistics: House of Commons Library paper with background discussion and recent estimates.


How Much Does The EU Cost?


Most of the EU Leave groups quote £55 million a day.  That is not really the right answer.  That is what our bill is, but you then have to apply the rebate and then some may suggest that you should also then take off what we receive back.  I am in two minds of that - you would not say that about your tax bill would you?  On the Daily Politics show the suggestion was after taking all of this off it works out at £105 million a week.  That is still a lot of money.


Source: National Audit Office February 2016 Report into 2014 cost of EU.


The National audit account says that in 2014 we paid the EU £114.8 billion and received benefits and revenues of £116 billion.  The problem with looking at it like that is that we will still have revenues from EU member states even if we leave the EU.  It is therefore unfair to say that we received £116 billion from EU members, because we would still receive that, just without paying the EU money.  It says with rebate taken off we paid £14.1 billion - which is £271 million a week or £38/29 million a day.


Have the EU Auditors refused to sign off the accounts?


Yes.  You can read the 2014 pages on page 6 and 7.  It is astonishing.  It says that the rate of mistakes and errors is well above the 2% rate permitted and suggest it is over 4.4%.  It says about EU payment:


"However, we gave an adverse opinion on the regularity of payments. ... There is a clear relationship between expenditure types and levels of error. ...  There is further scope for the Commission to improve its assessment of risk and the impact of corrective actions. ... The periods of the 10-year Europe 2020 strategy and the EU’s 7-year budgetary cycles (2007-2013 and 2014-2020) are not aligned. Member States give inadequate attention to Europe 2020 achievements in partnership agreements and programmes."


[page 7]


Will the EU agree a trade deal with the UK if we vote to leave?


Yes.  It is written into the Treaty on European Union (as amended) what must happen if a member state decides to the leave the European Union.  They have a period of two years within which to do this, during which time nothing changes.  A date will be set for the de-coupling and before that date absolutely everything must stay as it is.

See Article 50 Consolidated THE TREATY ON EUROPEAN UNION


"(2) A Member State which decides to withdraw shall notify the European Council of its intention. In the light of the guidelines provided by the European Council, the Union shall negotiate and conclude an agreement with that State, setting out the arrangements for its withdrawal, taking account of the framework for its future relationship with the Union. That agreement shall be negotiated in accordance with Article 218(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. It shall be concluded on behalf of the Union by the Council, acting by a qualified majority, after obtaining the consent of the European Parliament.

3. The Treaties shall cease to apply to the State in question from the date of entry into force of the withdrawal agreement or, failing that, two years after the notification referred to in paragraph 2, unless the European Council, in agreement with the Member State concerned, unanimously decides to extend this period."


How much does EU regulation cost UK business?


Open Europe estimates that the top 100 EU regulations cost the UK economy £33.3bn annually (2014 prices). The top five costliest EU-derived regulations in force in the UK:


1) The UK Renewable Energy Strategy – Recurring cost: £4.7bn a year

2) The CRD IV package – Recurring cost: £4.6bn a year

3) The Working Time Directive – Recurring cost: £4.2bn a year

4) The EU Climate and Energy Package – Recurring cost: £3.4bn a year

5) The Temporary Agency Workers Directive – Recurring cost: £2.1bn a year


According to the IAs, these regulations also provide a total benefit of £58.6bn a year. However, £46bn of this benefit stems from just three items, which are vastly over-stated. For example, the stated benefit of the EU’s climate targets (£20.8bn) was dependent on a global deal to reduce carbon emissions that was never struck. In fact, Open Europe estimates that up to 95% of the benefits envisaged in the impact assessment have failed to materialise.


Will leaving the EU end the agreement between the UK and France regarding "the jungle" in Calais?


The agreement is a joint agreement between the UK and France and has nothing to do with the EU.  However, many senior French politicians and mayors have stated that they will bring the agreement to an end, with one recently stating that they will hire boats and send immigrants over to the UK.  The UK has confirmed it would sue, send back the migrants (because they must seek refugee status in the first safe country) and fine the boat providers.  We must accept that if we vote to leave the chances are this will happen and there will be an almighty fight between the French and the Brits.


Should decisions on police and criminal justice laws be taken at the national level or the EU level?


A huge majority of Britons (81%) said they want to see decisions on crime and policing taken at the national level when polled in 2012. Open Europe argued that the UK should negotiate to return to bilateral or intergovernmental cooperation with other EU member states in this area - a proposal that became UK government policy in 2013.

Source: YouGov for Open Europe.


 What did The Maastricht Treaty do to slow down the EU?


 ‘[The British Government has] contain[ed] the powers of the Commission’.


After signing the Maastricht Treaty in 1992, the then Prime Minister, John Major, made a number of inaccurate comments about what the Treaty would and would not do. He asserted in 1991 that the Maastricht Treaty ‘safeguards and advances our national interests. It advances the interests of Europe as a whole. It opens up new ways of co-operating in Europe. It clarifies and contains the powers of the Commission’ (HC Deb 11 December 1991, link).   In fact, the Commission’s powers were not restrained by the Treaty. Today, it retains the right of legislative initiative. Since the Treaty came into force, executive power in the EU has actually moved from the Council to the Commission. It has now become so powerful that the leader of the European Liberal Party in the European Parliament has said that the Commission should be renamed the ‘European Government’, saying that the current name is ‘ridiculous’.


Vote Leave report "43 Broken promises"


Does the UK get to decide on social securities?


Social security to remain the ‘province of national governments and national parliaments’


 In the early years of the Blair Government, the Prime Minister said that he did not want to see the EU have power over social security systems: ‘We have set out very clearly where there are particular positions, for example in relation to...the social security system, where we think this is the province of national governments and national parliaments...we have got absolute red lines we have laid down’ (BBC News, 9 December 2000, link).


Today, it is clear that the EU exercises considerable influence over social security policy, especially under Regulation 2004/883/EC on the coordination of social security systems. The Prime Minister, David Cameron, was recently warned by the Cabinet Secretary, Jeremy Heywood, ‘that banning EU migrants from claiming tax credits for four years, a key demand in their EU renegotiations, could be found to be illegal’ (BBC News, 4 November 2015, link).


Promise 24 - Vote Leave report :"43 Broken promises"


Is there an EU Diplomatic service?


One of the more egregious claims that was made during the Blair years is that the EU’s Charter of Fundamental Rights would have no legal weight: in the words of Keith Vaz: ‘This is not a litigators' charter. Nobody can sue on it. Nobody will be able to litigate on it. People will be able to bring it up in the European Court as if it was the Beano or The Sun’ (Daily Telegraph, 14 October 2000, link). Vaz also told the House of Commons that ‘it will not be legally enforceable’ (HC Deb 22 November 2000, link). He was not the only one who made this claim - Tony Blair told the House of Commons in 2000 that ‘our case is that it should not have legal status and we do not intend it to’ (HC Deb, 11 December 2000, link).


These claims have since been proven to be false. The European Court of Justice has ruled that the protocol negotiated by Blair ‘does not intend to exempt the … the United Kingdom from the obligation to comply with the provisions of the Charter or to prevent a [UK] court … from ensuring compliance with those provisions’ (R (NS) v Secretary of State for the Home Department, Case C-411/10, link). In 2012, the UK Supreme Court said that ‘the Charter thus has direct effect in national law’ (Rugby Football Union v Consolidated Information Services Limited [2012] UKSC 55, link).













[6] Grassroots out "Leaving the EU is more important than party politics"




























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