Posted on April 19, 2016
Brexit Brollocks – Show Me The Money
On the 23rd June we here in the UK get our first say on whether we should stay in the EU or whether we should leave. Both sides have a few compelling arguments about whether the British Exit (Or the Brexit as it’s officially known. Personally I think that use of the language is a load of old brollocks) will be a good thing or a bad thing for the nation.
Now whilst I, like many, have an opinion on which way to vote I’m going to use these Brexit Brollocks articles to present the arguments in as fair and unbiased a way as is possible by looking at the facts so we can all make as educated a decision as possible and is this first article I’m asking “show me the money!”
Yup. Let’s look at the economics aka the financial implications for and against EU membership.
In 2015 the UK paid roughly £13Billion in to the EU for our membership. That’s definitely a sizeable chunk of money but when compared to the £116.5Billion we spent on the NHS last year it actually doesn’t seem to be as big a number as you’d first think. That same year the EU spent £4.5Billion on schemes in the UK. These schemes range from subsidies given to farmers to improvements in parts of the country. In my area EU funding has been used to help improve roads and public transport and help to co-fund new sporting facilities.
On the face of it then it’s argued that being a member of the EU must therefore cost us £8.5Billion a year. The only problem with that is that it fails to take in to account countless other financial benefits we have for being part of the EU.
Being in the EU gives businesses benefits in trading and exporting to fellow EU countries, it helps tourism, and it helps us negotiate with countries like China and America as part of a group. It is, however, impossible to calculate the cost benefit of this.
It is said however that some 3.5 million jobs in the UK rely directly on exports to the EU. If we vote to leave many of these jobs have a very real chance of being in jeopardy.
The simple fact is, despite the many things you’ll read to the contrary, there hasn’t been a single study done by anyone, anywhere, that gives an answer as to whether being in the EU is good or bad for the country financially.
The House of Commons Library says “There is no definitive study of the economic impact of the UK’s EU membership or the costs and benefits of withdrawal.”
So if those who are running the country don’t know what’s going on what chance have the rest of us in making a sound and logical decision on the day?
In truth whether we vote to stay in or leave nothing will change in our day to day lives. We’ll still keep on paying taxes at the rate we do now as nothing on the surface will have changed.
But if we vote to leave things could be a lot more awkward. We’d have to renegotiate trade agreements with every country in the EU, think of the bureaucracy it’ll be an accountants wet dream, and be left alone in the world as a small island nation rather than being part of a bigger “gang” of countries. Some argue that we’d be better off this way but ultimately we don’t know.
If we vote to stay things will carry on as they are so in many ways the question is do we stay with the devil we know or do we dabble with the great unknown?
Anyone, on either side of the argument, who states as fact what will happen after the referendum is lying. We just don’t know
Ultimately with this brexit brollocks I think I’m going to paraphrase The Clash.
If we stay there will be trouble.
But if we go there will be double.
It’s the indecision that’s killing me.