UKIP MEP Roger Helmer writes: If you’re undecided on the Brexit question, I hope this will help you to make up your mind. And if (as I hope) you’re campaigning for Brexit, this may help with some of the most frequently-asked questions.
“If we leave, there’ll be 3½ million jobs at risk”. Not true. The jobs depend on trade, not membership, and the trade will continue. We buy far more from the EU than they buy from us – so if 3½ million UK jobs depend on EU/UK trade, it follows that five or six million continental jobs depend on it too. They need us. We should be worrying about the jobs we’re losing now, as a result of EU membership. Ask the steel workers, who lost their jobs because of the EU’s energy policies, and failure to counter Chinese dumping.
“We need to be in the Single Market for trade”. Not true. The largest sources of imports into the EU are Russia, China and the USA. They’re not members of the Single Market – they don’t even have preferential trade deals. Yet they sell huge quantities of goods into the Single Market. Dozens of countries around the world trade successfully with Europe – and so will Britain after Brexit.
“Even if we leave, we’ll still be subject to EU rules”. Not true. Pro-EU campaigners constantly talk about “the Norwegian model”. But Norway is a quasi-associate-member of the EU. After Brexit, the UK will be an independent nation, like Canada or the USA or China or South Korea. They don’t obey EU rules. Nor will we.
“We need the EU because the UK is too small to negotiate trade deals alone”. Not true. Little Switzerland and tiny Iceland have managed to set up their own trade deals with China – but neither UK nor EU has a China trade deal. The USA has bilateral trade deals with 20 countries, and every one of those countries has a smaller economy than the UK. As a G7 country, the UK is well able to make its own trade deals.
“The EU is vital for our security”. Not true. The EU is the problem, not the solution. EU open borders have allowed terrorists and eastern European crime syndicates free access to our country. “Free movement of people” appears to include free movement of jihadists and Kalashnikovs. Security starts with proper border control.
“We’ll lose the benefit of police cooperation in Europol”. But the EU already extends police cooperation to 18 non-member countries. It is inconceivable that that would not extend to UK. And of course we still have Interpol.
“Even after Brexit, we won’t be able to control immigration”. Yes we will – as an island nation, we can control our borders. But if we stay in, we can expect Germany to give EU passports to a million migrants, who can come and live on a street near you. The EU is keen to admit Turkey, which would be the biggest and poorest EU state, allowing 75 million Turks the right to come to the UK.
“Business leaders say we should stay in”. Many do – but many say the opposite. And many who say they want to stay in, like the big banks, are subject to EU commission influence and patronage.
"Farmers won’t survive without their regular CAP cheques." Farmers will be Better Off Out. Virtually all countries have their own farm support régimes. The UK had a perfectly good farm support policy before we joined the EU in 1973. After Brexit, we’ll have a farm support mechanism designed in Britain for British farmers, not one designed in Brussels for French farmers. And we currently pay around £6 bn a year into the CAP, and get only £3 bn back -- so there’ll be plenty of funding available.
"With all its faults, hasn’t the EU at least kept the peace in Europe for seventy years?." No. The peace has been kept by NATO, by thousands of US troops in Germany, by nuclear deterrence and mutually assured destruction. In the immediate post-war years the proto-EU, with the Coal & Steel Community, helped to ensure peace, but as William Hague has said, “The EU is a 1970s solution to a 1950s problem”.