The EU Referendum is now predominantly about how the UK economy will fare under Brexit versus the impact of uncontrolled immigration under Remaining In. In our final 3rd report we have tried to give more facts and figures for you to make a better informed choice. Some of the salient points are:
- UK’s GDP the Gross Domestic Product, the income of the nation, is £1,810 billion
- UK’s Budget, the taxes collected by the Chancellor, is £760 billion (42% of GDP)
- UK pays into EU net £8.5 billion (1/2 percent of GDP)
- UK pays foreign aid £8.5 billion revenue plus £2.5 billion capital so total £11 billion (0.6/0.7 percent of GDP)
- London GDP is 1/4 of the UK’s GDP, equivalent to Belgium or Sweden’s national GDP and the City with its financial institutions has strengthened its market lead in the European financial markets
- UK financial institutions have a ‘pass-porting right’ to do business freely without opening a branch there
- Euro has fluctuated from 1.5 to 1.0 to the £ in its life but now has been averaging at 1.3 Euro’s to the £.
- The last 2008 recession was started by USA’s and UK’s subprime lending which was primarily unregulated banking activity
- EU regulation primarily is to protect the consumer by harmonising the laws in the EU wide larger market of 500 million, say cars safety, pollution controls, health & safety, employee rights and so on
- Foreign investment into the UK as part of the EU market was £540 billion in the last decade
- UK’s exports in 2014 were to EU £230 billion, USA £88 billion, China £18 billion
- There are 2.15 million EU workers in UK [3 million EU people here] and 1.19 million UK workers in the EU [2 million expatriates in EU]
- Net migration into UK last year was 333,000 of which EU was 184,000 and Non-EU was 188,000.
- Govt. targets have been breached every year over the last two decades, implying that migration is largely led by demand in business and public institutions
- UK has achieved a very strong growth in its national wealth GDP since the single market began in 1993, so just over two decades, by a multiple of 2/3rds
- UK public services can only realistically be funded by an additional growth in the Economy thus yielding higher tax revenues for the Chancellor to invest rather than by increasing borrowing which already stands at 75% of UK’s GDP at £1.4 trillion.
- Brussels power structure is made up of some ‘unelected’ institutions and also the ‘elected’ European Parliament, as we reported in our first report.
- The European Court of Justice can over-turn UK laws and decisions thus frustrating our own parliament and judiciary rulings
- The UK is perceived to be a more open society by Non-EU immigrants and remains the ultimate aim of entry through EU
Whilst the EU has developed into a mammoth juggernaut and needs to be curtailed in its powers over each sovereign nation the economic arguments of the common market are huge in favouring London and the UK. Having talked to some Ethnic Minorities who do work hard in this country the fear is that uncontrolled immigration from the EU will lead to people being on benefits more and they resent that, along with the additional pressures on the NHS and schools. However these are challenges I believe we are best able to deal with by maintaining a strong growth in our economy as evidenced over the last two decades from the advent of the single market.
I shall be voting to remain in the EU but with a strong appetite to show my protest at the doorstep of Brussels, the problem is not so much of the ‘uncontrollable immigration’ as that has more to do with market forces & economic policy and the attraction of a more open society like ours, but the main problem is the ‘uncontrollable Brussels’.
The UK could pave the way for France to take over its 5th position in the GDP rankings if our market is restricted, we ought to maintain our premier 5th position. USA is first, China 2nd, Japan 3rd, Germany 4th, UK 5th, France 6th, India 7th, Italy 8th, Brazil 9th, and Canada 10th. In purchasing power terms – which is what matters to the ordinary person – UK is 9th in world rankings, which is a measure of how much your £ actually “buys” for you and so reflects more your standard of living.
Anil Bhanot OBE