Mythbusting

Despite the millions of leaflets that were delivered during the Referendum campaign and the hours we spent campaigning, there are still people who believe that we should stay fully absorbed into the EU.

There are a number of common stories that continue come up, to justify this position and I will try and refute them here;

  1. Read that again, and ask yourself seriously if you believe this to be true.
  2. Remainers consistently claim that the EU is a kind, benevolent organ, a bastion of peace, an advocate of the best workers’ rights. If that is the case, why would they be happy to see European citizens die?
  3. If true this sounds like a form of blackmail. Do you really want to remain in an organisation that threatens its citizens with death if they won’t comply?
  4. If true, when was the this power transferred to Brussels? Which government was in place, how did they allow the EU to take control of our medicines without telling us?  What were the opposition parties doing to allow this to happen?
  5. If it’s not an EU law or regulation that prevents drugs getting here then what? Drugs companies are businesses – they are not going to be happy to see a chunk of their market (and therefore profit) disappear over night.
  6. In reality, what people mean is that there may be hold-ups at ports due to extra paper work required. Have a read of this article from the excellent Facts4EU.org which rejects the notion that there will be hold-ups at the ports, and remember that both Dover and Calais authorities have said that they are ready for Brexit.
  7. Read the initial statement again, and ask yourself seriously if you believe this to be true.

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  1. Why are people obsessed with the EU, what about working in Australia, New Zealand, Far East, US?  The way to maximise your working opportunities ANYWHERE in the world is by having relevant transferable skills and experience in industries and professions that are needed such as medicine, teaching, engineering etc.
  2. The flip side to opening up the job market is that you will now be competing for jobs in the UK not just against your peer group in the UK, but against every person with equivalent qualifications across the whole of Europe. This makes competition for jobs in this country much greater, reducing the chances of you getting the job you want.
  3. A corollary to this is the basic rules of supply and demand mean that companies can reduce the pay on offer and still fill vacancies with suitable candidates. So if you are lucky enough to get a job, it will be at a lower salary.
    • So companies see more applicants, have a better chance of finding their perfect candidate, and pay a lower in salary at the end – see why big business loves the EU?
  4. Working abroad is a nice thought but when it comes down to it, only a tiny fraction of the UK population ends up doing so.  And at the moment, the job market in Europe is so poor – especially for young people – that there are no jobs to go to anyway.
  5. The best way to open up a whole World of opportunity is having relevant transferable skills and experience in industries and professions that are needed.

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  1. There are 6 non-EU countries with full participation rights.
  2. There are more than twenty others with Partner Country status that includes much of North Africa and even Russia.
  3. A huge number of students from the EU want to come to the UK
    1. Because it’s a nice place to live and work
    2. Because we speak English and that’s what they want to learn.

Here’s a link to all the Countries that participate in Erasmus.

We will definitely still remain in the Erasmus scheme when we leave.

Oh, and another thing, did you know that when EU students come to study in the UK they are also entitled to UK government student loans to cover their tuition fees? 

To date more than £1.2bn is still owed by over 80,000 EU students who have completed their courses and returned home but HAVE NOT repaid the loans – which means that you and I pick up the bill.

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  1. The problem isn’t with immigrants, it’s with immigration. An immigration system that allows mass un-controlled migration which impacts things like jobs, housing and schools and suppresses wages, particularly for lower skilled jobs.
  2. The UK minimum wage is as much as 5x the basic wages paid in other parts of the EU.  No wonder so many people want to come and work here.  If France decided to make their minimum wage £40/h, half the UK population would be looking to move.  The system is at fault, not the people.
  3. Which of these scenarios is racist?
    1. Scenario One: An immigration system that gives preferential treatment and low (effectively no) entry requirements to people from countries with mostly white populations while at the same time putting strict conditions (age, qualifications and experience, criminal history, financial ability) on people from outside those countries.
    2. Scenario Two: An immigration system that treats everyone equally, regardless of their nationality, and judges them against the same set of criteria when deciding whether to permit them to enter the country to live and work.
  4. Scenario One is the our current immigration system as dictated by the EU.  When we leave we can change to Scenario Two and give everyone a fair chance to come to the UK with the skills that we need.

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  1. It most certainly is not. People have fought for centuries to protect their borders and maintain the culture of a country.
  2. If you believe this, why are you only campaigning for free movement into 27 other European countries?  What about the rest of the World – I don’t recall hearing about human rights campaigns to allow you to get on a plane and demand to be allowed to work in the US?  Or Australia?  Or China?
  3. You have a very warped sense of what you believe are human rights.

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  1. 1,269,501 votes difference is more than May’s 2017 GE victory and Blair’s 2005 win. To put into context;
    1. It would have taken fewer than 1000 people to vote differently in 2015 to stop Cameron winning a majority.
    2. Fewer than 20,000 people changing their votes in 2015 would have returned a Lab/Lib/SNP/Green coalition into government in 2015 rather than Cameron.
  2. It’s been calculated that on a Constituency basis, Leave would have a 164 seat majority in parliament. That would be the third largest margin since the war and only just short of Blair’s 167 seats in 2001.
  3. This was NOT a small margin of victory in the context of previous elections.

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  1. Why is workers’ rights not an issue that national governments should control?
  2. Are you saying you wouldn’t trust Labour or the LibDems or SNP to protect workers?
  3. The EU typically has lower standards than the UK and was much later to enact legislation;
    1. Workers in the UK are entitled to five weeks and three days of paid holiday a year (including public holidays). The EU Working Time Regulations of 1998 guarantee four weeks of paid leave. For 35 years before joining the EU, the UK had legislation on paid holidays.
    2. The UK passed the Equal Pay Act in 1970, before joining the EU. Equal pay for men and women is nothing to do with Brussels either.
    3. The 52 weeks of statutory maternity leave in the UK is considerably longer than the 14 weeks guaranteed by EU law.
    4. The EU’s Working Time Directive governs the hours employees in the EU can be asked to work. The Open Europe think-tank has listed it as the third most costly EU regulation.
    5. Other EU employment law changes have led to a massive increase in the use of zero hours contracts to circumvent things like pension and holiday pay regulations.
  4. See also these comments from ;
    1. From the Newstatesman
    2. From LabourLeave.org.uk

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The leaflet “So What Has The EU Ever Done For Us” is often produced as proof of what being in the EU means and why it is good. Here’s my take on these spurious claims;

  1. Many of these items are things that every other respectable government in the World takes care of on behalf of its citizens – if you believe a British government is incapable of managing them then you have a serious case of Stockholm syndrome – these are crossed in red.
  2. Then there are items that are managed between governments and NGOs globally – crossed in orange
  3. You have to be really dumb not to realise that anything financial on this list is NOT a benefit – for every £2 we get from the EU we have to pay in £5 first. These are yellow.
  4. Mobile roaming is a con (see later FAQ), the SM/ CU prevents cheaper imports and therefore costs us. Other things that are actively damaging to the UK are crossed in purple.
  5. There are some things that a trading bloc helps with – but why should you have to give up sovereignty to join a trading bloc? These are crossed in green.
  6. Access to European health services – according to FullFact the reciprocal arrangements regarding health care leave the UK of £600m per year worse off.
  7. That leaves cheaper air travel – how?

And ultimately, how is any of the above worth giving away sovereignty, control of laws and control of trade?

It’s not – #BetterOffOut

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A much heralded EU benefit is the reduction in mobile roaming charges. But this, like many supposed EU benefits, doesn’t stand up to scrutiny.

  1. Remember this only impacts roaming within the EU. There’s no saving if you holiday in the US or Far East for example.
  2. If your bill is lower, phone companies are making less profit – do you think that the phone companies are going to simply roll over and accept this?
    1. In order to recoup the lost profit what’s the answer? Well, to increase the plans and call costs for everyone in their home countries. The big phone companies don’t mind doing this if EVERYONE has to do it, there will be no loss of subscribers if all companies put up costs together.
    2. So we are all paying for this supposed benefit – whether we holiday in the EU or not.
  3. These days people are much more likely to use a phone to go on social media – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp, Snapchat – than actually call anyone. So there’s no benefit from reduced call costs.
  4. And as most places have WiFi (especially the hotels) you’re unlikely to be using much data anyway – Snapchat, Twitter, FB messenger etc. are all done over WiFi if you have it. And as most people are only away for a week or two, how much of a saving can it be?
  5. So who actually benefits? Well, it’s people who spend a lot of the time in Europe, away from their home country and who use mobile phones a lot for calls. People like . . . MEPs?

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Really?

If the EU is so good for Universities, let’s have a look at World Rankings (QS World University Rankings 2019);

Of The Top 10:

  • UK: 4 / 10
  • EU: 0 / 10

Top 25

  • UK: 5/25
  • EU: 0/25

Top 50

  • UK: 8/50
  • EU: 1/10

So of the 50 best Universities in the World, the UK has EIGHT, the rest of the EU Countries combined have ONE.  Why then, do people claim that the EU is good for Universities?  Because of the funding they all receive. But this is our money – what I want to know is;

How is EU Funding Decided?

Are Universities receiving funding because they are the best places for that money to be spent, or are they only getting it because they are in the EU?

  • If UK Universities are receiving money because they are the best place for that money to be spent, then why would that money stop when we leave?  Surely those investing in research want to get the best value and best results for their investment.
  • If UK Universities are only getting the money because they are Universities in EU Countries, then I want to know why the EU are wasting my money in these places when there are other Universities elsewhere in the World that would be better.  In this instance funding is no more than a bribe to ensure that Universities continue the indoctrination of young people that the EU is good, nation states are bad.

This indoctrination begins in our schools and colleges – the EU pumps billions of our money into educational establishments to ensure the younger generations grow up believing in the glorious EU – it’s a form of brainwashing, and something that wouldn’t have been out of place in Nazi Germany.

Schools hold European Youth Week every year – coincidentally at the same time as campaigning for the EU elections ramps up.  A couple of years ago, my daughter’s school ran a series of pro-EU assemblies for the students – I offered to arrange for a Euro-sceptic MEP to come in and talk about the EU from a different perspective, my offer was declined.

And let’s not forget that there is no such thing as EU money – it’s your money – for every £2 we receive from the EU, we have to pay in £5 in the first place.

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Exposing Project Fear

In the table below are some of the nonsense spread by the Remain campaign as part of “Project Fear”. We knew at the time that these claims were false – and they have proven to be so. If you have more that you think we should include, let us know.

PROJECT FEAR LIEACTUAL TRUTH  
Economic recessionUK economy has grown every quarter since the referendum
Europe will outstrip UKUK Growth in Q3 2018 3x faster than Eurozone
Massive job lossesUK unemployment at record low having fallen every month since referendum
UK employment at record high
NHS lose EU workersNHS staff from EU has increased
June 2016 = 58,698
June 2018 = 63,065
NHS won’t get £350m pwGovernment has already announced £20.5bn increase in NHS funding – and we haven’t even left yet
Tax risesPersonal allowance has increased
Basic rate income tax threshold has increased
There will be a punishment budgetIt never happened
No EU armyJuncker, Verhofstadt, Merkel and Macron all calling for an EU army
House prices will fallAverage UK house prices are greater now than at the referendum
Foreign investment will fallForeign direct investment increased by £23.5bn from 2016 to 2017
Tourism will fallUK tourism hit record levels in 2017, increasing by £25.7bn
Wages will fallIn 2018 average full-time weekly earnings increased 3.5% compared to 2017
Manufacturing will fallUK manufacturing increased in 2017. Up 4.1% from 2016