How we could be affected personally
Some issues in the debate are likely to affect you directly and personally. These include your job, and the various rules and laws governing your work and way of life. We can not identify these for each person but we have made a list of the ones that we think could be more directly relevant.
Obviously interest rates and investment performance are very important to all of us, but we do not include them because they are influenced by so many things in the world that we think it would be wrong to make forecasts linked to either choice. However, it can generally be said that investors tend to sell when there is too much risk or uncertainty.
Personal benefits and risks
Benefits: Companies will gain from better trading arrangements and fewer regulations, exports will rise with lower exchange rates.
Risks: Investment will be cut until we know the terms of independence, imports will be more expensive if exchange rates fall.
Benefits: There will be fewer immigrants and we can select the skills we need.
Risks: We will need visas for travelling, studying, working and living in the EU. More people will apply to live in UK before Exit.
Benefits: Our contribution to support the EU and other members will be invested only in the UK.
Risks: We continue to be bound by their rules and taxes and lose their subsidies
Benefits: We will make our own laws and regulations to suit the UK more than the EU
Risks: The government relaxes the laws on workers’ rights, the environment etc.
Concerns of the younger voters
A recent poll by MyVoucherCodes showed that these were the Top 10 student worries should the UK leave the EU:
- Harder to travel around Europe – 64%
- Harder to gain work in Europe – 49%
- Effect on employment post-university – 46%
- Loss of education funding from EU grants – 45%
- Harder to study in Europe – 41%
- Rise in loans interest rates – 38%
- Harder for UK and European universities to collaborate – 28%
- European students facing higher fees in the UK – 17%
- Issues for EU nationals currently studying in UK – 15%
- Less protection for workers’ rights – 13%
Out must clarify very early on in the negotiations the role of visas for everyone living, working and travelling in the EU and in the UK who is not a resident of those countries. It is difficult seeing a “visa war” breaking out since so many people are involved but it is possible that both sides could respond to any controls for special cases.
Current Immigration statistics are covered in our immigration tabs. The Exit teams’ policies for selection of immigrants have not been made totally clear but they are based on skills as well as numbers.
There will be fewer grants (if any) from the EU. The visa and immigrant selection rules could limit the number of students coming here which will seriously reduce university income but leave more places open for UK students. Cooperation with other universities will become more difficult than now if we leave.
If interest rates and / or inflation rise and stay high then loans will become more expensive.
It is unlikely that the legislation on workers rights including the minimum wage will change even if we exit.
Migration: who moves into and out of the UK
In 2015 630,000 long term immigrants (including 270,000 from the EU) came to the UK of which 308,000 came for work reasons, and 297,000 emigrants left the UK meaning a net immigration of 333,000 people including a net immigration of 184,000 citizens from the EU.
There were 34,687 application for asylum in 2015 (up 38% on 2014) of which the largest number came from Iran.
There are around 3 million EU-born people living in the UK of which 2.1 million are working, accounting for 6.8% (4.8% in 2013) of the workforce. There are 125,000 students from the EU
There are 1.2 million British people living in the EU.
In 2014 there were 8.3 million people who had been born overseas. This had doubled in 20 years.
Sovereignty: Information on the EU and the UK
There are 28 members with a combined population of over 500 million people. They became members by agreeing to the terms of the Lisbon Treaty.
The EU is run by:
- The European Council: is made up of heads of state and it agrees the strategy and broad policies.
- The Council of Ministers (“the Council”): it works with the Parliament on getting the strategy and policies passed into law. The proposals are generally agreed unanimously. If not, there is a formula for getting a majority and the UK has 12% of the votes.
- The European Commission is the executive, which manages the budget, proposes the legislation and enforces the laws. Less than 5% of the employees come from the UK.
- The European Parliament works with the Council and all laws have to be agreed by both of them. The UK has 10% of the MEP’s.
- The European Court of Justice is the Supreme Court for enforcing EU law. Each member appoints 1 judge.
The UK contributed £13 billion to the EU’s total expenditure of £113 billion in 2015 of which about 40% goes to agriculture.
The £ and the economy will be hit by Exit
Treasury forecast of long term effects of Exit: “If we take as a central assumption that the UK would seek a negotiated bilateral agreement, like Canada has, the costs to Britain are clear. Based on the Treasury’s estimates, our GDP would be 6.2% lower, families would be £4,300 worse off and our tax receipts would face an annual £36 billion black hole.”
Treasury forecast of short term effects of exit: “In this severe scenario, GDP would be 6% smaller, there would be a deeper recession, and the number of people made unemployed would rise by around 800,000 compared with a vote to remain. The hit to wages, inflation, house prices and borrowing would be larger.”
Economics and Business
Small companies generally want to Exit because of all the red tape
- There will be uncertainty and the £ will be unstable but this will soon change.
- Interest rates will come down and the £ could strengthen – particularly against the €.
- Our economy will grow on the back of free trade and as entrepreneurial businesses are freed from the EU’s Red Tape.
- The EU will want to keep us friendly since we are some of the members’ largest customers.
- We can sign our own free trade agreements with non-EU countries.
- The City is facing too much red tape and unsuitable rules laid down by Brussels.
- We could suit regulations for our own industries and not those of 27 other countries.
- New investments will be delayed until the terms of Exit are known
- The City will no longer be the back door to the EU and offices could move to Dublin, Frankfurt or Paris
- The City generates major tax revenues
The emphasis should be on NATO not on an EU army
All members have to agree unanimously before any mission can be launched and so the EU’s military battle groups have never been deployed although the troops have been used on peace missions in the Balkans and against the Somalian pirates.
The European Arrest Warrant (EAW) resulted in 766 arrests in the 5 years to 2015
The Schengen Information is a database of people and stolen property in most of the EU.
“Five eyes” (US/UK/Canada/NZ/ Australia) is the UK’s main security group worldwide.
The UK and France signed a bilateral declaration to combine defence and security and stewardship of nuclear stockpiles. It will not be affected by any vote on the EU.
The NATO agreement is not affected by any vote on the EU
We have surrendered our basic legal rights to the Court in Brussels.
65% of UK law is influenced by the EU.
The CAP is too expensive, inefficient and inflexible and takes up far too much of the EU budget.
We could negotiate much better agreements with non-EU countries to make our food cheaper.
The environmental policies will remain and be suitable for the UK.
The fishing policies have been a disaster.