EU is all gain, no cost

This is, literally, a random UK tax bill (shared last week on social media) – showing how taxes are allocated.


Now, spot the EU contribution…

And here is the thing – outside the EU, many others of these expenditures would increase:

  • Health costs would increase as reciprocal arrangements, generally advantageous to UK taxpayers since the British spend more time in other EU states than vice-versa, would likely be withdrawn;
  • Education costs would rise as Erasmus opportunities and other exchanges became more limited (ask any Norwegian about that);
  • Defence costs would rise as it became harder to form mutual arrangements under common regulatory frameworks, notably key ones with France;
  • Public Order and Safety costs would increase as data sharing inevitably became more limited;
  • Culture would become more expensive and cultural exchange became trickier;
  • Business costs would increase (no doubt with some government assistance required) to overcome tariffs now introduced with our largest export market – this would likely also see utility costs rise;
  • Government administration would increase as functions currently pooled with 27 other states (not least negotiating overall trade deals) had to be managed by one alone;
  • … and this is all before we get to the point that the average household would have less to contribute in tax because the cost of imports would have risen.

“Brexit” would cost. Be in no doubt about it.


7 thoughts on “EU is all gain, no cost

  1. William Allen says:

    I am a believer in the EU and will be voting for the UK to remain in the UK. Indeed I embrace the concept of ever closer union, but I am not convinced by your economic arguments. However trade etc is not the reason why I support the EU, I support it because history has shown over and over the dangers of disunity and in a world in which the liberal western nations relative power is declining we simply can not afford to fragment. I am happy to call myself British, Irish and European all at the same time. The EU in no way threatens my nationality and I believe that it is petty nationalism that is driving the push for UK exit from the EU, just as it is petty nationalism that almost caused Scotland the leave the UK.

  2. I’m sure plenty of vultures would see a Brexit/UKexit as a good thing.

  3. andyboal says:

    There was a piece in yesterday’s Metro (you read strange things on Lothian buses) which reported a cabinet minister stating the view I share, that the EU would be quick to raise trade barriers in the event of Brexit, but anti-EU people saying that would be illegal under WTO rules.

    My understanding is that if we withdraw from the EU, we also withdraw from all treaties entered into under that membership, leaving only treaties made directly by the UK, possibly some from EFTA days.

    I don’t have the resources to check that out 😉

    • It’s difficult to check that since the biggest country to leave the EEC/EC/EU is Algeria, and they are not even in the World Trade Organisation. It just makes the whole we’ll get our WTO seat back (it was never lost) arguement made by Brexiteers even more laughable.

      • Re-emphasising that negotiating our own trade deals (something at which we have no experience) will require a whole new raft of bureaucracy. It will be less efficient and less effective.

  4. We probably don’t have a lot of experience of what goes into trading arrangement, certainly in Northern Ireland . I’ve pretty much heard the Swiss have so many complicated bilaterals it comes down to a science. As a scientist I’m intrigued but as an observer I’m wary of people wanting to leave the EU because the form filling for funding is complicated effectively choosing to set in motion events that will no doubt put a load of rules and forms and steer away from the convenience of the commonality of the common market.

    Interestingly Algeria, which left the EEC on its independence from France has more deals with the EU than any other set of nations outside the WTO.

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