A group of economists have put together an excellent briefing paper dispelling many of the silly things being put out by “Project fear”.
Here is a summary:
1. The Overview briefing note by Roger Bootle highlights that the EU’s poor recent economic performance looks set to continue and largely reflects the poor decisions it continues to make.
2. The Regulation piece by Professor Tim Congdon stresses that the EU has led to a sharp increase in regulation, which in turn has been a major contributor to the region’s poor economic growth.
3. The focus on Trade by Professor Patrick Minford highlights that the UK has everything to gain from a change in its trading relationship with the EU. The EU has created an economic bloc of 28 countries around which it has erected tariff and non-tariff barriers. While globalisation has helped reduce the significance of these barriers, they remain there to protect agriculture and manufacturing within the EU. The gains to the UK from leaving this protectionist area and trading under World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules at world prices would be significant: growth would be higher and the prices we pay in the UK lower. The service sector would benefit.
4. The message on Jobs and Investment , by Ryan Bourne , is simple but clear. Outside the EU, the UK would have a healthy labour market; jobs and investment would expand in an environment of higher growth.
5. Neil MacKinnon focuses on Immigration . The EU’s freedom of movement rules prevent the UK from controlling immigration from the EU, much of it of unskilled workers. To control total migration, the UK must restrict non-EU immigration unreasonably. It is only if it is outside the EU that the UK will be able to obtain the mix of immigrants with the skills it needs within a reasonable total.
6. Gerard Lyons explains that, outside the EU, the City of London will retain its role as the world’s leading financial centre. Within the EU, our major industry, the financial sector, has faced a difficult time in recent years, as the UK has seen a declining ability to influence the regulatory environment for the financial sector. In future, if it remains within the EU, the City will remain exposed to future tensions between the eurozone and the non-eurozone countries.
7. The UK is a large net contributor to the EU Budget , as Warwick Lightfoot explains, and would benefit from being able to spend better its large budget contribution were we to leave the EU.
8. There are a number of groups that receive EU funding , without appearing to realise that this money comes from the UK in the first place, as Professor Kent Matthews outlines. He confronts head on the misplaced fears of University Vice Chancellors and the science profession, among others.