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Bill Cash and Bernard Jenkin launch paper questioning economic value of EU's single market

By Tim Montgomerie
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Cash and JenkinEarlier today MPs Bernard Jenkin and Bill Cash launched a paper entitled "The EU single market – is it worth it?". You can read a PDF of it here.

The paper busts a number of myths about our relationship with the EU, including "MYTH 2" - “Three million jobs depend on our trade with the EU”.

Cash and Jenkin write:

"This myth is intended to suggest that there would be substantial loss of jobs if we were not in the EU ‘single market’.

However, if UK business and commerce were to be relieved of the burdens and costs of EU single market regulations, the UK could expand its economy more quickly and recover some of the 2 million skilled jobs which have been lost to Germany, France and other parts of the European Union.

Our earnings from the EU are in structural decline, but our overseas earnings from beyond the EU are growing.  Non-EU exports of goods and services amounted to 56% of all UK overseas earnings in 2011.  The UK now enjoys a trading surplus with the rest of the world of £17.1bn, compared a deficit of £46bn with the other 26 states of the EU. This is despite the distorting effect of the EU single market in favour of trade with our EU partners.  The UK economy is also highly dependent upon imports.  Membership of the ‘single market’ increases the cost of imports from the rest of the world. These imports over the last 10 years have so far grown 80% faster than our imports from the EU. Given these trends, the UK economy must be free to adapt. 

Non-EU exporters to the EU, the US and China, for example, export to the EU and cope with EU tariff barriers and they have increased their trade with the EU by more than the UK has since the ‘single market was established.  They do not pay any contribution to the EU, nor are they bound to comply with the EU regulations in their own domestic and non-EU export markets. Being outside the ‘single market, Switzerland exports three times more goods per head of the population to the EU than does the United Kingdom."

Download a PDF of "The Single Market Is it worth it".


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