What Brexit could mean for Britain
With the date of the Brexit vote quickly approaching, one of the main concerns of the British public is a lack of information about what the effects of leaving the EU could be on Britain. Interest in this debate has swelled since the last election: with the topic of immigration being one of the biggest focuses.
While this is a hotly debated area, there are many other considerations that must be made when casting a vote: so we will be posting regular blogs addressing them, starting with the effects of Brexit on Britain’s economy.
Before joining the EU in 1973, Britain was one of the poorest European nations: now, as EU members, we are one the big players in Europe with an enviable position in trade and international status. With access to the single market, we can trade freely with other EU member countries as if they were on British soil: subject to special rules and privileges that non-EU members have to abide to when trading with us.
If we left this market, can we really expect the remaining EU members to let us enforce our own trade rules ‘as it was before’ or will we be forced to abide to the rules in place by the EU powerhouse?
As EU citizens, British nationals are free to travel, live and work anywhere in the EU: with European Consumer Protection ensuring they are treated exactly the same when shopping in Europe. Out of the EU, the cost of travel would increase and there is a chance we would not be as welcome in EU countries as we are now. The worst case scenario is that the 1.73million EU nationals currently in Britain are replaced by the 2.2million Britons living in other European countries (1,000,000 in Spain alone) who are forced to return to Britain. This would do nothing to resolve any overpopulation issues that have sparked the EU debate, especially as 400,000 of these are pensioners who from an economics point of view would add nothing to British economic growth.
Once travel and trade starts to become more expensive, we would see prices begin to inflate: companies trading with Europe struggling to cover the costs forced to drive prices up, imported food in supermarkets becoming expensive and even airline tickets seeing a price rise. Many small businesses would feel the squeeze and with an already creaking economy, as a country we might struggle to generate the money and trade required to quell the inevitable drop in GPD (Gross Domestic Product, which Open Europe predicts a worst case scenario of -2.2% growth).
A concern about a Brexit vote that has not been addressed very frequently is that if we left the EU: would Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland leave happily or would they prefer the relative security of the EU (relying on 28 member states instead of just 4) and potentially leave Britain as a result?
The greatest pro-leave argument is about the cost of EU membership: it costs your household £340 per year but this is all a matter of phrasing. What they fail to mention is that as a result of this spend, membership is worth over £3000 per household: through lower prices for everyday goods, extra jobs, increased investment in the UK and access to free trade. All of this personally saves you £450 per year.
There are many other reasons why we at Link-Law Associates believe a Brexit vote would be damaging to Britain which we will cover in other blogs on our website: whatever your belief we urge you to research the topic for yourself before making a vote.