WHAT THE EU MEANS FOR ORDINARY PEOPLE
1. Who governs us and who sets our laws?
It is a fundamental of any democracy that people are able to elect an individual to represent them in the country’s parliament. That elected individual and that parliament must be able to set all the laws by which we live.
This is not possible as a member of the European Union. Membership requires acceptance of laws set at EU level, and only an unelected Commission in Brussels can propose these laws, rules and directives. The number of areas over which the EU legislates has grown exponentially over the past four decades.
EU membership requires submission to a higher power; a power that is even more remote than Westminster and which is unaccountable to British people for all intents and purposes.
2. Can our Government help its own economy — and our economic well-being?
Let's look at the fabled Custom Union and what it means for everyone.
The Customs Union effectively sets the costs of a lot of what you buy.
The Customs Union puts tariffs at an EU level on all imported goods. This means prices for consumers in the UK are higher than they need to be in a wide range of everyday items.
The Customs Union also prevents the UK from negotiating trade deals which benefit our own economy. The overall needs and priorities of British exporters are different from those of its continental neighbours, and the slow-moving EU bureaucrats work to protect those continental interests, not those of the UK.
Good now let's look at the single market and what it means for everyone
3. The Single Market requires obedience to foreign laws
The Single Market requires the acceptance that a great many laws are made in Brussels. These rules, set by what is basically a foreign government, apply to all British businesses even though 88% of them do not trade with EU countries.
The rules also apply to people, not just to businesses. The EU has slowly expanded its powers to take in everything from what happens when you flick a light switch to how long it takes you to vacuum a carpet.
4. The taxes we pay — a fundamental of a sovereign country
Even taxes are now regulated in Brussels. Want to remove VAT on women’s sanitary products? No can do. Brussels won’t let your government do that.
The EU tax regime is set to be extended further, with advanced discussions on corporation tax and — even worse — a financial transactions tax. The latter is an example of regulation from Brussels that would specifically hit the UK, as it is the powerhouse of financial transactions in the EU.
5. Can Britain stay British?
The Single Market also impacts the very fabric of our society. Any normal country has an immigration policy, deciding how many foreign persons it allows in, and which skills are needed most. This is impossible under the ‘four freedoms’, one of which dictates an open border policy to the foreign nationals of 27 other countries.
If your town’s schools, doctors’ surgeries, and hospitals are full, and there aren’t enough houses, tough. It’s no good complaining to your MP as there’s nothing he or she can do to stop more people entering.
6. What about our country’s defence, security and foreign policies?
The EU has had a Common Foreign and Security Policy since 2009. The EU already intervenes militarily in several countries and it has a de facto Foreign and Defence Secretary.
Increasingly the UK has been sucked into the new military structures of the EU, which are increasingly supplanting NATO. Whilst the EU has been unable to pay for its own protection for generations, it is embarking on a rapid expansion of its control of member states’ own military and security resources.
7. Finally, our money and the nation’s wealth (this is important if we are to flourish)
For more than 45 years the UK has been subsidising the other countries of the EU. It has paid over far more than it has got back. The UK remains one of the few very few countries which pays a net contribution each year. There is no ‘EU money’. The EU simply recycles money from net contributors like the UK, and mostly gives it to other countries.
Despite this, and despite the absence of any legal obligation from the Treaty, the EU is demanding an enormous divorce settlement.