There are so many reasons for being in the EU. Here are just some of the mostly economic and obvious ones. But there are also so many cultural reasons for remaining in the EU.
In 2017, around 44% of UK exports go to the EU.
Economic reasons for the EU
European structural funds
European structural funds regions directly and invests 5 billion a year
Debate on K
EU funded research
The European Research Area (ERA) is composed of all research and innovation activities, programmes and policies in Europe which involve a transnational perspective.
The Framework Programme contributes to the further development of ERA and its initiatives. Horizon 2020, the EU’s eighth Framework Programme for funding research and innovation, runs from 2014 to 2020 and has a total budget of just over €70 billion.
Horizon 2020 is a funding programme for all types of actors involved in research and innovation and contains a number of different schemes and mechanisms. It is based on a structure of three pillars: Excellent Science; Industrial Leadership; and Societal Challenges.
Influence in Europe
Just as we influence standards, we influence European policy from within. Once we leave we will only be tributary.
Our influence in Europe Bojo said May’s deal makes us a vassal
Deciding on laws
Membership allows us the right to be part of the decision mechanisms of the EU thus participating in shaping our future.
Common agricultural policy
The common agricultural policy compensates farmers for operations that would otherwise be unprofitable and contributes to regulating prices and volume of food sold across Europe.
Launched in 1962, the EU’s common agricultural policy (CAP) is a partnership between agriculture and society, and between Europe and its farmers. It aims to
- support farmers and improve agricultural productivity, ensuring a stable supply of affordable food
- safeguard European Union (EU) farmers to make a reasonable living
- help tackle climate change and the sustainable management of natural resources
- maintain rural areas and landscapes across the EU
- keep the rural economy alive by promoting jobs in farming, agri-foods industries and associated sectors
70 years of peace
The European Parliament and European Court of Justice provide forums for democratic debate and exchange on European matters which might otherwise or have in the past flared into conflict. See the debate around how the EU contributes to peace in K
Students can study abroad
The indirect benefit is that we educate our children in a more open and rounded way. They have their exposure to different cultures, ways of life and therefore are more open-minded and educated.
Standards and norms
The EU coordinates standards and norms which level the trade playing field thus allowing members to trade freely. See the importance of standards in Europe
Being in the customs union means that when UK companies want to import from and export to European countries, they pay no customs duty and there are no administrative formalities
Free movement of persons
Freedom of movement and residence for persons in the EU is the cornerstone of Union citizenship, established by the Treaty of Maastricht in 1992.
The gradual phasing-out of internal borders under the Schengen agreements was followed by the adoption of Directive 2004/38/EC on the right of EU citizens and their family members to move and reside freely within the EU.
Notwithstanding the importance of this right, substantial implementation obstacles persist, 10 years after the deadline for implementation of the Directive.
Free movement of capital
The free movement of capital means for everyday people that there are no restrictions on the amount of money that you can take with you when you go abroad to live or to work
The free movement of capital is not only the most recent of all Treaty freedoms, but — because of its unique third-country dimension — also the broadest. The liberalisation of capital flows progressed gradually. Since the Maastricht Treaty, all restrictions on capital movements and payments have been removed, both between Member States and with third countries. The principle has direct effect, i.e. it requires no further legislation at either EU or Member State level.
Effect of leaving the EU on UK economy
The National Institute of Economic and Social Research estimates that trade with the EU, especially in services, will be more costly after Brexit. This is likely to have an adverse effect on living standards in the UK.
Their central estimate is that if the government’s proposed Brexit deal is implemented, then GDP in the longer term will be around 4 per cent lower than it would have been had the UK stayed in the EU.
This is roughly equivalent to losing the annual output of Wales or the output of the financial services industry in London. This is equivalent to a loss of 3 per cent in GDP per head, worth around £1,000 per annum on average to people in the UK.
Freedom of movement of workers
People can go on holiday to other European countries but also can freely go to another country to live and work if they so choose
One of the four freedoms enjoyed by EU citizens is the free movement of workers. This includes the rights of movement and residence for workers, the rights of entry and residence for family members, and the right to work in another Member State and be treated on an equal footing with nationals of that Member State. Restrictions apply in some countries for citizens of new Member States. The rules on access to social benefits are currently shaped primarily by the case law of the Court of Justice.
Freedom of movement of goods
The free movement of goods, the first of the four fundamental freedoms of the internal market, is secured through the elimination of customs duties and quantitative restrictions, and the prohibition of measures having an equivalent effect. The principles of mutual recognition, elimination of physical and technical barriers, and promotion of standardisation were added in order to continue the completion of the internal market.
Mutual recognition of diplomas
The freedom of establishment and the freedom to provide services are cornerstones of the single market, enabling the mobility of businesses and professionals throughout the EU. Implementing these freedoms supposes the overall recognition of nationally delivered diplomas and qualifications. Different measures for their harmonisation and mutual recognition have been adopted, and further legislation on the subject is underway.
Clean Air Quality
The clean air package aims to substantially reduce air pollution across the EU. The proposed strategy sets out objectives for reducing the health and environmental impacts of air pollution by 2030, and contains legislative proposals to implement stricter standards for emissions and air pollution.
The package was published by the Commission on 18 December 2013, and consists of a communication on the ‘clean air programme for Europe’, plus three legislative proposals on emissions and air pollution.
Climate change action
The European Union is committed to climate change action and urges member states to meet ecological targets. The European Climate Change ProgrammeEurope is working hard to cut its greenhouse gas emissions substantially while encouraging other nations and regions to do likewise.
Protected food status
The EU Protected Food Name Scheme identifies regional and traditional foods whose authenticity and origin can be guaranteed. Under this system a named food or drink registered at a European level will be given legal protection against imitation throughout the EU.
There was a concerted program instigated by Europe to improve the quality of all beaches via the blue flag program.
The first European bathing water legislation, the ‘Bathing Water Directive‘ came into force in 1975. Its main objectives are to safeguard public health and protect the aquatic environment in coastal and inland areas from pollution. Bathing waters can be coastal waters or inland waters (rivers, lakes).
Health and Safety
Health and safety standards are developed and coordinated at a European level.
REACH is a regulation of the European Union, adopted to improve the protection of human health and the environment from the risks that can be posed by chemicals while enhancing the competitiveness of the EU chemicals industry. It also promotes alternative methods for the hazard assessment of substances in order to reduce the number of tests on animals.
Research and Education
The EU funds and coordinates research in science, industry and social policy. See EU research and innovation
Investing in research and innovation is investing in Europe’s future. It helps us to compete globally and preserve our unique social model. It improves the daily lives of millions of people here in Europe and around the world, helping to solve some of our biggest societal challenges.
EU support for research and innovation adds value by encouraging cooperation between research teams across countries and disciplines that is vital in making breakthrough discoveries.
Overseeing taxation and funding
The EU levels the playing field by effectively centralising funds and then distributing them out in a coordinated and mutually agreed manner.
The EU does not have a direct role in collecting taxes or setting tax rates. The amount of tax each citizen pays is decided by their national government, along with how the collected taxes are spent.
The EU does, however, oversee national tax rules in some areas; particularly in relation to EU business and consumer policies, to ensure:
- the free flow of goods, services and capital around the EU (in the single market)
- businesses in one country don’t have an unfair advantage over competitors in another
- taxes don’t discriminate against consumers, workers or businesses from other EU countries
The EU is democratic
Leavers state that the EU is undemocratic.
However, the EU far surpasses other international organisations in its democratic control, just as it reaches into far more areas of public policy than its counterparts elsewhere. Fullfact