YP Letters: Time to debunk some myths over our membership of the EU

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From: Colin Walshaw, Scholes, Cleckheaton.

OVER the last few weeks, statements have been made in the media which are wrong in many essentials concerning the EU. I should like to try and debunk a few myths, if I may.

Myth: Being in the EU safeguards jobs.

Fact: More than one million UK jobs have been lost since we joined the EU, including whole industries wiped out such as ship and train building, chemicals, textiles, mining, steel production and chocolate making while others such as fishing and farming to name but a few have suffered badly under EU regulations.

Myth: Three to four million jobs depend on being in the EU.

Fact: No. They depend on trade with the EU, which will not suffer. It would be against EU and World Trade Organisation rules to enter into a trade war just because we left.

Any such action would be illegal and worse for them as over five million jobs in France, Germany and elsewhere depend on trade with us. They sell us £8.1bn a month more than we do them.

Myth: We have influence in the EU.

Fact: Yes, but very little. We have lost 40 out of the last 40 times we tried to stop deals and agreements damaging to the UK.

David Cameron asked for little and got even less. If they had respect for the UK they would at least listen, 27 countries will never agree to fundamental changes. We have only 8.9 per cent of the vote in the ineffectual EU Parliament. The power is with the 28 unelected commissioners.

Myth: It takes a long time to make a deal with another country, seven years in the case of Canada for example.

Fact: It is being in the EU which causes these delays; outside the EU via the WTO we could make deals in weeks or quicker.

Myth: We need to be in the EU for police co-operation.

Fact: Interpol covers 190 nations around the globe.

Myth: We could not go abroad if we leave the EU.

Fact: Why? We did for centuries before the EU was formed. International tourism is worth billions of pounds per year and will not be stopped. Is it likely that Spain, Portugal and France will not want British tourists? The UK is outside the Schengen Area so nothing will change.

This just scrapes the surface of the myths the “Project Fear” side love to spread, but it would take a page or more to debunk them completely. We have nothing to lose, and much to gain, by voting “Leave” on June 23.