We’ve already discussed the impact of ‘Brexit’ on immigration into the UK. One of the other chief issues during the referendum campaign will be the economy, with many voters wondering if Britain could do even better outside the restrictions of EU membership, or whether cutting ties with the UK’s largest trading partner would be economic suicide.

The EU Single Market is central to this debate. It’s the largest market on the planet, even larger than the United States. The UK Office of National Statistics (ONS) reports that, in the 18 months leading to January 2016, the proportion of total British exports that have gone to the EU has ranged from 38 per cent to 49 per cent. Europe is obviously an important trade partner, but could the UK keep access to that market without having to sign up to EU rules that British voters don’t like?

Have you already made your mind up which way to vote? Do YOU think Britain should leave the European Union? Let us know what you think in the poll below:

We had a comment sent in by James, who argues it is “hopelessly naive” to believe that Britain could gain access to the EU Single Market without signing up to EU rules (such as freedom of movement).

To get a reaction, we spoke to Andy Bagnall, Director of Campaigns for the Chamber of British Industries (CBI). Does he believe that if Britain leaves, the EU would still grant it access to the Single Market without signing up to EU rules?

bagnallWell, the short answer is no, I don’t. Why would the other 27 Member States of the European Union give the UK all of the benefits and none of the costs? […] If the UK tried to be like Norway and join the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) or the European Economic Area (EEA), it might still be able to get access to the Single Market, but in those circumstances it would still follow all of the relevant EU rules for selling goods and services, it would be subject to the rules on free movement of people, and the UK would have no formal influence over the legislative process – no MEPs, no Commissioner, no seats on the Council. The UK would also still have to pay into the EU budget…

The UK could be more like Switzerland and negotiate on a case-by-case basis, more of a “pick and choose” approach but, again, where the UK got access to the Single Market it would need to follow the rules the EU is setting without influencing them. It’s also worth mentioning it took nine years for Switzerland to negotiate the first set of agreements, and sixteen years to get to the position it’s currently in…

For another perspective, we also spoke to Kelvin Hopkins, a British Labour MP for Luton North and co-chair of the “Labour Leave” campaign in favour of Brexit. What would he say to James?

hopkinsWell, I don’t think there’s a problem there, because if the EU started to be difficult and put trade restrictions on British exports it would obviously cause difficulty for them, because if we put the same constraints on EU exports to us it would be more damaging to them than us. We effectively export over a million jobs to the European Union because of our gigantic trade deficit. So, I don’t think there’s any likelihood of trade restrictions against Britain because the European Union would lose much more than we would.

How would leaving the EU affect the British economy? Would Britain be allowed to keep access to the Single Market without following EU rules? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below, and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!

IMAGE CREDITS: CC / Flickr – Dirk Hofmann

199 comments Post a commentcomment

What do YOU think?

    • avatar

      Ofcourse a person from the east will say so, anything EU is better that what you all have, for people like you the EU is a big all you can eat buffet of goodies, freedom of movement,European passports that actall open doors and therefore are worth something and other things. Its not up to you to tell British people how to vote. They know what they want and dont want so let them decide their future.

    • avatar
      Dario Cirillo

      For now, It is all about perspectives!
      Everything will depend on the agreements the parts will eventually sign. I reckon that, in the short term, UK can only benefit from it. The real question is: do we want a more globalized world?

    • avatar
      Riz London

      Was previously toying with a vote for Brexit, but have now changed my mind. We are better in. The economic argument is too real to ignore for me having thought it through properly. I can not just dismiss the Bank of England and the leading econiomists and major employers in favour of Farage and co, whose arguments about Britain going it alone does not really honestly address the periods of uncertainty and the real danger to our economy. I feel that the Brexit campaign is too narrow focused on immigration and overly dismisive of the real concerns about the dangers of a Brexit. i would now prefer to be in, with UK having a seat and driving change in Europe than out. I am unconvinced about the near xenophobic stigmatisation of immigrants by Nigel Farage and co and on balance, I have now decided to change my stance. I will firmly now be voting to REMAIN along with my wife and our little close circle of friends and their wives..

  1. avatar
    Michelle Maria

    Yeah I often wonder what britain would do without all its commissions throughtout the world, money for colonisation the lifetime franchise fee.. not sure that the eu isnt more of a liability though at the moment

    • avatar

      What a foolish thing to say. Of course if Britain leaves the EU there is a real got the whole new house could come down like a house of cards in the Wind. And without British influence to contact German influence and French influence there will be a completely new dynamic I’m probably not to the betterment of the peoples of Europe.

  2. avatar

    How on Earth is a layperson supposed to produce an intelligent opinion on this? Is this a provocation? Or is there a hidden objective?

    • avatar

      So you are saying that you are too stupid to know whats good for your future, then shut up!

  3. avatar
    Winston Zhang

    It may have some impact but not the disaster scenario as described by the REMAIN-campaign. London for example will remain the indisputable financial centre of Europe. I don’t see any European capital that can challenge London as a major financial hub.

    • avatar
      jose garcia

      well you are not up to date . if there is an exit all major financial institutionwill to other countries like France , Italy and Spain who have offered lost, the Pound devaluates, interest rate go up, bank loans more difficult to get othe things more expensive etc, etc, chain reactions, atomic economic explosion… and who suffers, you me and the people, so just think of all of us… you might get fired from work, for short lost your job.

    • avatar
      Riz London

      Why is the Brexit camp dodging the question of the negative impact on our economy of a Brexit ?. I will much rather heed the warnings and views of the Bank of England or the CBI over what Nigel Farage has to say when it comes to the economy. After controlling immigration from the EU, Brexit will increase immigration from the commonwealth ? Give me a break.. The debate will only shift away from Turkey to Bangladesh, and Pakistani people There will always be a scapegoat as has always been with the right in UK. First it was the Jews, then the Irish, then the blacks.. now it is the turn of the Eastern Europeans. Never mind that they contribute more than they take. of course Brexit will not talk about that. I am so thankful that I changed from Brexit to remain having thought it through properly.

  4. avatar
    Tarquin Farquhar

    There would be short term pain for the UK BUT long term GAIN.

    Most economists [AKA ‘soothsayers’] say the UK could on average shrink by 1% post-Brexit – given that the UK has recovered from an 8% financial crisis drop in the size of the UK economy and given too that the UK would be:

    able to trade with the RoW and
    control immigration from foreign countries in the EU

    then a Brexit vote is a positive no-brainer for the UK.

    BTW, trade threats from the EU not only embarrass the EU and its so-called peaceful nature but also fail to acknowledge that trade-wars are subject to the WTO and the EU would if it should pursue its AGGRESSIVE ECONOMIC STANCE be punished!

    PS: The EU makes £68b/year from the UK in trade and gets c£10b/year in net contributions – the EU needs the UK more than the UK needs the EU.

    • avatar

      The whole purpose of the EU is to have trade agreements in place. So when you are not in it you are not punished by extra tariffs, it is just how tariffs are meant to be when you are not a member of the EU and you have no trade agreements with any of tis members. Is it rocket science?

  5. avatar
    Vlasta Peric


    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      @Vlasta Peric
      Increased taxes work both ways remember.

      Plus, if the EU plays hardball with the UK then the UK can always apply extra tax on EU foreigners too.

    • avatar

      The EU loves to say they are 500Million people,well the UK makes up 64Million of that, when 64000000 leave something it will definately not go unnoticed.And that number will not be intimitaded by the EU. The EU despereately needs trade with 64000000 people in the UK. The Business elites that run corporations and finance politicians will not voluntary let those profits disappear because somebody in the EU is angry about the UK leaving and wants to defacto or facto santion them, and anways such sanctions would surely work both ways.

  6. avatar
    Mavis Allen


    • avatar

      As a commonwealth citizen I suppor the British people regardless of what they will decide in this election I would however prefer a fully politically and legally Independence United Kingdom, such a United Kingdom will automatically see the need to refresh the relations with the Commonwealth Nations after all we have strong historical ties. Maybe a commonwealth Union is in order.

  7. avatar
    Paula Goesten

    I didn’t even know Brussels had a PM! Shows how redundant they are! What’s the point in having a PM. When the EU rule !!

  8. avatar
    Jess Hampshire

    #brexit will certainly decimate the tech industry. ( #techxit ). The large number of EU headquarters based in England (because we speak English) will move. (Maybe to Edinburgh if, as seems likely, they don’t want to jump with us). Of course there will be a huge temporary boom in the two year transition period as they relocate.

    • avatar
      Paul X

      Nicola Sturgeon doesn’t want to jump with you…though the opinion of the Scottish people may just be different

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      @Jess Hampshire
      Boeing don’t think so, they’ve just announced that their European HQ will be in the UK.

      German Stock Exchange don’t think so, they’ve just hooked up with the London Stock Exchange.

      The Scotland out campaign benefitted from letting 16/17 year olds and EU
      foreigners vote. They will NOT be able to vote in a Brexit.

  9. avatar
    Mavis Allen


  10. avatar
    Vinko Rajic

    Not very bad , they are going to create “trade union” with US , Canada , Australia , Japan and China . EU and Arab economy is going to be badly damaged . German and Saudi economy is going to become “Kebab economy”.

  11. avatar
    Paul X

    Quote:…”James, who argues it is “hopelessly naive” to believe that Britain could gain access to the EU Single Market without signing up to EU rules (such as freedom of movement)”

    Hopelessly naive is the belief that trade and freedom of movement are irrevocably linked. They are in no way connected except by the Treaty of Rome for which the intention was to allow workers free movement in doing their job.
    Since then the ideology has been hijacked to permit mass migration of anyone and everyone in an attempt to dilute national identity to further the EU’s dream of a single superstate

  12. avatar
    Kei Nakanishi

    British can make more safer and great trade and free movement area with G7 countries (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and USA). And they have already commonwealth, why not focusing on it

  13. avatar
    Derek Hanks

    The answer is that nobody knows. On the other hand, we know many of the things that EU membership will bring, such as ever closer union (forget Cameron’s blandishments ) , uncontrolled immigration, less and less democracy and probably, at some stage, joining the Euro. The consequences of staying In worry me more than the uncertainty of getting Out.

  14. avatar
    Stefania Portici

    l’Inghilterra ha una politica neoliberista . Per lei , o meglio per la sua elite , poco cambia dentro o fuori la UE. Le sue “frodi bancarie o bolle speculative ” sono famose in tutto il mondo e sono un problema. Per il popolo ( ma non per l’elite) se l’Inghilterra rimane fuori la UE è meglio perchè ci sta una possibilità di distruggere questo sistema che l’Inghilterra stessa insieme agli USA hanno creato e stanno imponendo a tutti , ognuno coi propri difetti e limiti

  15. avatar
    Tarquin Farquhar

    @Stefania Portici
    For the neo-liberal system to fail the EU must fail – a Brexit might just help because even Germany cannot afford to pay for France, Italy, Spain, Portugal etc etc and thus a pro-TTIP EU could fail.

  16. avatar
    David Fuzzey

    Our economy will improve,our borders will be secure and there will be no more interference from unelected eu nobodies.

  17. avatar

    If that bastrds leave EU, border must be closed to them and any and all trade agreements rewritten…

    • avatar
      Paul X

      So no more uncontrolled immigration from the EU and the net EU exports to the UK will be subject to new agreements…….oh dear.. how sad….

    • avatar

      They are 64000000 people, you will not dictate anything to them.As a Commonwealth citizen I am glad for the UK to acert its greatness and have closer relations with us.

    • avatar

      That sounds like a splendid plan Miro,I suspect that you have a heightened sense of the EUs importance to us though

  18. avatar
    Pedro Vicente

    Your economy if improves,will bring more pollution, more environmental problems, more poverty among your society… UK is a good US learner, get ready for more neoliberal politics

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      @Pedro Vicente
      You too – look at TTIP!

  19. avatar
    Maria Anderson

    We will Prosper Once again. Bask in our freedom and Trade with who we choose to. And we will all have more money to spend on ourselves and we won’t have to Pay the EU 55 Million a day !!! Bring it on !!!

  20. avatar
    Bob Goodall

    Well joining meant giving up our fishing rights and controls, higher food prices and MODEST improvements in trade, much higher food prices. Staying in means handing over more power to undemocratic institutions and further erosion of people power. TTIP agreement is secretively being hammered out and that is utterly against our interests and a barrier to trade with other nations.

  21. avatar
    Brian Bruce

    Well, it would save £55 billion a day. That’s got to help our economy straight off the bat. I’d rather have that money spent on our country instead of building train stations in some ex communist country.

  22. avatar
    Colin Senior

    Germany are thinking of buying into our stock exchange and they will have majority share so I hope the board at the stock exchange go against it we don’t want Germany ruling us come on folks let’s kick their buts ( again)

  23. avatar
    Elena Sanchez Florido

    I’d rather say that becoming isolated in some way would jeopardise British exports and imports… not talking about the social consequences of it all….

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      @Elena Sanchez Florido
      Jeopardise? A bit extreme methinks.
      BTW i,ports would never be an issue – there is more to the world than the EU!

  24. avatar
    Dave Picton

    It won’t affect trade at all, tariffs don’t come into the equation.

    We are one of the EU’s biggest customers, if they bump up tariffs, we then stop importing, they lose a massive chunk of exports, the EU economy is ‘tanking’. They have to find other markets to make up the shortfall but, if there were other markets, they would be trading in them already.

    The EU, doesn’t want to piss off one of it’s best markets, hence tariffs aren’t going to be a problem.

  25. avatar
    Dennis Prosser

    Britain will be a lot better off. I don’t see what the problem is. We were a lot better off before we went in. After the war this was a great country. Until we went into the EU. Downhill ever since.

  26. avatar
    Roy Taylor

    It is absolutely clear in my mind. The U.K. Is a major export market for the EU. Put tariffs on our exports and we put the same tariffs on our imports and on all EU destination travel and holidays from the UK. We would make a substantial profit on tariffs.

  27. avatar
    Kevin Brindley

    What price do folk put on democratic freedom?…in my mind it is priceless…so we Brits will be MUCH better off out.

  28. avatar

    The UK will be… unscratched. The UK is still an autonomous economy (Thank You Lord) an example and alternative to german-centric, rigid ruled, unfair, export-based, Russian gas and oil-addicted economy.

  29. avatar
    Stewie Graham

    i dont give a crap about business its about keeping the english people from any harm in my book i see whats happening in germany to young women and all the trouble in sweeden if thats the EU they can keep it people first then business.

  30. avatar
    John Saguato

    is truth nobody have a crystal ball bat is possible to study possibility if you do this what you see is a bleak future for the people of the UK

  31. avatar
    donny kid

    The EU is like a closing down sale… its outside of the EU that is booming.

  32. avatar
    Stephanie Morgan

    Better safe than sorry! By the way EU is bungling the safety and security of Europe economy is only a secondary factor. Safety, security and sovereignty is primordial!

  33. avatar
    Dave Pannell

    I cant think a single thing cameron/osbourne & the eu have said that would make me change my mind and want to stay in the eu everything they say to me seem to be lies they cant or wont give a answer on true numbers of migrates entering the uk and the true cost to the uk economy they wanted to treat the disabled like crap so the well off could be better off so to me it just looks like they are wanting to look after themselves and keep their eu pals happy!

    • avatar

      Do you practice mind-reading, Sheila?

  34. avatar
    Art Lewis

    Ive never been asked if I want to join the EU but I am being asked if I want to remain in something I, or anyone else ever had a say in joining. Deception.

  35. avatar
    Neil Newton

    The economy may improve …it may not as nobody really knows.
    But you can be certain that under a right wing Tory government, workers rights will worsen.
    It wasn’t that long ago the Torys said they want to make it easier for company’s to sack people and possibly do away with redundancy payments.
    With no Europe to keep tabs on them, I fear the worse.

    • avatar

      It’s all about protecting the bankers. At last someone here that understands what is happening…

  36. avatar
    John Edwards

    The conservative Tories whatever you what to call these bastards they only want to stop in the EU because of their Corporate Corruption and the billions of private investment plans you don’t know about look up the bilderberg group

  37. avatar
    John Edwards

    Osborne as hundreds of thousands of is own money lol invested in companies he owns the same with Cameron fucking tax payers money as been used so these corrupt bastards and fill there bank accounts up it’s fucking Criminal what’s going on and there getting away with it

  38. avatar
    Howard Shakespeare

    On every level it is a win for the UK.
    The EU is in terminal decline. The UK’s departure will accelerate that decline, but that is their problem. If it had remained a trading block, there wouldn’t have been a problem. But the unelected empire builders in Brussels turned the citizens of Europe against it.

  39. avatar
    Melvyn Suter

    I don’t give a flying f**k I’m voting out.we managed alright before 1975 we can do it stop.scare mongering.

  40. avatar
    Pete Jones

    This whole referendum should be called ‘mass debating Europe’, because both sides are a bunch of wankers (thank you, I’m here all week)

  41. avatar
    David Hunt

    If the EU cannot have it’s accounts signed off it is a corrupt organisation.

    • avatar

      more corrupt and destructive than ISIS and Hitler? What are you driving at?

  42. avatar
    Arron Karl Hughes

    We managed just fine without Europe,thank you very much. Dont be scared,you can call us next time you need help winning a war.

  43. avatar
    Steve Carter

    Out of corrupt EU! No borders! No Security! More terror! More erosion of our way of life! Save billions! Take back control!

  44. avatar
    Sebastien Chopin

    Britain would be the new Albania… cos the EU won’t let us come back on to the EU market with conditions similar to Norway’s for treason… and America will backlash for weakening the west…they’ve just pointed that out..Leaving is pleasing Putin. ..we are never going to compete with India and China who work for free till death imposes a new recruit… I hope Nigeria’s got a lot of money to spend on Britain….cos otherwise we could have a new potato famine on our hands… we would not be making many friends quite the contrary… I wonder if we leave… how we would beg to get back in after a couple of years… and whether treason is applicable to Cameron and Farrage in this case for destroying the country’s health and reputation for silly little games of power…

    • avatar
      Paul X

      We don’t want to be Norway, or Switzerland. We want a unique UK deal with the EU that doesn’t come with all the federalist baggage (i.e free movement)

      I’m sure we will be plenty of regulations to follow but they should only be trade related and to be honest the UK is one of the few countries that actually implements most EU regulations so basically we will already have in place everything required to comply with the EU market place

    • avatar
      EU reform- proactive

      @Sebastien Chopin – the resultant consequences you project in your “EU view Incorporated”– those “silly little games of power …” is a world full of vindictiveness, revenge & hurt!- or?

      Regardless if the subject is the present UK or whoever- any relationship based on fear, reprisals, punishment is a dangerous & poisonous “policy of vindictiveness”- which you insinuate should be followed or is the EU’s modis operandi? Are we not experiencing same within the present Islamic Cultural Revolution?

      Is that behind the mask of “EU WONDERFUL” and all Pro EU zealots? One more reason to opt out from such cramped vision!

  45. avatar
    Peter Hollings

    They sell more to us than we sell to them and New Zealand and Canada are just waiting to sign trade agreements with us it would be a no brainier for Audi,VW,BMW have a huge investment in Britain as has the French an Italian car industries not to mention that the EU has lost a huge market by impossing sanctions on Russia.TIME TO LEAVE

    • avatar
      K Lalande

      Peter, I don’t think you got the facts right.

      “The car industry has been one of the success stories of the UK economy since the financial crisis. The country exported 1.3m vehicles last year – the highest on record – and accounted for almost 12% of all UK exports. The automotive industry now employs 800,000 and is worth £15bn a year to the economy.

      The SMMT found 88% of large automotive companies support staying in the EU, with 73% of small and medium-sized businesses also wanting to remain. Two-thirds of SMMT members think access to EU automotive markets has a positive impact on the company.

      The SMMT membership includes leading car manufacturers such as Ford, Vauxhall and Nissan, as well as Toyota. The industry relies heavily on EU exports – which accounted for 57.5% of the vehicles produced in the UK in 2015, when car manufacturing reached a 10-year high of 1.59m units.”

  46. avatar
    Margery Clapham

    Corruptions for the politicians that’s why that don’t want to come out. Time to sack these people now.

  47. avatar
    catherine benning

    I believe the UK leaving the EU club would eventually be the best move it could make. We are tied to an undemocratic union that we, the people, have no influence on or can have any effect on. We have no direct vote on those who rule us, on their policies and on the actions they take in their own interests.

    If, the EU was to bring in and overnight what is termed Direct Democracy we may be able to have some effect, but, the likelihood of Direct Democracy Swiss style is more than slim, there is no chance the citizen will be able to have any direct influence in Brussels.

    Therefore, we must exclude the UK or at least England from its clutches. Sad as that is.

  48. avatar
    Enric Mestres Girbal

    Probably it will be worst for the EU market then for the british. Thank God britain don’t have the €, so they will survive better.

  49. avatar
    Russell Bancroft

    It wouldn’t make the slightest difference by leaving the EU, it would greatly improve our way of life and our standing in the world the EU is nothing more than a corrupt dictatorship

  50. avatar
    eusebio manuel vestias pecurto

    Has the name that has europe has no way State Union only have an information n problem of the British only they can that I vote a name European Union

  51. avatar
    William Patrick Fagan

    There are a lot of British companies in the U K. Their parent companies are in Europe and elsewhere. If it is inconvenient or difficult to export from outside the E U to the 500 million (approx) people of the E U then these companies may transfer their manufacturing bases to inside the E U. Britain should be very careful for what it wishes. It may come back to bite them.

    • avatar

      Do you really think that William as I do not , as all 27 countries in the EU require to sell, their products in our country and the figures show that they all sell more in the UK than in there own countries so would you stop trading just because we choose to become Independent again and save ourselves £350 million pounds a week eh !!!

  52. avatar

    The economy may deflate slightly initially but most economists tell us there will be no long term damage . I would though accept a downgrade of the worst case scenario’s to regain control of our Nation , to see our Parliament sovereign .
    One things for sure , the stagnant Eurozone economies have far more to worry about than us Brits, they need us far more than we need them ,their markets are more reliant on the UK than they seem to want to admit and unlike the EU the UK has many other irons in the World trade fire with membership of the Commonwealth and links to the Anglosphere .
    The trade links were a good idea and hopefully will continue ,the political integration is unwanted and un democratic

  53. avatar
    Maia Alexandrova

    The best way to have a taster of what will happen in case of an “out” vote is, in my opinion, to announce a delayed exit date, for example, 1 Jan 2017. In this way, there will be a 6 month transitional period when some effects will be seen, such as the British pound and stocks losing their value, for example, or Scotland announcing a date for another referendum to separate from UK. EU will have its own reaction and might propose certain changes in the trade rules concerning Britain, also in other rules like immigration, for example. Countries outside EU will react, too. Whatever the consequences of the June vote, if British people don’t like them, the government can scrap the exit date and instead, do a second referendum for membership in EU. In this way UK will still be a part of EU during the transitional period, but have a taste of what is to come, if it goes ahead with the exit. I think this is the only way to give a second chance to British people to remain in the EU, if they don’t like what happens in the months after their “no” vote. Otherwise, if UK exits EU from 1 July, no one can really say what will happen – anything is possible, good or bad. Markets are unpredictable.

  54. avatar

    Dreaming is free, my british friends should stop dreaming and face the reality. Either way UK will loose a great deal of things in the case of withdrawal from the EU.
    I suggest to my british eurosceptic to give always second thought before talking. Many options should be disscussed…why trying to escape instead of negotiating things that bother you ?

    • avatar
      Paul X

      Cameron has apparently been through what he claimed were “very tough” negotiations but at the end of the day he achieved not very much. The claim that to influence the EU you have to be in it just doesn’t carry any eight any more

      The fact is that quite a large percentage of the population of Europe are not happy with the way things are going and if the UK votes to stay in the EU will take it as a (misguided) vote of confidence just to carry on as it always has done with its blinkered federalist agenda
      If the UK votes out then it is a vote for Eurosceptics in every country and hopefully it will be a wake up call to the EU Elite to realise they need real change the way they do business and start to put the people who pay their wages before themselves

  55. avatar

    I have been in the construction industry since 1973. Since we have opened our doors to thousands of cheap, skilled and unskilled labour. The average British bricklayers wages have dropped from 150.00 pounds per day to 110 pounds per day, this can be said for the same across the industry. House prices have rocketed in the south east to an extent, that it would take 40 years for the average person to save up a deposit. Our national debt is rising by over 5 thousand pounds per second, yes per second. We have over 25000 foreign nationals currently in our prisons at a cost of 1.6 billion pounds year, 11000 of these prisoners are from Poland. At present, we send 600,000 pounds per week to EU countries for child benefits payments. We pay 55 million pounds per day into the EU, we recieve 13.5 million per day back in payments??? who makes is making money from our taxes.
    The majority of British construction workers pay full income tax and national insurance, while the majority of foreign nationals work as freelance or self employed in the construction industry, they do not pay full tax’s or national insurances contributions. Most British construction workers have mortgage and rates to pay, most foreign nationals live and share single rooms in houses that are being snapped up and purchased by the growing ‘Buy To Let’ marketers. Tony and Cherie Blair owns 10 house and 27 flats, no wonder he open the doors up to all this cheap labour, supply and demand.
    Most of the foreign workers send their wages back to their countries and live a hand to mouth existence. Most British workers spend their wages in their local towns and cities supporting their local business.
    We must get out of this unfair and corrupt EU, an EU that cant control its boarders or protect it’s peoples from terrorists, Belgium and France have completely abandoned all principles on how to protect it’s people’s from terrorism. Does the UK want to be further exposed to terrorism more than we already are, staying in the EU will certainly do this. VOTE OUT.

    • avatar

      Also in construction and concur with Bobiboy. It happens in other industries as well ,the wage compression of workers has been a big minus for EU membership . So much so It amazes me why our trade unions ,the Labour and socialist parties promote staying in . Vote UKIP , vote LEAVE

    • avatar

      @Bobbieboy I’ve noticed the house price increase too- it’s a terrible thing for social mobility- it isn’t the EUs fault and is in the UKs power to fix. You are right there has been wage compression across all sectors and it seem reasonable to say that at least some of this reduction in wages in this sector could be attributed to migrants. But £110 per day seems pretty good pay – the average Physiotherapist earns less than this – and more people can afford a builder or plumber – which seems a good thing to me.

  56. avatar
    Philip Cole

    It would have been instructive if Mr Bagnall of the CBI had mentioned the analysis carried out for the CBI by PricewaterhouseCoopers (published 21 March) which said that leaving the EU would cause long-lasting economic damage to the UK from which it would never recover. It could cost the UK economy £100bn – the equivalent of 5% of GDP – by 2020, household incomes could be between £2,100 and £3,700 lower while the UK’s unemployment rate would be between 2 and 3 percentage points higher, with 950,000 jobs potentially lost. That is the sober opinion of independent experts, and the debate on the ill-considered ‘brexit’ needs to be seen in this context.

    • avatar
      Roy taylor

      Figures can be made to say exactly what you want them to, they can be biased in many directions. Too much rubbish is being written about the effect of a “brexit”.

      1) we will NOT have to pay ANY money to the EU after an exit. Trade agreements will be mutual and free.
      2) we will reclaim our fishing waters
      3) we will close our borders (how much better off would we be without all the migrants?)
      4) we will write our own laws
      5) all unacceptable EU laws will be scrapped.
      6) VAT is an EU tax……..could this be scrapped on “exit”

      There are SO many positive reasons for leaving it’s incredible that we’re still wasting time discussing “exit” when we should be discussing “future”. Roll on June 23rd………PLEASE be sensible, VOTE OUT

      16/03/2017 Roger Helmer, UKIP MEP, has responded to this comment.

      16/03/2017 Robert Ackrill, Professor of European Economics and Policy, Nottingham Trent University, has responded to this comment.

    • avatar

      That is a typical scared person talking as these officials can say anything they like as I beleive they are scared if Britain exits. Also they have all been primed by the government of the day to show a FEAR factor to the public.
      We should be proud of our country and stand firm against the brussels bueracrats and show the world that we are GREAT BRITAIN..

  57. avatar
    Paul X

    @ Philip Cole

    Anything carried out for the CBI will clearly be highly loaded in favour of the remain camp but I suggest rather than just take the scaremongering Armageddon scenario “Key Findings” you quote, people should read the full report

    You will find they are very selective in what they focus on (and choose to gloss over) within the report

    Some examples:

    They admit that UK trade to the EU has fallen from 55% to 45% since 1997 and that we account for 10% of all EU exports but reference to trade only assumes the UK being negatively subjected to tariffs and unable to make any reciprocal agreements

    Unemployment may rise to 7 or 8% but by 2030 will be back to 5% no matter which (in or out) scenario is considered

    It states that our net contribution is 0.5% of UK GDP yet in the balance sheet for GDP it is only considered a positive 0.1% in 2020 and then zero from then on.. as if our net payment to the EU budget would cease to be a consideration after 2020?

    But to me the one quote from the report that should be printed in bold, 20 font, red letters is

    “The UK would remain a relatively large, affluent and growing economy in both our exit scenarios, just not quite as large or affluent as in the counterfactual where the UK remains in the EU”

    …..I’d accept that for a sense of freedom any day

    • avatar

      Paul x – the EU exists in all its dysfunctionality – we have a trade deficit with a couple of the 27 other states otherthat comprise the EU – the other 25 or so can’t wait to limit our trading capability. If we leave they will take full advantage and we will throw away our hard fought concessions and influence.

  58. avatar
    Mr Bishi

    If and when the UK triggers article 50, the EU negotiator(s) will be appointed by the Council of the EU, and these EU negotiators are bound by EU legislation to work within the EU acquis. For the UK side, negotiations will be carried out by civil servants.
    So how do the Brexit side imagine that the UK will end up with a “better” deal, bearing in mind that the EU negotiators will be bound by the EU acquis?

  59. avatar
    M Cooper

    I have no idea why anyone in their right mind thinks plunging the UK into a recession when we still haven’t recovered from the last one is a good idea. It all comes down to the idea of us putting money into the pot for the EU and being governed by Brussels. We’ll still have to adhere to EU regulations to trade, so no there’ll be no real change to businesses apart form a lot of uncertainty and potentially fun new costs, if only in the short term. And as for us paying money to the EU? Good. They tank, we tank. People need to understand that, but sadly I think very few of them do, it’s so much easier to blame other countries for all of our ills.

  60. avatar
    Roy taylor

    I would have thought by now that all the rubbish would have stopped and we would be discussing a rosy future outside of the EU. Unfortunately, this does not seem to be the case. The EU is SINKING (not tanking) do we really want to go down with it, I think not. It would appear that once again Germany’s ambitions to take over and control Europe are failing AND RIGHTLY SO. We fought two wars to prevent it, why should we willingly give in now?

    June 23rd will soon be here, don’t waste it, make sure you vote and remember for an extra £16 billion PER YEAR to spend on OUR country…VOTE OUT

    • avatar

      I agree Roy,
      It’s time we looked after ourselves instead of the world.
      We would be more in control of our future if we come out and spend the billion’s we send to the EU on this countries problem’s.
      But I believe that our politician’s haven’t got the wherewithal to manage the UK’S business as they are lacking in Honesty and are blind to see what Germany is doing.
      The EU was set up to create a common trading community and not a federal state to support either Germany or the USA so we have to be aware that Germany is gaining strength again through this medium and we the British should show the world that we are independent again and can be relied upon to grow and show strength again.

  61. avatar

    A stay in put even more British people on the street and homeless apart from putting more pressure on our schools and hospitals. Sooner we get out the better.

    • avatar

      here here dave let’s get out

    • avatar

      I agree Dave
      Let’s make Britain Great agin by becoming the masters of our own destiny as we have for centuries

  62. avatar

    @ Andy Bagnell,why do you keep referring to the UK aspiring to be like Sweden or Norway,quite honestly your attitude is pitiful sir.
    Comparing the clout of the UK to that of Norway or Sweden is like doing a car review comparing a Range Rover to a Smart car,and I say that with absolutely no disrespect to either of those two countries,both whom I have spent time in and greatly enjoyed and admire .Your analogy though is utterly pointless and a completely false comparison ,you baffle me.

  63. avatar

    I Think that Brexit would be worst for the British Econmy. If GB leaves EU some firms , investissors would go to put their money in countries where there are financials securities (Germany , France …). FTSE would lost some of it’s funds (even if some buisiness leaders swear they won’t leave , business is business). About British way of life if there is another cris like in 2008 , pensioners , poor peoples would not be help by european fund anymore if their saving go away , Britain would have to face its problems by itself !

    • avatar

      Britain has and was the centre for the financial world long before the EU Came about so it will stand independently again without the constraints of a failed political and economic union.

  64. avatar

    Leaving would be a disastrous legacy to hand on to our kids. I’m no fan of the EU but it is there in all its dysfunction . We have a trade deficit with Germany but a surplus with most of the other 26. So for most of them trade barriers with England would be in their interest.

    • avatar

      So why do we let Germany take control again ??

  65. avatar
    Rémi Martin

    There was a life before EU, there’ll be a life after BREXIT! I’m sure GB won’t be isolated and continue to speak with the others countries after that! (y)

    • avatar

      There will be life after – but it looks like it will be poorer life

  66. avatar
    Ivan Burrows


    Being free of the decaying EU can only improve our trade with the world.

    Obama is only interested how everything effects America, not Great Britain & not Europe.

    He will be ignored by the British people on referendum day.

    • avatar

      It’s not just Obama – unfortunately. We will be poorer.

  67. avatar
    Wendy Harris

    It’s a strange time for Obama to act tough. This weak ineffectual leader is the only American president to make a Russian one look good.
    He has betrayed and misled the British people by demanding they do what his own country would never do.

    • avatar

      It’s not just Obama that says this kind of thing. We will be weaker and poorer

  68. avatar
    Olivier Dutreil

    It s a UK problem…but uk cannot take the benefits from Europe and destrots all common policies..

  69. avatar
    Rafa Gil

    I would have understood this debate before uk blackmailed ue. Nowadays I would ask for a brexit referendum all over europe. And will vote OUT

    • avatar

      What is wrong with standing strong for what you need

  70. avatar
    Julia Hadjikyriacou

    Leaving the EU will allow the vast British Tax haven network to flourish and grow out of the clutches of EU regulation. Whether out or in the EU access to trade will be the same so those in official positions in favour of Brexit, openly or secretly, want it for tax haven preservation reasons.

    • avatar

      We will be poorer

    • avatar

      Are you saying you want the uk to become a tax loop hole?

  71. avatar
    eusebio manuel vestias pecurto

    In dificult times that matters seek future path the market trade is good but with basic principles of human rights within the rule of law and a free enterprise separation of powers in the European club I must says yes I believe in the UK

  72. avatar
    Rosy Forlenza

    I hated the way Obama relegated the UK to America’s lacky (your role is to make sure they know what we want). So what did America want? Over rapid expansion of the EU into the East. What would have been wrong with Poland, Czech and Slovak republics and Hungary…mentor, bring them up so they join as partners rather than suppliers of cheap labour, and so on, as we used to? No the US. I bet wanted everything right up to Russia’s borders ASAP, or/and make sure workers’ rights are undermined very quickly for contract work to Corporations – and no doubt the impending doom TTIP, will only make this worse. Result..massive migration from East to West, increase in racism and resentment etc., etc., etc., Hardly the equal partnership for the East and massive undermining of hard won workers’ rights in the West. The EU has not paused. It argues for the free movement of people butt Junker in his tenure has failed dismally to provide clarity on double taxation and pension entitlements. In addition the Austerity insisting ECB’s only economic policy has bought poverty to Southern Europe, rather than mentoring for growth, there is no concentration on growth. There is also limited social welfare so it is not fair for a few countries to have migration going one way, Britain is one, massive migration from Ireland, Southern Europe, and the East. There has been little improvement in accountability – what is the relationship between the commission and the eu parliament? If the parliament is lobbied to vote down TTIP and ministers are lobbied to also vote it down in the council of ministers does it still go ahead? When do the Law Lords intervene to tell the commision it is out of order? If Brexit happens then they will not be the last, Germany and Luxembourg can have their EU with Turkey and the Ukraine, good luck to them!

    • avatar

      But It is likely that trade negotiations with the Uk wouldn’t be a priority for the next president, who will be more motivated by the large developed markets or the developing markets.

  73. avatar
    Bobbi Suzic

    I honestly hope that UK will stay as a member of largest market and above all biggest peace project in human history.

  74. avatar
    Dan Florin

    I’m just having enough with this subject. Let them get out and die or not, I couldn’t care less.

  75. avatar
    Yordan Vasilev

    The European countries connected their economics after destruction the colonial system. The Brexit will be crash for British and for the continental economics, because both need of markets.

  76. avatar

    I find the comparison of UKs ability to negotiate trade deals with that of Norway if the EU is left misleading and blatantly wrong. For example UK imported 89 billion euros from germany in 2015 and imported 38 billion. Norway imported 8 billion total from germany. While US is largest importer from Germany, Germanys trade surplus of 51 billion with the UK is the largest. In other words, a poor UK/EU trade deal post Brexit would hurt UK very badly but would bankrupt germany and the EU so will not happen. I wish the debate was more honest, or at least centred on the real issues of Britains role politically and lost the nonsense financial aspect the pro EU guys are deliberately misrepresenting. Please see link for the facts before ranting.

    • avatar

      Germany does have a significant trade surplus with the U.K. But any post leave trade agreement would be with the EU . Most of the eu27 are in trade deficit with the U.K. . The majority would rule and we would be poorer.

  77. avatar

    Your question should be ,’how would the economy of the EU be effected after Brexit ? ”
    Will the remaining net contributors be prepared to carry the can ,will Germany be prepared to accept the flood of migrants that will see their country as the next best bet economically . On top of those coming from Syria it adds up to a lot of people . The Germans may well decide to follow the UK . Holland next , Denmark , France . The EU will collapse like a house of cards .
    It can then be put back together as a Trade block without the political integration aspect . We will all be a lot happier with that .

    • avatar

      The Eu isn’t going away -stick to it, stand firm, fight for what is right. It’s not the British way to run away.

    • avatar
      Cathryn Middleton

      I agree with you. The EU is struggling and its only a matter of time. Europe is looking at our vote tomorrow and it may affect other EU countries and prompt their own referendums. We will see.

    • avatar

      This link is a joke right? The Thatcherisation of the U.K. Economy isn’t due to the Eu.

    • avatar
      Chris Brown

      To Sheffield:
      I agree with you.
      The link isn’t of any value at all, in terms of useful argument.

    • avatar

      So you have no faith in your country do you Rene or are you French ?

  78. avatar
    Ernest tayloe

    The OECD are absolutely and totally biased towards the EU. Their figures and calculations are not to be trusted. Once the UK exits the CORRUPT EU we will flourish. We will be able to spend OUR money on OUR projects. With what we DONT pay the EU we could spend £2 billion more on the NHS, £2 billion more on education, £2 billion more on housing and £2 billion more on defences and £2 billion more on border security AND THAT IS EVERY YEAR. Why the hell did we join in the first place?

    • avatar
      valerie langton

      Well said were mad

    • avatar

      You won’t have those billions anymore after Brexit

  79. avatar

    These so called powers ie: imf,Oecd,etc etc… have demonstrated to us all that they are puppets in this debate as they have signed up to the governments Scare mongering tactics driven by Mr Cameron and his cronies. And I’m shocked that the Labour party has sided with the in campaign as I always thought that they were for the workers, well, shouldn’t we look after our own workers first Mr Corbyn.
    It’s time the public stood up and told these politician’s that Britain will always be a world leader in it’s own right and independently make it’s own decisions.
    To say that the European countries will affect our market’s is pure Scare mongering as, do we all think that they would rather not send their goods to be sold here ??? of course not and, as we have seen over the years the politician’s in this country have done everything possible to stop growth in our industries by selling them off and not assisting them first there was the mill’s then, the miner’s then manufacturing then ship building and now the steel industry. Why do they let this happen ???? It’s not for britains’s is it ?

    • avatar

      I agree – British mining and manufacturing is harmed beyond repair in most sectors. Much of the harm was pre Maastricht. The post war generation spent the country’s wealth. If we leave you can be sure that we will lose the remaining rump of Aerospace , vehicle manufacturing, sea and air transport hubs and much of our IT and financial services. Don’t let them pull the ladder up behind themselves. Stay and fight our corner.

    • avatar
      Cathryn Middleton

      I agree. Trade will continue and not be restricted by EU regulations, The EU is not the world and Australia had said it would welcome trade with the UK.

  80. avatar

    The writing is on the wall , now Sweden will leave if the UK does , how many others will follow ?
    The UK exit will effect the financial markets and the Euro , as confidence is lost .
    European economies are struggling due to excessive legislation and taxes , and is stopping competitivity within the EU and creativity .
    Either the EU changes massively , or it should revert top the EEC /

    • avatar
      Cathryn Middleton

      I agree. It’s a house of cards.

  81. avatar
    Ivan Burrows


    For us there will not be much of a change but for the EU it depends if the lunatics in Brussels really wants to make 5-7 million ‘European citizens’ unemployed, can only hope they are not that stupid.

    • avatar

      Ivan – My understanding of the Brexit argument is that what ever the financial cost , leaving is worth the benefits of gaining full control of the borders and all areas of law. I was on the verge of changing my mind over the weekend. But this kind of thing doesn’t help me to trust the Brexit argument. Its wilfully myopic.

  82. avatar
    Chris Haji-michael

    About 10% of the British GDP comes from exports to the EU. There is no doubt Britain will have to trade first on WTO rules as it will be impossible to get agreement with the 26 remaining members otherwise.

    This means there will be a 10% import tax on finished goods, so this could easily correspond to a 10 or 20% reduction in this trade. This, in simple terms means a 1 to 2% reduction in GDP.

    In reality we need to double this, as each pound that comes into the country is re-spent and goes in a circle until it leaks out again. This multiplier affect is probably 2. This means there will be a 2 to 4% reduction in GDP which is bigger than the recession from the banking crash.

    • avatar
      Paul X

      The UK will not be seeking an agreement with 26 members. The remaining 26 members cannot create their own agreements outside the EU therefore the UK will seek agreement with the EU as a single block…..and as the biggest power in that block is also the biggest exporter to the UK then I think the UK position will not be as weak as some would have us believe

    • avatar

      But why don’t you type in the Google ” WTO head on Brexit” ? You will see that the WTO argument is a complete lunacy on the leavers part.

  83. avatar
    Julia Hadjikyriacou

    What is worrying after Brexit is the excitement the UK government to ‘international trade’ with corporations in slave labour countries with bad production practices flooding the UK with overly cheap unethically made, shoddy goods that break or have harmful chemicals, that will cause more UK companies to close causing more job losses and enrich shareholders of global corporations. Let alone peoples health being in danger.

    • avatar
      Paul X

      Of course…because clearly the British are incapable of trading ethically or determining the quality of imports on their own without mother EU watching over us…..

    • avatar
      valerie langton

      Being in EU didn’t stop slave labour cast you mind back few years ago to India a lot of women were killed in a make shift factory that’s just greed nothing more

    • avatar
      Cathryn Middleton

      That’s been happening for years and still is. Being in the EU never stopped thus unfortunately.

  84. avatar
    eusebio manuel vestias pecurto vestias

    I do not see Britain as rebel member reluctant only tamed by the Roman Empire UK needs Europe economically Is much better open than a closed economy

  85. avatar
    valerie langton

    I remember the day in 1973 we joined the then common market the pound was reduced straight away from 240 pennies in the pound to 100 p to the pound a mars bar doubled in price overnight and was smaller the mind boggles to the changes in the now EU ten countries have turned in to 28 we have lost our identity and the scary thing is its growing g we are a small island we cannot cope with any more people here and were paying for the privilege we need to wake up and stand up and be counted i choose to be British not European

    • avatar

      Valerie I think you are thinking of the change to decimalisation. This occurred in 1971 , which was 3 years before the UK voted to join the economic area. There may be reasons to leave the EU but decimalisation is not one of them. I would urge you to rethink. If we leave Britian will be poorer.

  86. avatar
    Cathryn Middleton

    The EU is a failing institution and no matter the outcome tomorrow, this will impact in the EU and its member states, if we leave we will only be the first. It’s a time for change and to make our own alliances without the EU dictating how and who we should ally with. It will take time for change to impact in any case and the good practices in the UK will not vanish overnight. Change can be a good thing. Fear never is.

  87. avatar

    I’ve been doing quite a lot of reading on the topic trying to figure out what the potential impact of Brexit might be… Since different facts and data were all over the Internet, I decided to create an infographic that summarises the most trustworthy information I collected from top media. You can view the infographic here –, its focus is How Could Brexit Affect Careers & Education, but also businesses. I’d be more than happy to hear your opinion and feedback!

  88. avatar

    Well yes OK Yasmin ,your top trustworthy media comes from rabid left wing sources ,the BBC and left wing socialist newspapers that promoted the Remain campaign .
    Regardless ,FTSE 100 is at its highest for 12 twelve months as is the lower market stocks . Trade though not booming is the highest in Europe ,greater than the USA and predictions of financial business moving out of London to Frankfurt appears to have been a scare story with many institutions confirming they are staying put and even expanding in expectation of more business
    The City Airport is that confident its investing billions on expansion to cope with all the extra visitors we will be getting in the coming years .
    My order book is full ,Ive even had to increase my workforce to meet demand ,friends tell me who are in exports that due to the pounds value on the exchange rate their goods are flying over the channel and Atlantic

    I know its early days but things are looking good , the EU members will be falling over themselves to get a good deal with the UK , we are the only show in town .

  89. avatar
    D. Pimenta

    Absolutely nobody knows– even after 2 years of many ideas floating around
    The referendum should have only taken place AFTER deals were signed
    so people knew what to expect after leaving the EU. for instance it could cost
    the economy more to leave than to remain.

    • avatar

      I didn’t vote to leave the EU based on any ‘deals’ that may or may not be signed . I voted leave for the UK to be an Independent country operating outside it . Our government basically being pro EU is stalling in the hope the people will change their minds .We voted to leave in 2016 not 3-5 years later .

Your email will not be published

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Notify me of new comments. You can also subscribe without commenting.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

More debate series – Brexit – Britain’s place in Europe View all

By continuing to use this website, you consent to the use of cookies on your device as described in our Privacy Policy unless you have disabled them. You can change your cookie settings at any time but parts of our site will not function correctly without them.