The UK and the EU: benefits, misconceptions and alternatives – lawyers speak out

11 March 2016

The EU Referendum on June 23 has been billed by the Prime Minister as “one of the biggest decisions this country will face in our lifetimes”.   A decision that could be mired by myths and misconceptions as to the role of the EU -  its reach and powers.

Designed to address this, a report has been published today by a new group “Lawyers In for Britain” which examines “The UK and the EU: benefits, misconceptions and alternatives”. 

Confirming that “we do not believe that the EU is perfect” – leading practitioners from across the profession have gathered together to present evidence that the UK’s interests are best served by remaining in the EU.  Starting from the premise that a sensible judgment on EU membership can be made only on the basis of reliable evidence, the report seeks to provide the reader with reliable information on:

  • The key benefits of the UK remaining in the EU;
  • The truth behind some of the common criticisms about the EU; and
  • The alternatives to membership of the EU and why they would be unlikely to deliver the benefits of single market access which the UK enjoys today.

The Report is unequivocal: the benefits of EU membership to the UK are substantial and often taken for granted and the UK’s interests are best served by remaining in the EU.  The Top Ten list of benefits (elaborated on in the report) is as follows:

  1. The EU benefits UK consumers
  2. Access to the EU single market benefits UK trade
  3. Access to the EU benefits the UK’s services industry
  4. The EU improves the UK’s security
  5. The EU promotes a healthier UK
  6. The EU secures more affordable energy in the UK
  7. The EU enhances UK workers’ rights and promotes gender equality
  8. The EU improves the UK’s environment
  9. The EU gives UK citizens greater opportunities to live, work, study and travel abroad
  10. Development of the EU’s single market will benefit the UK’s future

The report looks at common misconceptions as regards border control and migration; the cost of the EU and its lumbering bureaucracy and the current hot political topic of “Sovereignty”. The relationship between the Court of Justice of the European Union and the European Court of Human Rights and the Convention is also explored. The report answers those who argue that the UK would be better off outside of the European Union – a “Norway” or a “Switzerland”. Arguing that none of the most commonly proposed alternatives would be straightforward to implement, nor present the utopia of “benefits without burdens”, the report sets out an analysis of the options and explains why the alternatives promoted by the leave campaign are not in the UK’s interest.

If that is all too dry… the report concludes with some mythbusting and sets out the truth behind (some) of the headlines.

The report can be accessed here: 

Further Information

For further information on the issues raised in this blog post, please contact Julia Bateman.

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