Menu

How much (%) of our trade is with the EU and how easy would it be to get new trade deals if we left the EU?

Answer

The EU is our biggest trading partner, with almost half (49%, Office for National Statistics) of UK trade being with the EU. By being in the EU, the UK and our businesses can trade freely with no tariffs and barriers.

If we voted to leave the EU, it would damage trade, and would harm UK businesses and growth, putting millions of jobs at risk.


What would happen to our trade if we left the EU?

Answer
Leaving the EU would damage trade, UK businesses and our economic growth, and put millions of jobs at risk.
 
There would be less trade, less investment, less business, higher prices and fewer jobs and opportunities for you and your family now and in the future.
Britain would have to pay to access the single market and have no say in the regulations governing it. European leaders have already told us we would not get a good deal, and Barack Obama said that we would be at the ‘back of the queue’ for a US trade deal. 
Negotiating as part of a 500 million-strong economy gives us clout we could never have on our own. We would not get a better deal if we left, as we would have fewer customers and a smaller market to offer other countries. 
Thanks to our membership of the European Union, we benefit from free trade agreements with over 50 countries around the world. We will also benefit from new free trade agreements the EU is currently negotiating with countries such as the United States, Australia and Japan.
We currently enjoy the best of both worlds, as we are trading more and more with important emerging economies such as India and China.

How much does it cost to be in the EU? And what do we get back?

Answer

Every family gets more out of the EU than it contributes. Our annual net contribution to the EU amounts to £214 per household (Institute for Fiscal Studies), but the CBI (Confederation of British Industry) estimates that EU membership is worth £3,000 for average households – a return of over ten times what we put in.

This £3,000 comes back to you and your family through lower prices for everyday goods in UK shops, extra jobs created, increased investment in the UK and trade with EU countries.


What do UK businesses think about the EU?

Answer
Poll after poll show that businesses, including small businesses, believe the UK is better off within the EU (ICSA-Financial Times Survey, Grant Thornton, Deloitte, Federation of Small Businesses, British Chambers of Commerce). 
 
Of all British small and medium-sized businesses that export, 88% do so to the EU. 75% of small businesses want to remain in the EU, compared to 6% who want to leave (source: Federation of Small Businesses).
One million UK businesses rely on trading with the EU, which allows them to grow and employ more people, creating jobs in the UK and giving more families like yours the security of a pay packet every month. 

Why is the EU single market good for jobs?

Answer
Over 3 million UK jobs are linked to our trade with the EU: one in every ten jobs in this country (Source: HM Treasury). Being in the EU will create 790,000 more UK jobs by 2030 (Source: Centre for Economic and Business Research).
Being in the single market means we have the freedom to work, travel and study in the EU, creating even more job opportunities for you and your family.
If we left Europe, UK businesses would have to pay new tariffs, increasing the cost of trading. That means some would fold and others would have to cut costs, putting millions of jobs at risk – meaning fewer jobs and opportunities for you, your children and grandchildren. An estimated 950,000 UK jobs could be lost (Source: Price Waterhouse Coopers for Confederation of British Industry).

Will my family and I be worse off if we voted to leave the EU?

Answer
If we left, overall, our economy would be damaged to the tune of £4,300 a year for every household. (Source: The Treasury).
Being in the EU gives you cheaper prices on your weekly shop, fuel, energy bills and flights to Europe and even lower phone charges when travelling – leaving you more money to put aside for family holidays, a deposit on a new home, a new car or starting a family. 
Being in the EU also gives you job security. Trade in the EU single market helps businesses set up and grow, and create jobs, meaning more opportunities for you and your family to earn a wage, all along the supply chain. There are 3 million jobs linked to EU trade. 
Economic experts including the Bank of England governor says that if we left the EU our economy would be hit, and we could go back into recession. Leaving would mean less trade, less business, higher prices and fewer jobs for you and your family. 
Economic experts predict that the value of homes, pensions and the pound would fall, and we’d see lower wages and higher prices in shops.

Would prices go up if we left the EU?

Answer
Competition between businesses across the EU single market means lower prices on the goods you buy, saving your family £350 a year (Source: London School of Economics Centre for Economic Performance).
A number of experts such as the National Farmers Union have warned that prices on food and drink would increase, costing families more at the shops.
If we left the free trade single market, businesses would have to pay the new costs of tariffs to import and export goods and services, and administrating paperwork. They would pass on those costs in higher prices on your shopping. 
Leaving Europe would leave you and your family out of pocket.

What is the EU single market, and why is it so important to British trade?

Answer
The single market is a free trade area across the 28 nations of the European Union. It allows British businesses to trade goods and services without tariffs or paperwork to a market of 500 million consumers. This allows them to grow and create more jobs for your and your family, and competition across the market reduces the cost of your shopping. 
Common regulations across the single market make it easier for businesses to trade across Europe and set good standards for the food and other products you buy for your family. 
The EU is our biggest trading partner – representing almost half of our trade – with one million UK businesses relying on trade with the EU. Being in the single market makes it easier for firms from other EU countries to invest in the UK – £66 million a day (Office for National Statistics). 
Your household is £3,000 a year better off each year because of the additional trade, investment, jobs and growth in the UK that comes from EU membership (Confederation of British Industry). 

Does being in the EU stop us trading with the rest of the world?

Answer
Absolutely not. As members of the EU, we benefit from free trade agreements with over 50 countries around the world and we are also trading more and more with rising economies like China and India. We will also benefit from new free trade agreements the EU is currently negotiating with countries including the United States, Australia and Japan. 
 
We get the best of both worlds: Britain can trade with Europe while building trading relationships with the rest of the world.
If we left the EU, UK businesses could no longer trade for free with other EU countries. We would have to negotiate new trade deals with the EU and more than 50 other countries worldwide. 
But when it comes to negotiating free trade agreements we are stronger doing this as part of the EU because it is the world’s largest economic bloc. We would not get a better deal if we left, as we would have fewer customers and a smaller market to offer other countries. 
Being in Europe means more jobs, more growth and more investment here in the UK.