A new report shows that every alternative to EU Membership suggested by Out Campaigners would mean Britain’s power over our economic affairs weakening - and would lead to a loss of control.
Out campaigners argue that Britain can abandon the EU, end free movement of people, end EU budget contributions entirely and repatriate control over all regulations, while retaining full access to the European single market.
But this is a deception contradicted by the alternatives to membership they point to as examples for the UK to follow:
- The ‘Norway model’ would remove Britain’s influence over rules we would be forced to adhere to, including free movement, while still paying in to the EU budget
- The ‘Switzerland model’ would provide only partial access to the single market, excluding financial services, while still paying in to the EU budget and applying EU rules, again including free movement.
- The ‘Turkey model’ would offer access to the single market in goods only and would force Britain to follow EU trade policy, including permitting access to our own market by third countries without reciprocal access, while also accepting rules and regulations with no power to influence them.
- A free trade agreement would lead to an inferior trading arrangement than we currently enjoy and would lessen our clout in global trade negotiations – and there is not even a guarantee one could be negotiated.
- Without any of the above options, Britain would be left with a World Trade Organisation (WTO) relationship with the EU, which would subject UK-EU trade to new tariffs and increase costs for businesses and consumers.
Executive Director of The ‘Stronger In’, Will Straw’, said:
“We cannot be certain of the damage to growth, trade, investment, jobs, prices and wages that would come from leaving the EU as this can only be assessed when the leave campaigns specify which alternative they actually propose. They are reluctant to do this, knowing that any of the alternatives would be hard to negotiate, would take many years to reach and in every instance would cost Britain dear.
“Generalised assertions that Britain could prosper while standing alone from our largest trading partner are unacceptable in a debate of this magnitude.
“If the leave campaigns cannot outline their proposed alternative economic and trading arrangement for Britain outside the EU, people will conclude they are either concealing the truth or that they do not know. Either way, Britain would be weaker.
“It is clearer than ever: if we vote leave, we lose control.”