Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Top 10 Myths about the European Union Debunked

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Top 10 Myths about the European Union Debunked

Article excerpt

MYTH NO.1: "Outside the EU we'd be isolated" As the world's fifth-largest economy we should be a global leader. We could work together with our partners in the Commonwealth, which has over 2 billion people - almost a third of the world's population. Freed from the EU's isolationist protectionism we could help the world's poorest nations through trade, regain control of our own foreign policy, and develop links with emerging markets like China.

MYTH NO.2: "The EU only makes 13% of our laws" This whopper is a huge distortion of a House of Commons research paper. 13.2% of British Statutory Instruments implement EU legislation, but many of the other Statutory Instruments aren't laws anyway. Worse still, this fails to count the thousands of new EU Regulations introduced every year which don't go through Parliament. A Business for Britain report concluded that a more accurate figure would be about two-thirds of all new laws.

MYTH NO.3: "The EU helps bring criminals to justice" Before the EU, we already had extradition treaties to bring criminals to justice. Today, the European Arrest Warrant allows British citizens to be sent across Europe to face trial without a British court having the chance to assess the evidence first.

In these cases, innocent British citizens have often spent years in foreign jails awaiting trial. The British government has been powerless to protect them, having no choice but to hand them over.

MYTH NO.4: "Countries are queuing up to join the EU because it improves living standards" Try telling that to Greece, which has been hit by a horrific crisis because it's in the euro. But the richest countries in Europe - Norway and Switzerland - chose not to be members of the EU. The Norwegians know they're better off outside the EU. According to a recent opinion poll, just 17% would want to join.

MYTH NO.5: "The EU helps poorer countries around the world" Oxfam once put the EU at the top of its 'Double Standards Index' for helping the poorest countries with one hand whilst hurting them with the other.

EU behaviour in world trade talks always ensures that African countries are never allowed fair access to European markets, denying them the chance to make money.

EU trade policies and tariffs make it harder for developing countries to catch up. The fight against malaria is harmed because the EU has banned sprays which could control mosquitos.


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