1. The £361m per week figure is misleading

Michael Gove, a leader of Vote Leave, said that if we were to leave the EU we wouldtake back control over £19 billion we give to the EU - £361 million per week.

At face value this would seem to be sound reasoning, we contribute £19 billion, therefore, if we left, we would no longer pay this. However, you need to take into account what we get back from the EU.

In 1984 Margaret Thatcher negotiated a rebate on the UK’s contribution to the EU budget, in 2014 this was worth £85m per week. Additionally, the UK treasury receives from the EU £88m per week to be spent on projects which include farming, fishing, rural and infrastructure development.

The UK private sector also gets EU funding in scientific research, university funding and engineering projects. This is worth an additional £27m per week.

Therefore, when you take these deductions into account, the UK only contributes a net of £161 per week. This is far from the figure the leave campaign shouts. To put it into perspective, the UK spends £821m per week on defence and £2.6bn per week on the NHS. Quite a small cost when all things considered.

2. 70% of our laws are made in Brussels

The House of Commons library, in 2010, published a study examining how many laws in the UK are affected by EU law. It found that the percentage of laws affected by the EU is somewhere between 15% and 50% depending on how you define affected by the EU.

It is estimated by the House of Commons library that 13% of Acts and Statutory Instruments are influenced by the EU. However, if you include EU regulations the percentage increases to 62%.

However, it should be noted that make laws that are made by the EU do not affect the UK since the UK already has these laws in some form.

The function of many EU laws are to bring all member states to the same level.

3. The EU is the largest markets by GDP in the world

If you were to combine the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of all EU member states, you would get a figure of $19.2 trillion (2015). This is by far the largest in the world with the United States and China having GDPs of $18.6 trillion (2016) and $14 trillion (2016).

The UK has a GDP of $2.7 trillion (2015) or 14.1% of the EU’s combined GDP. With access to a single market of 500 million people that has no trade barriers, it would be foolish to turn away from such a huge market.

4. 3.5 million jobs are linked to the EU

Within Britain 3.5 million jobs are linked to the UK’s membership of the EU. That is 1 in every 10 jobs.

Many of these jobs are exporting jobs which is important since the EU buys over 50% of all UK exports (54% of goods and 40% of services). Additionally, 74% of UK exporters operate in other EU countries.

While leaving the EU is not going to wipe out all of these jobs and stop all trade, it will none the less lead to job losses in these industries as confidence is lost and trade becomes more expensive.

5. The UK gains much more influence in the world as a member of the EU

A bloc of 28 democratic countries with a single voice, with the biggest combined economic force in the world is a difficult thing for other large countries to ignore.

If the UK was to leave the EU, it would have to negotiate new trade deals that the EU already has. But instead of negotiating with the large power of 28 united countries, it will negotiate with 14% of that power. Therefore, the chances of the UK getting the same deal as the EU are a lot lower.

While being an independent country free of the EU, the UK could retake its seat in the World Trade Organisation (WTO). The country would have to accept its smaller size and bargaining power since by not being a member of the EU, large countries such as the United States, India and China will have less incentives to be generous in trade negotiations.

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