In the week approaching the European elections, I’ll be looking at seven good reasons to vote UKIP. Starting with no.7, you should vote UKIP because outside the EU we’d have more jobs.
We’re going to start by nailing the Lib Dem myth that millions of jobs ‘depend on the EU’. They don’t. They depend on trade with the EU, and outside the EU we would still trade with the EU and keep those jobs. We’re guaranteed a free trade deal by Treaty at the moment, and regardless we’re the EU’s best customer. We buy more from the EU than we sell to them. They wouldn’t want a tariff war because it would hurt their own interests. In fact, we need to leave the EU in order to create jobs.
At the moment our trade deals are negotiated for us by the EU Trade Commissioner. The EU Trade Commissioner has a hopeless task, trying to negotiate deals on behalf of 28 countries at once. Talks stall because the interests of 28 countries are virtually impossible to protect. That means that Iceland – which has a population similar to that of Newcastle – has managed to negotiate a free trade deal with China, whereas we haven’t. Switzerland has more free trade deals with countries around the world than the EU does.
At present, 95% of British businesses don’t trade with other EU countries. They either trade internally, with UK customers and businesses, or trade outside the EU. But they still have to obey EU regulations. Think about that for a moment: we have to obey US laws when we trade with the USA. But if a British business sells to another British business, we don’t have to obey American laws to do so. It’s none of their business, and it should be none of the EU’s too.
Ernst & Young did a survey (UK Attractiveness Survey 2013) last year, which found that two thirds of businesses in North America and Asia thought the UK would be a more attractive destination for investment if we were outside the European Union.
To sum up, outside the European Union:
• Businesses trading within the UK only would be better off not having to obey EU rules
• Businesses trading outside the EU would no longer have to obey two sets of rules
• We’d be free to negotiate our own trade deals for the first time since 1975
• Jobs from trade with the EU wouldn’t be at risk: we’d obey EU rules when we trade with the EU
• We’d get more foreign investment into the UK
That’s why (amongst others) economist Ruth Lea reckons we’d have half a million more jobs in this country if we were to leave the EU.