Brexit: Debunking the Myths hellenicinsider.com
Brexit

The views of those who advocate a Brexit or criticise the European Union must be respected, but the time has now come to challenge this views and ultimately show the British people the euro sceptic arguments are wrong. The Euro sceptic line dominates the headlines and is increasingly determining the public's opinion. Now more than ever the pro UK and pro EU voice must be heard, The One Europe UK team is the platform for this.

I have taken direct quotes from the article written by Chris Dennett, available here.

'EU bureaucracy stifles the possibility of a tailored legislation'

There needs to be a realisation by the euro sceptics here that for a single market to be effective legislation must apply to all those within the single market. That is it, there is no way round this and no short cuts, if member state start opting out of single market regulations then the whole process will unravel as every member state will opt out of legislation they don't like. The Commission has to act as the arbiter to aggregate the varied interests of the member states so that legislation can be implemented.[1] The EU has a long way to go in creating a truly single market and I hope the UK is at the very heart of helping to achieve this to ensure growth and prosperity that is shared by all.

'Directives which are aimed at resolving a problem are undermined by their lack of consideration for the states for which they are applied'

The notion of directives as rules being forced upon EU members without their agreement is a common misconception that is being peddled by many euro sceptics to create an image of the EU being a leviathan institute that is acting out of its selfish interests. One must only look behind the headlines and examine the complex and yes sometimes confusing European legislative process to see this view is wrong. First we have the Commission, where every member state is represented, as I said in the paragraph above the commission has the very challenging job of proposing legislation that will then be agreed by the Council of Ministers 'a meeting of the relative minister relating to the proposal' and also has to be voted on by the European Parliament known as the co-decision procedure.

In all three branches, there is a British voice. Here lies the weakness of the Euro sceptic arguement, if the UK were to leave the EU, British business and commerce would be jeopardised as there would no longer be the commissioner, the minister or the parliamentarians standing up for British interests and working in partnership with other member states who seek to achieve the same goals as the UK. Yes, I concede the European Union is complex and the legislative procedure is hard to explain, but the wide held belief that these faceless, unaccountable and unelected eurocrats are devising wicked 'directives' to crush Britain is quite simply wrong.

'There is a belief in the UK that we should be given more power over who enters our country'

The debate about freedom of movement in this country is no longer a debate; it is a race to the bottom consisting of racist rhetoric and scare mongering to recover lost UKIP votes. The pretence there will be a rational debate about the pros and perceived cons of freedom movement is farcical.

It has sadly become lost to many of the British people that every survey conducted by some of the best universities in the world time and time again show that EU 'migrants' or free movers as I prefer to call them contribute more to the economy than they take out in benefits.[2] The free movers that the UK attracts are among the best educated, most motivated and most open people this Union has to offer. Time and time again the Euro-sceptics do not recognise this basic fact that the UK benefits so much from the free movers, economically and just as importantly culturally. London is home to thousands of free movers who enrich the life of the capital. It is time that freedom of movement moves on from scare mongering about millions of eastern Europeans coming to this county and focuses on the great benefits we as a country and society receive.

'High amount of stress on our basic welfare services'

The claim that these free movers strain our welfare system is quite frankly absurd. All the studies show that an EU free mover is less likely to claim benefits than a UK national, and don't get me started about health tourism. One of the biggest false conceptions in this country is that free movers come here to receive care from our 'splendid' NHS at the expense of the hard working UK tax payer. This is wrong.[3] All the EU member states have an agreement whereby an EU citizen can receive care in any EU state then the bill gets sent to that citizens government or that citizens insurance provider, so this image of Eastern Europeans (let's be honest here no one ever says the Germans, the French or the Spanish are stealing benefits) stealing from our poor NHS is wrong.

Furthermore, if the welfare state is straining because of an influx of free movers, that is the current governments fault for not investing in public services, not the fault of free movers who come to work here. That is another aspect that is far too often forgotten, most of the free movers come to work here in their 20s and 30s then move back to their native country when they have a family and receive their pensions. So the UK has the wonderful fortune of attracting these high earning and high achieving free movers who contribute so much, yet when they reach older age and thus need more care they go back to their home country.

'Advocates of a Brexit are critical of the amount of immigrants who work in the UK whilst studying'

The notion that having EU students in the UK has negative consequences is one of the most nonsensical euro-sceptic arguement I have heard. Let me attack the claim from two fronts, firstly with tuition fees at 9,000 at all top universities it is imperative that for the UK universities to remain the leaders of research and education they are in so many fields the UK must attract the very best that Europe has to offer, these students pay so much into the UK economy and keep a creaking university system very much alive.[4]

From the second angle, what happened to the UK that was apparently open, welcoming and inclusive? That is certainly the Britain I want to live in, I don't want to live in a country where we exclude students and free movers who want to study and live here. Why do so many people perceive it as a bad thing that people want to learn and live in our country when they are prepared to pay a fortune? It baffles me. My two wonderful hardworking flatmates are EU citizens who are so fond of the UK and if this country sees them as a drain on resources or a threat to British jobs then all hope is truly lost.

'Culturally Britain is a mess'

Onto the identity arguement, 'culturally Britain is a mess'. What does that even mean? Culture isn't something that is set in stone; it changes and adapts with the world we live in. The UK is one of the most globalised countries in the world where hundreds of nationalities live and work together creating this melting pot of cultures and ideas. National identity isn't a set of rules everyone subscribes to, it is open to interpretation based on your ethnic background, class, sexual orientation and religion beliefs. As history shows us time and again those who seek to impose a national identity normally crush those who stand in their way of creating a 'pure' identity.

'British sovereignty'

Lastly, the arguement against the ECHR is irrational. The belief that the UK will be the only country on continental Europe alongside with Belarus (well known to the last dictatorship on the continent) not to be a part of the ECHR is absurd, what kind of image of the UK does that portray? Our politicians constantly assure us the UK is a defender of human rights, equality and liberty and many people feel that, yet if we leave the only court that is a ultimate arbiter on legal affairs across Europe, what does that make us? Furthermore, the judges who impose the orders are British, so banish this idea of French or god forbid German judges presiding over British cases.

But any euro sceptics who do read this probably won't be swayed by this article. After all, you probably think I am a member of the London liberal metropolitan elite who has been brainwashed into being pro EU. Well whatever your views of me are sorry to say this, but the One Europe UK team is gearing up to take the pro EU and pro UK voice out of London to challenge and defeat the Euro sceptics, so you know, what bring it on. We are relishing the struggle.



[1] http://ec.europa.eu/growth/single-market/smact/index_en.htm

[2] http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/nov/05/eu-migrants-uk-gains-20bn-ucl-study

[3] http://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/health/unplanned-healthcare/payments-reimbursements/index_en.html

[4] http://blog.universitiesuk.ac.uk/2014/04/04/study-highlights-value-of-international-students-to-the-uk/