Civitas report claims UK has not received any “insider advantages” from EU

Politicians clash over EU trading benefits 'myth'

UKIP's Ray Finch

Labour's Anneliese Dodds

First published in News Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Political reporter

POLITICIANS hoping to represent Hampshire have clashed over a new report claiming that the European Union’s (EU) economic benefits for the UK are a myth.

Think tank Civitas’ report says that the UK has not received any “insider advantages” in trade by being a member of the EU and that non-member Switzerland has more trade agreements in place than the entire EU.

But while it has been seized on by Eurosceptic UKIP candidates as proof of the UK’s need to leave the EU, Labour says that it has not been written from a “neutral” perspective and that the EU is vital for thousands of jobs in the south-east.

Civitas’ Where’s the Inside Advantage? report, written by market researcher Michael Burrage, has been released just weeks before people across the region head to the polls on May 22.

It says that trade with fellow EU nations makes up no more of the UK’s trade with top economies now than it did when the country joined the European Economic Community in 1973.

In the report, Mr Burrage says that Switzerland has 26 free-trade agreements in place with non-EU states, in comparison to the EU’s 25.

Ray Finch, who is standing to represent UKIP in the European Parliament, said: “The report says exactly what we have been saying all along – there is no competitive advantage for the UK to be in the EU.

“If we were external to the EU, we could do quicker and smarter trade agreements that are specific to the UK.”

But Labour election candidate Anneliese Dodds says that Mr Burrage is “Eurosceptic” and that the report is “not a neutral view”.

She added: “The report seems to hang it on the fact that Switzerland has done better than the EU – but lots of their deals were already done by the EU.

“In the Solent area one in four jobs is involved in the maritime sector so it is really important that we have a strong voice in Europe.”

Comments (6)

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11:11am Wed 7 May 14

boilerman says...

OK so the EU may bring in 3 or 4 million jobs but it also brings in 3 or 4 million immigrants, so the effect is nullified but we still have to pay billions to be in this club and contribute to benefits for these people.
Lets get out now and stand on our own we are more than capable of doing so.
OK so the EU may bring in 3 or 4 million jobs but it also brings in 3 or 4 million immigrants, so the effect is nullified but we still have to pay billions to be in this club and contribute to benefits for these people. Lets get out now and stand on our own we are more than capable of doing so. boilerman
  • Score: 6

11:42am Wed 7 May 14

southy says...

Seems Labour as forgotten that Britain is the Cross roads for Europe, and we gain nothing in the marine industry what is left of it now for being in the EU, pulling out of the EU would more likely create more jobs as we would be trading with the world and not having to worry about the EU, Cargo ships prefer to unload cargo in the UK and let the UK have the worry of shipping into Europe.
As a Whole it cost us more for being in the EU than it would being out of the EU
Seems Labour as forgotten that Britain is the Cross roads for Europe, and we gain nothing in the marine industry what is left of it now for being in the EU, pulling out of the EU would more likely create more jobs as we would be trading with the world and not having to worry about the EU, Cargo ships prefer to unload cargo in the UK and let the UK have the worry of shipping into Europe. As a Whole it cost us more for being in the EU than it would being out of the EU southy
  • Score: -1

2:23pm Wed 7 May 14

Linesman says...

Whatever the advantages and disadvantages of being in the EU are, having lived with them for decades, I know where I am and that I can cope.

What would it be like if we left?

Nobody knows for certain, and even the experts cannot agree.

There is an old saying, "It's better the devil you know, than the devil you don't."

I don't know what it would be like if we left the EU, but I do know that the world has turned many times since we joined, and we would not be returning to the same situation and conditions.
Whatever the advantages and disadvantages of being in the EU are, having lived with them for decades, I know where I am and that I can cope. What would it be like if we left? Nobody knows for certain, and even the experts cannot agree. There is an old saying, "It's better the devil you know, than the devil you don't." I don't know what it would be like if we left the EU, but I do know that the world has turned many times since we joined, and we would not be returning to the same situation and conditions. Linesman
  • Score: 0

2:45pm Wed 7 May 14

Paramjit Bahia says...

By changing old Labour Party policicy of opposing the EU rather than standing up to Tories under Thatcher who used to attack Labour for not supporting the EU the NuLabour has shot itself in the foot.

By implementing Thatcherism more enthusiastically than Tories for 13 years in power the NuLabour has lost lots of support, and by keep on putting all their eggs in pro EU basket the Conservatised NuLabour has left the field open to UKIP.

To the collective shame of the left it did not support real socialist leaders like Tony Ben who till his death kept on speaking against the EU or Arthur Scargill who has always argued for withdrawing from it.

By keep on sitting on the fence small groups and parties on the left are miserably failing to provide leadership for withdrawal from European Union.

Campaign for withdrawing from the EU should be broad based in which right left and centre should unite for freeing UK from the shackles of EU slavery. Just like Mahatama Gandhi's campaign to secure freedom for India from British Empire, which did not stop India trading with UK nor UK keeping trade relations with India that has become a one of the largest economy in the world because its economic blood was not sucked by organisation like the EU, so is free to trade with whole world.
By changing old Labour Party policicy of opposing the EU rather than standing up to Tories under Thatcher who used to attack Labour for not supporting the EU the NuLabour has shot itself in the foot. By implementing Thatcherism more enthusiastically than Tories for 13 years in power the NuLabour has lost lots of support, and by keep on putting all their eggs in pro EU basket the Conservatised NuLabour has left the field open to UKIP. To the collective shame of the left it did not support real socialist leaders like Tony Ben who till his death kept on speaking against the EU or Arthur Scargill who has always argued for withdrawing from it. By keep on sitting on the fence small groups and parties on the left are miserably failing to provide leadership for withdrawal from European Union. Campaign for withdrawing from the EU should be broad based in which right left and centre should unite for freeing UK from the shackles of EU slavery. Just like Mahatama Gandhi's campaign to secure freedom for India from British Empire, which did not stop India trading with UK nor UK keeping trade relations with India that has become a one of the largest economy in the world because its economic blood was not sucked by organisation like the EU, so is free to trade with whole world. Paramjit Bahia
  • Score: -4

4:56pm Wed 7 May 14

skeptik says...

Perhaps someone will have the answer? If we do leave the EU, will we not be trading with most of our large business already in foreign hands - competing with the worlds trading blocs APEC, Cairns, NAFTA etc, where many of these 'British' companies are based as owners. Will they as owners allow their British based business to undercut business in their own domestic economies? Not an argument for or agin just another question that some politicians push aside and say it will all be right leave it to us. Strikes me as one of those heart cries out for yes, whilst ignoring the what the head worries about.
Perhaps someone will have the answer? If we do leave the EU, will we not be trading with most of our large business already in foreign hands - competing with the worlds trading blocs APEC, Cairns, NAFTA etc, where many of these 'British' companies are based as owners. Will they as owners allow their British based business to undercut business in their own domestic economies? Not an argument for or agin just another question that some politicians push aside and say it will all be right leave it to us. Strikes me as one of those heart cries out for yes, whilst ignoring the what the head worries about. skeptik
  • Score: 0

10:45am Thu 8 May 14

Carpe Diem says...

According to Dodds - In the Solent area one in four jobs is involved in the maritime sector so it is really important that we have a strong voice in Europe. Why ? What's the connection between the maritime sector and Europe that would be any different between the maritime sector and the rest of the world. What is the source of her statistics ? Is that source any less biased than the Civitas report ?
According to Dodds - In the Solent area one in four jobs is involved in the maritime sector so it is really important that we have a strong voice in Europe. Why ? What's the connection between the maritime sector and Europe that would be any different between the maritime sector and the rest of the world. What is the source of her statistics ? Is that source any less biased than the Civitas report ? Carpe Diem
  • Score: 0

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