What are the pros and cons of the UK having EU membership?

10 answers

  • CON: EU law has supremacy over UK law, reducing the sovereignty of the UK. So far the UK has taken on tens of thousands of laws from EU legislation.

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  • CON: The UK pays the EU a membership fee, which has generally been increasing since 2001. Some of the money is rebated or invested back into the UK, but overall, the UK contributes billions of GBP to the EU every year.

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  • CON: The UK can't make trade deals on its own - all trade deals must be agreed upon by all EU member countries.

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  • CON: The UK can't set its own trade tariffs: under the rules of the EU’s customs union, all EU countries have to set the same tariffs on imports from outside the EU. There are no tariffs on trade between EU countries.

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  • PRO: There is some key support within the EU for a European army, however the UK is opposed and will continue to have a veto as long as it is an EU member.

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  • PRO: As a member of the EU, the UK gets military access to the Galileo global satellite navigation system (the EU's "GPS"). After Brexit, access would be restricted to just civil and commercial usage.

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  • CON: The UK can't set its own trade quotas.

  • CON: Under the EU's Common Fisheries Policy, the UK is limited on how much of each species of fish that can be caught each year.

  • CON: The UK doesn't have complete control over its taxation policy: all EU member states have to have broadly similar rules and minimum rates on VAT, and taxes on petrol, tobacco and alcohol.

  • CON: the EU is pushing historical revisionism to make the history of Islam in Europe more friendly, and to brand Islamophobia as racism.