Sleight of hand

WP_20160602_07_38_13_ProWith only a few days left to register to vote for the EU referendum, it’s sad to see doorsteps hit by glossy misleading propaganda. The leave campaigners are telling massive whoppers at every turn.  Here are a few examples from a newspaper that came through my letter box this week.

They say: “Britain will retake its empty seat at the World Trade Organisation.” However, the 28 Member States of the EU are WTO members in their own right.  Yes, they speak as one but no seats are empty!  This is a gross distortion of the facts.

They say: “Britain is one of the biggest exporters in the world.” Truth is Britain is 9th in ranking, only just above Canada.  EU Member States Italy, Netherlands, France and Germany are bigger exporters.  Leaving the European single market will not take Britain up the ranking!

They say: “It is estimated that leaving the EU will boost our manufacturing by £45bn a year.” That’s more than a 25% increase!  UK is currently the 11th largest manufacturing nation in the world.  EU Member States Italy, France and Germany are bigger manufacturers.  The prediction is nonsense when compared with the best done by the fastest growing countries in the world.  Better to work with our European partners rather than spurn our successes.

They say: “UK science is not reliant on EU funding”. Just about every scientist you may talk to will disagree with these words.  A great deal of collaborative research work will be lost as the advantageous terms and conditions we have currently will be lost if we leave.  Just at a time when the EU is shifting spending towards innovation and research.

They say: “Agricultural subsidies will be kept.” That’s a huge percentage of existing monies coming from the EU.  So, where’s the bonus that will end fuel poverty and mend the NHS and fund a shortfall in research spending?  The leave campaign are promising the NHS £100 million a week but are they talking about printing money that doesn’t exit?

None of the predictions given by the outers are believable unless you believe in magic. Either that or we have a pack of jokers who are not at all concerned about the facts.  I trust that the British people will not be hoodwinked by such sleight of hand.

The way to grow our trade is negotiating as a powerful European bloc at the WTO.

The way to export more is grow the single market of 500 million that’s on our doorstep.

The way support manufacturing and research is to work with our partners in Europe.  As the expression goes: the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.

Britain will only be better off by remaining in the EU. Proudly I say; we are not quitters.

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