Around 3.5 million British jobs are directly linked to British membership of the European Union’s single market – 1 in 10 British jobs.
2. Exports & investment
The EU buys over 50 per cent of UK exports (54 per cent of goods, 40 per cent of services).
Over 300,000 British companies and 74 per cent of British exporters operate in other EU markets.
American and Asian EU firms build factories in Britain because it is in the single market.
The EU negotiates trade agreements with the rest of the world. Outside the EU Britain would have to renegotiate trade deals alone. While the EU is the world’s largest market, a UK outside the EU would not be a high priority for other counties to negotiate a trade deal.
4. Consumer clout
British families enjoy lower mobile phone roaming charges, lower credit card fees, cheaper flights and proper compensation when flights are delayed or cancelled. These sorts of benefits could not be achieved by Britain alone.
5. Clean environment
Through commonly agreed EU standards, national Governments have achieved improvements to the quality of air, rivers and beaches. Good for Britain and good for Britons holidaying or living abroad!
6. Power to curb the multinationals
The EU has taken on multinational giants like Microsoft, Samsung and Toshiba for unfair competition. The UK would not be able to do this alone.
7. Freedom to work and study abroad – and easy travel
1.4 million British people live abroad in the EU. More than 14,500 UK students took part in the European Union’s Erasmus student exchange scheme in 2012-13. Driving licences issued in the UK are valid throughout the EU.
8. Peace and democracy
The EU has helped secure peace among previously warring western European nations. It helped to consolidate democracy in Spain, Portugal, Greece and former Soviet bloc countries and helped preserve peace in the Balkans since the end of the Balkans War. With the UN it now plays a leading role in conflict prevention, peacekeeping and democracy building.
9. Equal pay and non-discrimination
Equal pay for men and women is enshrined in EU law, as are bans on discrimination by age, race or sexual orientation. This benefits Britain and British people who live in other EU countries.
10. Influence in the world
As 28 democracies, and as the world’s biggest market, we are strong when we work together.
Britain is represented in many international organisations in joint EU delegations – giving Britain more influence than it would have alone. The EU has played a major role in climate, world trade and development.
11. Cutting red tape
Common rules for the common market make it unnecessary to have 28 sets of national regulations.
12. Fighting crime
The European Arrest Warrant replaced long extradition procedures and enables the UK to extradite criminals wanted in other EU countries, and bring to justice criminals wanted in the UK who are hiding in other EU countries.
Eurojust helps UK authorities work with other EU countries’ to tackle international organised crime such as drug smuggling, people trafficking and money laundering.
13. Research funding
The UK is the second largest beneficiary of EU research funds, and the British Government expects future EU research funding to constitute a vital source of income for our world-leading universities and companies