The truth about our EU mem­ber­ship

The Oban Times - - Letters -

Sir, There has been so much mis­in­for­ma­tion by the Brexit cam­paign that I thought it might be help­ful to out­line some ba­sic facts about the EU and the UK for those vot­ers who haven’t made up their minds yet on how to vote.

What is the EU? It is a union of sov­er­eign na­tions linked by treaties.

Who de­cides what taxes you pay and how they are spent? UK gov­ern­ments.

Who de­ter­mines our poli­cies and reg­u­la­tions re­lat­ing to ed­u­ca­tion, health, hous­ing, wel­fare, pen­sions, the min­i­mum wage, crim­i­nal jus­tice, do­mes­tic in­fra­struc­ture and cul­ture? UK gov­ern­ments.

Who de­cides our de­fence pol­icy? The UK gov­ern­ment.

Who de­cides for­eign and trade pol­icy? The UK gov­ern­ment and Brus­sels share de­ci­sions.

Does the Euro­pean Court of Jus­tice have prece­dent over our le­gal sys­tem? Some­times, but only on mat­ters of EU law.

Immigration: who do we have to al­low in as a re­sult of EU mem­ber­ship? EU ci­ti­zens but we can block en­try on grounds of se­cu­rity.

Do EU im­mi­grants im­pose a bur­den on the UK wel­fare sys­tem? No, they con­trib­ute more into the sys­tem than they take out.

How much does our mem­ber­ship of EU cost us on a net ba­sis? Less than 1p per pound of taxes.

What ben­e­fits do we de­rive from be­ing part of the EU? Bet­ter trade, bet­ter travel, study and re­search, dereg­u­la­tion of cross bor­der in­dus­tries lead­ing to cheaper flights, no roam­ing charges, more com­pet­i­tive in sin­gle mar­ket lead­ing to bet­ter qual­ity of goods and lower prices.

What do we have to lose if we leave the EU? Dif­fi­cult to say as it will de­pend on out­come of talks and ne­go­ti­a­tions. Our al­lies and friends think an exit is ill-ad­vised and most prob­a­bly will have a neg­a­tive im­pact.

I urge you to join me and vote to re­main.

Ur­sula Craig, Cove.

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