We will be much worse off when Brexit hap­pens

Gloucestershire Echo - - LETTERS & OPINION - Sarah Mo­liver Chel­tenham

✒ I AM re­spond­ing to the let­ter head­lined Spend EU money on lo­cal ser­vices (Let­ters, Thurs­day April 18)

I en­tirely agree we need to have de­cent fund­ing of lo­cal gov­ern­ment by cen­tral gov­ern­ment and that we need to ad­e­quately fi­nance our pub­lic ser­vices.

I am not sure that a Brexit div­i­dend will be avail­able and that, like many things as­so­ci­ated with Brexit, is not that sim­ple.

I un­der­stand (full­fact.org) that the UK spends in the re­gion of £13 bil­lion on the EU of which £4 bil­lion comes back in grants to mainly poorer ar­eas of the UK although there are grants made through­out the coun­try (myeu.uk/).

This leaves in the re­gion of £9 bil­lion a year but economists have pre­dicted that we could lose up to £15 bil­lion a year in rev­enues due to de­crease in trade and in­vest­ments.

There are also prom­ises made by the gov­ern­ment to sup­port farm­ers and pay­ments to re­search pro­jects as well as the set­ting up na­tional de­part­ments, for ex­am­ple trade, mean­ing that there won’t be a Brexit div­i­dend and that we may well be financiall­y con­sid­er­ably worse off as a na­tion.

The £39 bil­lion di­vorce set­tle­ment re­flects con­tin­ued com­mit­ments and obli­ga­tions dur­ing the tran­si­tional pe­riod of leav­ing the EU as ne­go­ti­ated in the cur­rent gov­ern­ment’s with­drawal agree­ment.

It is a great deal of money (who knew about this at the time of the orig­i­nal cam­paign?) and given the above wouldn’t it be bet­ter that we re­con­sider our de­ci­sion to leave the EU with the op­tion of stay­ing so that we can en­joy the very many ben­e­fits, con­trib­ute to re­form within the EU as an ac­tive and con­struc­tive part­ner and fo­cus our en­ergy and fi­nances on all of our pub­lic ser­vices that so need at­ten­tion.

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