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Brexit or Bremain: the arguments at a glance

Brexit or Bremain: the arguments at a glance
By Sarah Chappell
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What both sides are saying as they try to convince voters ahead of the UK's EU referendum.


The UK is holding an EU Referendum on 23 June. This article summarises the core viewpoints of both the remain campaign, Britain Stronger in Europe, and the leave campaign, Vote Leave, on several of the key issues.

Cost of membership


  • The benefits of access to the European Single Market far outweigh the costs of EU membership. The EU provides the UK with a return on investment of close to 10 to 1.

  • The annual UK contribution to the EU budget is equivalent to GBP 340 per British household, yet the increased trade, investment and lower prices generated by the EU relationship make a contribution of around GBP 3,000 per British household annually.


  • The UK can stop sending billions of pounds per year to unelected politicians in Brussels and instead spend that money on UK priorities, such as health, education and scientific research.

  • Burdensome EU regulation costs UK business more than GBP 600 million per week. ---



  • Immigration is good for the economy and EU migrants make a net contribution to the UK budget – overall, they pay more in taxes than they take out.

  • Leaving the EU does not mean reduced migration. The UK is likely to have to continue to allow free movement of EU migrants in return for being allowed full access to the Single Market.


  • It is impossible to have control over immigration as a member of the EU.

  • The UK will regain full power of its borders, leading to a reduction in migrant numbers. This will create job opportunities for British workers and ease pressure on public services. ---



  • Being part of Europe makes the UK economy stronger. The EU supports British businesses, creates jobs and delivers lower prices for consumers.

  • If the UK leaves, investment will fall and millions of jobs will be lost as global manufacturers move their operations to lower-cost EU member states.


  • The EU has become an economic failure, and EU regulation hinders British businesses more than it helps them. The UK will do better alone.

  • The risk to employment is exaggerated, as jobs are linked to trade not to political union. Plus, new jobs will be created as companies are freed from the costs and burdens of EU red tape. ---



  • The EU is the UK’s number one trading partner. Leaving the EU poses huge risks, as trade barriers will be introduced and tariffs implemented.

  • The UK is part of the EU’s trade deals with 50+ countries around the world, and it benefits from better terms due to the EU’s size.


  • Trade with EU countries will of course continue. The UK can negotiate a free trade deal with the EU without itself being bound by EU laws.

  • The UK will able to benefit from the freedom of negotiating its own trade agreements with other countries, particularly with fast-growing export markets such as China and India. ---

Global influence and security


  • Outside the EU, the UK will be sidelined on the global stage. It will have less influence over transnational decision-making, on issues such as combatting terrorism, trade and the environment.

  • The country will have less influence over transnational decision-making, on issues such as combatting terrorism, boosting trade and protecting the environment.


  • The UK will have a more powerful voice if it goes it alone. Outside the EU, it will remain a key player in NATO and retain its seat on the UN Security Council.

  • Leaving the EU will make the UK safer. The country will be freed from the EU’s Charter of Fundamental Rights, which decides what powers British intelligence agencies and police are allowed to have. ---


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