Bury Green Party

Debunking UKIP "get out of Europe" message

5 May 2014

  • "The EU is just a way to give bureaucrats money"

The EU's administrative expenses amounts to less than 6% of the total EU budget, with salaries accounting for around half of that 6%. More than 94% of the European budget goes to citizens, regions, cities, farmers and businesses.


  • "All the money goes to Fench farmers

In 1985, around 70% of the EU budget was spent on agriculture. In 2011, direct aid to farmers and market-related expenditure amounted to just 30% of the budget, and rural development spending to 11%. The declining path continues.

76% of the UK's food exports go to other EU Members States.

The UK receives the second largest share of Research  & Development funding, equal to 14.4% of the total EU spending on R&D.


  • "The EU budget is Enormous"

The budget costs about 50p per day per Citizen, and membership brings enormous financial benefits. The EU budget was around 140 billion euros in 2011, which is very small compared to the sum of national budgets of all 27 EU Member states  which amounts to more than 6,300 billion euros.

In other words, total goverment expenditure by the 27 Member States is almost 50 times bigger than the EU budget !

The EU budget is smaller than that of the budget of a medium-sized Member State like Austria or Belgium.

You can also look at it another way: the EU budget represents around 1% of the EU-27 Gross Domestic Product, that is the total of all goods and services produced in the EU,  whereas Member States' budgets account for 44% of GDP on average.


  • "The EU constrains Britain's ability to boost its trade with rich countries outside Europe"

There is actually little evidence that it reduces trade with countries ouside the Union.  Britain is home to the larger stock of EU and US foreign direct investment than any other EU economy. It is the preferred location for investment from other leading markets. The investment would be threatened by a UK exit from the EU.


  • The amount of regulation being imposed on Britain by the EU restrains its ability to trade"

EU membership, which enables full participation in the single market, has wide economic benefits. If Britain were to leave the EU, it would face a difficult dilemma: having to negotiate access to the EU's single market in exchange for continued adherence to its rules, or losing access in return for regulatory sovereignty, which, in the global economy we live in, is illusory.


The Green Party takes the view that it's just common sense to have EU laws in relation to shared resources and goals. It is especially important on the environment because we share seas with our neighbours and breathe the same air. We are in favour of staying in the EU, but also strongly believe that we must work for an EU which serves its citizens better, and not corporations. This relies on crucial reforms to improve the EU's transparency and to increase the power of MEPs and the European Parliament, rather than unelected officials or corporate lobbyists.

We are the only party who are clear about our position: we want to stay in Europe, we want to reform it and we want a referendum.



















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