Monday, 15 July 2013

Britain's EU Membership - The Cons

by Karina Shooter

Picture courtesy of
In my previous article, we looked at the advantages of Britain’s EU membership.  Now we are going to consider the alternative point of view – what are the disadvantages?

One of the most common arguments which is used to oppose Britain’s EU membership is the cost. Different estimates on how much EU membership costs Britain per year vary dramatically, for example although the Foreign Office and Commonwealth say that the cost of EU membership is £300 per head, the Bruges (an anti EU group) claim that the cost per head is £873. The argument put forward from Euro sceptics is that we are suffering from an imbalance of payments – the UKs allocation from the EU budget is much less than our contribution in the form of membership payments – therefore we are experiencing a trade deficit.

Many British people are annoyed about the fact that open borders within the EU mean that the UK Government cannot control migration. Net immigration has led to overcrowding in cities, causing rising house prices and congestion on roads. People also complain that immigrants are taking away employment opportunities from British citizens.

Furthermore, recent problems with the Euro have meant that larger EU countries have had to bail out those in need. This has angered many British citizens, especially because Britain’s economic situation is not ideal itself and many sectors are experiencing budget cuts and the effects of austerity measures. If Britain was not a member of the EU it would have less of a duty to bail out other EU nations.

Finally, legalisation from the EU has made some British citizens think that they are being governed by more of a bureaucracy than a democracy.  Some domestic issues which are being dealt with in Brussels could be more effectively dealt with on a national level where resources and the knowledge of the situation are more readily available. In addition, as London is the financial centre of Europe, it has been greatly affected by the new banking regulations which have been introduced by the European Union. Although George Osbourne has openly said that these new rules are not in Britain’s best interest and will severely damage Britain’s banking system, this has not stopped the EU imposing them.

By now you will have hopefully read both of my articles and will have seen the pros and cons of Britain’s EU membership.  What do you think? Should Britain stay in or get out? 


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