|The June Press|
'Europe' doesn't Work
A discussion of the 3-million-jobs-at-risk lie & related topics
by Tim Congdon.
This pamphlet explains why Three million British people are involved in exporting products to the EU, but their jobs depend on the continuation of trade , not on EU membership. Millions of jobs in China 'depend on exports to the EU', but no one has suggested that China must become an EU member.
[eurofacts (Vol 18 No 8) – 19th April 2013]
The strap line of this pamphlet explains the full point of this publication “A discussion of the three-million-jobs-at-risk lie and related misconceptions”.
Executive summary of the key points is set out below.
Supporters of greater European Union (EU) integration, such as the deputy prime minister, Nicholas Clegg, have claimed repeatedly – on the basis of a 1999 report from the National Institute of Economic and Social Research – that at least three million jobs would be at risk if the UK withdrew from the EU. (The Institute’s director, Martin Weale, repudiated that claim and described it as ‘pure Goebbels’.) The claim rests on a misunderstanding. Three million British people are involved in exporting products to the EU, but their jobs depend on the continuation of trade, not on continued EU membership. Outside the EU Britain – like any other country in the world – would be able to sell goods and services to EU member states. Millions of jobs in China ‘depend on exports to the EU’, but no one has suggested that China must become an EU member. The three-million-jobs-at-risk lie is ‘Euro-centrism gone mad’.
Other main points. - The UK’s participation in ‘the European construction’ (i.e., ‘the Common Market’ from 1973 to 1993 and the European Union since then) has reduced employment. If the UK had remained a fully independent nation, employment would now be higher than it is.
The main reasons for the job destruction are two-fold - restrictive EU employment and labour market regulations, and the opening of the UK labour market to workers from poorer EU countries, particularly since 2004. (See pages 12 and 17 on regulation and Chapter 3 on immigration.)
OECD data shows that last year the proportion of working-age people in employment was 63.8% in the Eurozone compared with 70.0% in the UK and over 72% in the main Commonwealth high-income countries. (See page 12.)
EU labour markets are highly inefficient compared with those of other high-income countries, mainly because of excessive regulation.
If the UK were to be become more like the Eurozone, because of yet more regulation and ‘harmonisation’ with the Eurozone average, 1.8 million jobs would be destroyed.
In the first 20 years of Common Market membership (i.e., the 20 years to 1993), the number of men in employment in the UK fell by almost two million. (See pages 14 and 15.)
In the Great Recession employment in our country of UK-born people fell by 800,000, whereas employment of foreign-born people rose by 400,000. (See page 19.) About half of the increase in foreign-born employment was of immigrant workers from Eastern Europe, allowed in because of our EU membership.
The truth is that our membership of the EU has destroyed British jobs. It has destroyed them in two ways;
First, by imposing excessive and costly regulations on business, including many regulations that make it unprofitable to recruit and employ workers.
Second, by allowing in immigrant workers in vast numbers (the low millions) who have to some extent displaced British-born workers in the UK labour market.
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