LETTER: Setting our own priorities

In 2015 the UK government contributed £13 billion to the EU budget, and EU spending on the UK was £4.5 billion.

Sunday, 22nd May 2016, 2:00 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th June 2018, 6:06 pm

So the UK’s “net contribution” was estimated at about £8.5 billion. The EU, an organisation that hasn’t had its accounts audited for over 20 years, decides how the £4.5 billion is spent in the UK. The remainder of our “contribution”, a whopping £8.5 billion pa, is siphoned off to where exactly?

At the same time as we hand over £8.5 billion pa to the EU, we face savage cuts in our own public services – undermining the core values we have worked so hard to achieve over many generations. We must ensure that the things we value most like the NHS, pensions, care for the disabled and those in need, education, armed forces, policing etc are adequately funded before we subsidise other nations through the EU budget. Why, for example, should the UK hand over £8.5 billion to other EU nations when we have over a million people using food banks?

Many EU nations are generations behind us in terms of economic and social development – we must help them to develop as we have done, and equally they must accept that it takes generations – there are no short cuts, no handouts. It’s hard graft! We know, we did it over many generations!

There are something like 196 countries in the world. 168 are not in the EU and yet they are surviving. They include the USA, China, Japan, Australia, Canada etc. Interestingly, the USA does over £50 billion of trade pa with the UK, and the UK does a similar amount with the USA, and all of this without a formal trade deal. The truth is that trade deals are useful to have but are not an absolute necessity.

If the UK leaves the EU, it will lose a financial “contribution” of £8.5 billion pa and will not want to compound that loss with further economic self harming! Germany, for instance, will not want to do anything to jeopardise its substantial trade with the UK. The EU will still want to trade with us.

To answer the question – “what does leave look like?”

It’s rather simple really. Twenty eight EU nations become 27 and 168 non EU nations become 169... and the UK no longer needs the agreement of Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, and Sweden to set its own priorities.

The UK will, once again, be a self governing nation – and a global champion for democracy.

Tony Dixon

Barons Close