What's In The EU Leaflet And Is It True?

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Source:   —  April 07, 2016, at 5:42 PM

The controversial document makes claims that are hotly disputed by Leave campaigners. Faisal Islam tries to create sense of it.

What's In The EU Leaflet And Is It True?

The Government's controversial pro-EU leaflet will soon be winging its way to twenty-seven million letterboxes around the UK - so it could've a genuine impact on the referendum.

But do the claims in the hotly-disputed document stack up? Here, our Political Editor Faisal Islam unpicks six key passages.

"Special status" is a central achievement claimed by the Government of David Cameron'south nine-month renegotiation and the deal struck in Brussels in February.

It's a subjective and not a valid description. Helpfully, other EU leaders including Presidents Tusk and Juncker have used the duration to characterize Britain'south position, but it wasn't portion of the text of the final deal.

The PM is referring, though, not just to his new safeguards, but principally to long-standing British opt-outs of the Eurozone and border-free Schengen area.

As a whole the UK does have a unique role in the EU. The process of reform in the EU though, is very much a work in progress.

This is true. The Leave campaigns haven't disputed that full access to the Single Market could be disrupted.

The German finance minister has backed this up, as has the French President.

Yes, Britain would obtain some sort of trade deal, maybe free trade in goods, but what about services, which comprise the vast bulk of the UK economy?

A common thread of various slightly different Leave positions is, in fact, that overall the Single Market is a horrible thing, because the regulatory costs outweigh the trade benefits.

Leave campaigners would also contend that there is "risk and uncertainty" from staying in the Single Market. Worth noting that the Single Market was in fact a British creation, the brainchild of Lord Arthur Cockfield.

Many things impact upon the cost of the pound, from government borrowing, to bank stability, to opinion polls.

Leave campaigners will point to real EU policy on, for example, protecting farming, which has artificially inflated food prices, and led to additional tariffs for many goods imported into the EU.

A lower pound, though, could expand the prices of imports. Sterling has slumped 8.5 percent against the dollar and 11.6 percent versus the euro since October.

Brexit fears are a part, though not all of that - a record current account deficit, property crash concerns and differences in interest rates are also large factors.

As facts go, this is true, but it's at most tangentially relevant to the EU debate. This is all of the foreign investment into the UK from across the world.

Some of it's helped by EU membership, perhaps, but number one could argue it was all or even half at stake. Maybe a fraction. A staunch Leave supporter would argue that no would be even higher exterior the EU.

The question here is really "how much less of a draw?".

Independent experts question if the deal will have much of an impact on immigration, even as baby benefits and tax credits are Ltd to some EU migrants.

The Office for Budget Responsibility says it expects "not much" impact on migration.

Indeed the biggest draw into the UK was always the no of available jobs.

The new national living wage seems likely to expand the incentive for EU migrants to arrive as much, maybe more than the restrictions on benefits.

Separately, it's still unclear what the final form of the tax credit restrictions will be, as they're subject to European Parliament votes and negotiation.

It could, or it could not.

The Government calculation is based on a two-year Article fifty EU exit process, followed by a renegotiation of a trade deal with the remaining European Union members.

At the same time, there would then be UK trade deals having to be struck with other non-EU nations.

Alternatively, the EU members could get a pragmatic approach, and assistance the UK inherit most of the existing arrangements, and strike a clear free trade deal in lieu of UK membership.

There'south number genuine precedent for this. The Leave campaign cites Greenland leaving the EU taking three years, and free trade deals between the US and Australia and Switzerland and China, taking two.

A UK disentanglement from the EU and reattachment to the world trading system would show up to be rather more complicated.

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