Advantages & Disadvantages of EU Membership

Arguments for and against countries within Europe being members of the European Union.

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James Fortson
Lower Prices Increased Immigration
Reforms are taking place (including The free movement of labour
within the CAP), where prices are being encourages immigration (particularly
reduced to world levels. from Eastern Europe) which puts strain
on housing/water/healthcare and
Free Movement of Labour educational resources.
UK residents are able to travel abroad, Reduced Labour Market Flexibility
without restriction. Immigrants might do Specific EU social policies have increased
undesirable jobs ­unemployment has labour costs and reduced labour market
dropped. flexibility (e.g. the "Social Chapter" policy).
Increased Trade & Investment Expensive
Being part of the EU costs the UK
67% of UK trade is within the EU. The UK
approximately £40 billion per year.
benefits from inward investment.
CAP is Inefficient
Increased Competition
The CAP alone is worth 50% of the EU
budget, and costs the UK £14 billion per
More competition amongst firms will act
year ­ most of this money ends up going
as an incentive for firms to innovate, and
to French farmers. It also results in
should keep prices low and stable for
higher prices for consumers.
Loss of Control
Lower Transaction Costs
A member loses its independence. Also,
The removal of tariffs and regulations if a country implements the Euro then it
between costs has reduced a firm's loses control over domestic monetary
costs of production. policy, and may be forced to use an
unsuitable exchange rate.
Access to EU funds Still retain Free Trade Benefit
Extra funds and grants can be given to The UK could still benefit from free trade,
some countries in order to improve even if it were to leave the EU. E.g.
economic welfare. E.g. the "European Switzerland is not part of the EU; but still
Social Fund" increases employment, benefits from free trade.
especially through vocational training.
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