EU membership makes Britain richer and safer. It provides unmatched opportunities for our companies; allows us to trade around the world; helps keep us secure; and benefits us at work, on holiday or when doing the weekly shop.
There is no alternative to EU membership that would provide all of these benefits. It is simply untrue that Britain would be able to keep all or most of the benefits of the EU without paying the costs.
EU membership helps Britain trade with the rest of the world.
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Norway suffers from regulation without representation. As a member of the European Economic Area, Norway is part of the Single Market. However, because it is not in the EU, it has no power over Single Market regulations that affect its economy. Norway still has to pay the EU for the privilege, and accept the free movement of people.
Switzerland’s deal with the EU is unique, and messy. Switzerland has partial access to the Single Market, but not in financial services. It took the Swiss 50 years to get this partial access, and the EU has said it is not a model to be followed by other countries. The Swiss people voted to restrict EU immigration, but found that this was forbidden under their bilateral agreements.
Turkey’s customs union is the worst of all worlds. As part of a customs union, like Turkey, the UK would enjoy only the free movement of goods, meaning that 80% of our economy would not be covered. We would be completely shut out of global trade negotiations, and we would still have to apply tariffs on some imports.
Under the WTO rules, British companies would face tariffs and be locked out of the Single Market. Under the World Trade Organisation rules, we would be outside of the Single Market. Our companies would have to pay tariffs, and we would still have to abide by EU standards to export to Europe.