Phil Wilson

Fighting for the issues that matter most to you


Recently, you may have received a leaflet entitled "The UK and the European Union: The facts", this leaflet however, is far from factual and is merely part of the underhand tactics of the Vote Leave campaign.

Below these false facts are addressed, and the real facts are provided.


 Vote Leave falsely claim that the EU has taken control of our borders, public services and prisoner voting

“But over the past 43 years, the EU has taken control over more and more areas which don’t have anything to do with trade – such as our borders, our public services, and whether prisoners have the right to vote”

  • Border controls: Britain retains full control over its borders thanks to our opt-out from the EU’s borderless Schengen Area. Any person entering Britain is subject to immigration controls and passport checks and can be refused entry by the Home Office’s Border Force.[1][2]


  • Public services: The EU has absolutely no say over how we decide to manage our public services. Our NHS, the police, our education system and other public services are entirely run by our elected national government and not controlled by the EU. 

  • Prisoner voting: The EU did not block the UK ban on prisoner voting. There were concerns that banning prisoner voting would go against the EU charter, however, the European Court of Justice has ruled that the ban on prisoner votes is lawful[3].


Vote Leave scaremonger about EU enlargement, ignoring the UK’s veto over new countries joining

“Five more countries are being considered for membership: Albania, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, and Turkey. If they are let in, they will have the same rights as other member states.” 

  • The UK Government and our Parliament would have to ratify any future accession treaty, which means that the UK has a veto over any of those countries joining the EU[4]

  • It is untrue they would have the same rights. Any country that will join the EU will be subject to transitional controls, meaning that Britain will be able to restrict immigration from those countries. Transitional arrangements in the past have included requiring work permits, limiting labour migration only to sectors in need, and limiting quotas for low-skilled immigration[5]

 Vote Leave peddle a myth about the EU not engaging in trade deals with emerging economies
This means we currently have no trade deals with key allies such as Australia, New Zealand or the USA – or important growing economies like India, China or Brazil.”

The EU is in the process negotiating deep and comprehensive free trade agreements with all of those countries. [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11]


Vote Leave are incorrect about the cost of our EU membership

“The EU costs us £350 million a week”

  •  The EU costs us only £263 per household annually, or 30p per person per day
  • Britain’s net contribution to the EU in 2014 was £5.7bn

  • On average, our contribution has been £7.1bn

  • That amounts to £263 per household each year, or 30p per person per day 


£ million







UK gross contribution before rebate







UK rebate







UK receipts







UK net contribution















 Average (£bn)




Net Contribution (billion)



Population (million)


ONS National Population Projections

No of Households (million)


ONS Families and Households, 2015

Net contribution per household



Net contribution per person per day








Vote Leave make false promises about helping the NHS that they cannot and do not want to keep  

“That’s enough to build a new NHS hospital every week of the year.”


  • Vote Leave’s claims about the UK’s net contribution to the EU are wrong, and it has been proven that their spending promises do not add up. Last November, a £14bn black hole in Vote Leave’s calculations was exposed, fully erasing the legitimacy of such claims.[12]

  • Vote Leave cannot be trusted on the NHS, as they have a history of anti-NHS campaigning and advocating cuts, privatisation and charging for services in the NHS[13]


Vote Leave want to jeopardise our economy by ending our membership of the single market 

 You don’t have to be a member of the EU to trade with it”


  • You have to be a member of the EU or the EEA in order enjoy full access to the single market

  • The UK currently enjoys full access to the single market, which benefits trade, investment and jobs in the UK and is especially vital given that 78% of the UK economy are services

  • Only with full access to the single market do UK firms enjoy tariff-free trade, full access to the EU market (goods and services) and influence over the rules of trade. It is a fact that id we leave the EU single market we lose these benefits


 Vote Leave would rather see us adopting the inferior Swiss model 

 “Switzerland is not in the EU and it exports more per person to the EU than we do”


  • The “Swiss model” would leave Britain worse off

  • Switzerland has no access to the single market in services, which make up 78% of the UK economy and are the only sector in which Britain has a trade surplus. There is no access in financial services and Swiss firms face licensing and other barriers in many Member States if they wish to conduct cross-border business.[14] It would be hugely damaging to the UK financial services industry if this were replicated in the UK

  • Swiss access to the single market comes in the form of around 120 bilateral agreements between the EU and Switzerland. Negotiations some took up to nine years to complete, showing the level of uncertainty that could arise if this path was

  • In exchange for its access to the EU single market, Switzerland has to abide by free movement rules

  • Switzerland pays into the EU budget to the tune of £53 per head (compared to the UK’s of £109)[15] [16]


Vote Leave do not understand our relationship with the EU and scaremonger about Britain not being a sovereign nation 

“EU law overrules UK law”


  • The UK is an independent and sovereign nation state that is also a member state of the EU. Our Parliament in Westminster is a sovereign parliament that decides on the rules and laws that govern this country. Parliament could take the decision to leave the EU, if it voted that way.






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