Fact and fiction in EU booklet

Have you received the Electoral Commission leaflet for the referendum?

I’ve just taken a close look at the Leave page and come up with these corrections:

1. Fiction: EU law controls UK migration. Fact: migration from the rest of the world (more than half of people who stay more than six months) is entirely in our hands.

2. Turkey is in the process of joining the EU. True, but many years after first applying Turkey has achieved only 1 of 30 criteria which are pre-requisite to membership.

3. Fiction: We pay £350m a week to EU. Fact: this figure does not include the rebate, which is deducted before payment, so actually about half of this! This lie is repeated three times in the one page.

4. Fiction: EU controls VAT. Fact: The UK government sets the VAT rate.

5. Fiction: The European Court overrules our courts. Fact: which court is this – Justice or Human Rights? Justice settles legal wrangles between EU countries, so Brexit would of course remove us from this. But it would not end our membership of ECHR which ultimately decides things like deportation.

5. We will control our borders – so no change!

6. Fiction: We will retake our seats on international bodies. Fact: we are full members of NATO, WTO, UN. Although of course if we Brexit, and hence are less influential, we may lose our seat on some of these or important committees of these.

Leave had a chance to put a solid case to the UK electorate. Instead they have demonstrated the weakness of their arguments.

Diane Smith



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