SOURCE: UK House of Commons Library
PREVIEW: This Commons Library paper examines the various policy areas where EU membership can have a measurable economic impact on Britain. The analysis includes a closer look at the impact of the following: trade, tariffs, movement of labour, EU regulation, and the EU budget; with further analysis on consumer prices and foreign direct investment.
A section of the paper collects cost-benefit analyses on EU membership written by various outside authors and finds that there is no definitive number that could irrefutably demonstrate whether the net effect is positive or negative. As expected, the various cited authors’ bias strongly influences the tone and outcome of these analyses.
The UK Independence Party’s analysis concludes the most negative economic effect of EU membership in a paper titled How much does the European Union cost Britain? The author calculates that the EU cost £77 billion net to the UK in 2010.
The 2004 paper by Civitas titled A cost too far? estimates the annual cost to be at 4% GDP.
The most optimistic figure was found in 2010 by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills, in a paper that estimates the trade benefits of EU membership since the early 1980s to measure up to 6% in income per capita.
The Commons Library paper itself does not draw a conclusion whether membership is more beneficial or costly, but it does provide a framework to understand the economic impact of EU membership on the UK.
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