OVER three million jobs in the UK are linked to exports to the rest of the EU – some 10% of the UK workforce – according to ICAS.
And the cost of the UK contribution to the EU budget in 2015, ICAS found, was £8.5bn – just 0.5% of the UK’s estimated total GDP of £1.79trn for 2015 (£17.8bn gross less rebate of £4.9bn and public sector receipts to UK of £4.4bn).
David Wood, ICAS executive director, technical policy, said: “This illustrates that the fiscal aspect of the UK’s relationship with the EU, while important, is dwarfed by the significance of the UK/EU trading relationship, and regardless of the outcome of the vote it is critical that this is maintained.”
“It is important that the UK electorate are able to make an informed decision on 23 June. There are currently considerable claims and counter claims from both camps.
ICAS has published the findings from its technical experts into what it deems to be the key fiscal and economic aspects of the UK/EU relationship in order “to provide a context for the debate ahead of the vote on 23 June.
The intention of the UK Membership of the EU – Putting Into Perspective paper, is “to explain the current economic and fiscal status of the relationship and also to avoid any hypothetical figures which speculate on the potential impact of a UK withdrawal from the EU”.
The paper found that the net annual cost of EU membership of around £8.5bn per annum, equates to less than 3% of the average income tax paid per person in the UK.
And nearly half (44%) of all Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) – at £496bn – had been pumped into the UK by other EU countries, compared with just 24% of UK FDI by the US.
Woods said the aim of the paper is to “focus on the facts to the extent that they are available” and “sets out to take a fair path in balancing what we know about both scenarios.”
ICAS stresses that it is not taking a formal position on whether the UK should leave, or remain in the EU noting that “there are fundamental issues of sovereignty at the heart of the debate”.
The research also found that there are two million nationals from other EU countries working in the UK, while 1.26m UK citizens live in other EU member states.
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