Brexit: Nigel Farage hits out at 'anti-competitive' single market
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And Tory MP Sir John Redwood has said the figures prove the Single Market was specifically designed to hold the UK back – as well as underlining the wisdom of severing ties with Brussels. Pro-Brexit think tank Facts4EU used the European Commission’s Single Market Scoreboard 2020 – the last to feature the UK – to examine the relative benefits of membership, in terms of trade in goods and services with other EU countries as a percentage of overall GDP.
With respect to goods, the UK finished bottom of the pile, with just 10.2 percent. France was on 13.4 percent, Germany on 20.7 percent – and Slovakia on a whopping 63.7 percent.
Nor did the UK fare much better in a league table for services, finishing in 26th place with 5.2 percent, ahead of just Germany (five percent) and Italy (3.7 percent).
Once again the UK lost out to France, on six percent.
Sir John, the MP for Wokingham, as well as being a member of the European Research Group (ERG) said: “The more revealing figures show the UK’s growth rate fell after we joined the EEC and fell again once they completed the single market in 1992.
“That was why some of us campaigned to leave the Single Market as well as leaving the EU.”
He added: “The Single Market was designed against us and promoted continental exports to us to replace our home production.”
Facts4EU chairman Leigh Evans pointed to the numerous reference to the importance of being part of the Single Market during the referendum campaign.
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He said: “Prime Minister David Cameron, Chancellor George Osborne, and all of ‘the Great and the Good’ didn’t stop talking about it.
“Without being a member of the Single Market, the public was told, the UK was more or less finished.
“Between 500,000-820,000 people would lose their jobs almost immediately, the UK economy would fall off a cliff, house prices would plummet, and the defence of the Realm would be in peril.”
He added: “Year after year Facts4EU.Org has summarised the official annual reports from the EU Commission on the performance of its ‘greatest achievement’ – the Single Market.
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“Year after year the UK has come bottom – benefiting the least out of all 28 member countries overall.
“Above we have summarised the last EU report before the United Kingdom formally left the EU on 31 December 2020.
“This data is incontrovertible – it comes directly from the EU’s very own ‘Single Market Scoreboard’ which is published each year.”
Nevertheless, Mr Evans suggested the figures had been ignored by many.
He explained: “Imagine for a moment if the EU’s official ‘Scoreboard’ had shown the United Kingdom at the top, in terms of the benefits it received in trade with the EU’s Single Market.
“There would have been daily laments about the economic catastrophe of leaving the Single Market. Instead, things have gone rather quiet.
“We have not seen the results of the EU’s official Single Market Scoreboard 2020 published anywhere.
“This is why we have researched and published this report.”
Unsurprisingly, the European Commission has a rather different view of its Single Market.
Its website proclaims: “The Single Market ranks at the top among the greatest accomplishments of European integration.
“For over 25 years, it has been delivering growth, jobs, legal certainty to business, a wide choice of safe products to consumers and guaranteeing the free movement to EU citizens in the Member States.
“It is part of our daily life, interweaving the activities of businesses and consumers across borders.”
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