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The United Kingdom and the EU - The Benefits

Updated on April 28, 2016

The relationship between the EU and the UK is a complex one, which has spanned for over 40 years. This article will supply you with a solid factual basis which you can use to help form your own arguments and develop your own ideas. This article will highlight the benefits of EU membership for the UK, and will be followed up with a sister article tomorrow, which will be linked here and will focus on the drawbacks. Please refer to both articles to ensure you're equipped with the relevant knowledge prior to making up your mind and deciding on which side of the fence you stand.

Now that we've got that out of the way, let's move on to the important stuff, below you'll find three of the top reasons as to why the UK would benefit by remaining in the EU.

Security and Intelligence:

A lot of people think of the EU as a body which regulates international free trade and the freedom of movement for its member states and their citizens. Although this is true it is also important that you know what the EU does for your security. The EU's European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) allows all member states to share security and intelligence information effectively and efficiently. One of the biggest benefits of this that we've seen in recent times is the arrest of Osman Hussain, who attacked a London train in 2005, and then fled the country. Thanks to the ENP, UK intelligence worked with the EU in order to track him to Italy, where he was arrested in 2007 and extradited back to the UK and sentenced to 40 years in prison.

Sharing intelligence and security information with the EU is perhaps the best way to protect both you as an individual and us as a nation.

A Stronger Economy

The EU provides two important opportunities for the UK economy, and they are investment and free trade. Investment creates jobs, jobs create revenue, and revenue drives the economy. Around 44% of UK exports are sent to the EU and its member states. That's a pretty large percentage. The reason we export so much to the EU is that with no extra taxes or fees, it is much more profitable when compared to sending the same goods and merchandise elsewhere. There is the possibility of negotiating a deal if we were to leave the EU, however this isn't guaranteed. Almost 200 top business leaders, from the likes of o2, Santander and Airbus have signed a letter sent to the Telegraph which warned against a Brexit, arguing that it would seriously harm the UK economy and foreign investment into the UK and it's businesses.

Freedom of Movement

Being a citizen of the EU means that you can move to any EU member state, with no real restrictions. Other than having sickness cover, and the ability to financially support yourself, there are currently no restrictions on your ability to relocate to any EU member state permanently. Not everybody will take advantage of this perk, however those who do can be massively rewarded by the potential job prospects and other opportunities which await them. Businesses can also take advantage of this privilege by employing specialists from other countries which are currently in short supply in the UK, once again driving the economy. Only 1% of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) members said that freedom of movement had negatively impacted them.

These three main benefits show how the UK is both stronger and more secure as a member of the EU. The freedom of trade between the UK and other members of the EU, coupled with the freedom of movement which it citizens enjoy means that UK businesses can continue to expand, develop and grow which helps to drive the UK economy and create more opportunities and affluence for its citizens. The sharing of intelligence and security assets also means that our individual rights and freedoms are better protected if we remain a part of the EU. Whilst UK intelligence may continue to work with other nations if we were to leave, they could not take advantage of the ENP, which would hinder efficiency and effectiveness as it would undoubtedly create more red tape.

It's important to note that this article has been written to look exclusively at the benefits of EU membership, and does not take into consideration its drawbacks, which will be posted in a separate piece tomorrow and linked here. As I said at the beginning of this article please read both pieces before making up your mind as to where you stand.

Thanks everyone, don't forget to share, comment, and answer the poll below!

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