Roger Helmer has decided to attempt to debunk a leaflet circulating in East Midlands and he claims he's exposing the truth behind the leaflet entitled 'Ukip Myths'.
So we took at look at Helmer's claims below and considered them one by one.
"Myth #1: “We pay in money to the EU and get nothing back”. "UKIP says no such thing. But we do say that we get only about half back of what we pay in. They give us back a little of our own money, they tell us what to do with it, and then they expect us to be grateful."
- But we do get all the money back (we are a net contributor) and the money is allocated to such things as scientific research, regional development and job creation (€4.75 billion to England last year from the European Social Funds went to youth job creation).
"Myth #2: “We have to do whatever the EU tells us — they make our laws”. Of course they don’t make all our laws, and we never said they did. But the widely accepted estimate is that they make around 70% of our laws, and in most areas we have no veto. An official German government study said that Brussels makes 80% of their laws."
- The mandate for EU laws is extremely limited. the EU has no mandate for criminal law for example. Most laws passed by the EU relate to social policy and ensuring free trade between member states. There is absolutely no way that 70 to 80% of our laws could be coming from Brussels with this kind of mandate, unless our government was doing absolutely nothing.
"Myth #3: “Your family won’t be affected if we leave”. It certainly will be — and in a good way. UKIP wants to leave the EU because it will make us all better off. Currently EU policies are destroying jobs (think steel closures) and compressing wages for working people. Time to break free."
- Yes, our families will be disrupted. 2.2 million UK citizens live in other countries in the EU. They could all be coming home. With nowhere to live, and no work. Many British migrants in Spain are retired, having them all return could be detrimental to the NHS, especially as we recently had to hire nurses from Spain, who may well need to return home due to the loss of free movement. As to driving down wages, the EU has no mandate to rule on wages. Germany only recently made laws regarding a minimum wage. The way to stop wages falling is to ENFORCE the minimum wage in the UK - and that has nothing to do with the EU.
"Myth #4: “Being in the EU stops us from trading with the rest of the world”. No it doesn’t. But it stops us making our own trade deals, with Commonwealth countries, with China, with the USA. Did you know that small countries like Switzerland and even Iceland have made their own trade deals with China? While we’re in the EU, we can’t, and the EU hasn’t."
- Germany trades very regularly with countries outside the EU, which would make one assume that it is our own failings that are preventing us from doing this. We also recently did a deal with China AND Boris Johnson recently sold some development land in London to a Chinese based company. Furthermore, if we did forge our own trade deals outside the EU, UKIP assumes that these will be better if we are on our own, rather than having the weight of 27 other countries behind us and at the same table.
"Myth #5: “Leaving the EU will stop immigration”. No it won’t. We never said it would, and anyway UKIP doesn’t want to “stop immigration”. We just want to get it under control. In the EU, we can’t control the numbers, or our borders, and we are forced to discriminate in favour of unskilled Romanians and against highly qualified people from elsewhere."
- We are not obliged to take anyone into the country from the EU unless they are considered a "worker" or someone "looking for work". There are no quotas. We don't have to "favour" them in any way over workers from other countries. There are rules in the Directive on Free Movement which state quite categorically that "workers" have the right to move to another EU country to look for work. After three months if no job is found, the Member State is fully within its rights to ask the worker to move on or return. In the meantime, the member state does not have to provide anything. no housing, no benefits, nothing. If an individual is claiming unemployment in their home state., this can be transferred to them. the Directive states quite clearly that "workers" should not be a burden on the social security system of their host state. After three months, if they cannot show that they can support themselves they can be returned. If we are not monitoring this, that is the fault of the UK system and not the EU.
"Myth #6: “The EU has done nothing for the East Midlands”. No one in UKIP has ever said this. We know that money has come from Brussels to the East Midlands, and some of it has been spent usefully. But it’s not EU money - it’s our money. Every pound we get from Brussels costs the UK economy around £3. So after we leave, we’ll have more money to spend on schools and hospitals and scientific research and the other good things we all want to do."
- Without the EU, this money would probably not have been allocated to the East Midlands, and taking the cuts that are being made by our present government, they would probably not have gone to initiatives such as technology start ups, and small and medium enterprises. Depressed parts of Wales got 2.2 billion € last year that it wouldn't have had if Westminster had been deciding where to put it.