Monday

21st Aug 2017

EU membership offers UK 'economic benefits'

  • London: Does opting out of the EU mean missing out? (Photo: @Doug88888)

EU membership has delivered "appreciable economic benefits" for the UK, according to assessment reports published on Monday (22 July).

A report on the EU's single market said that it had "brought to the EU, and hence to the UK, in most if not all observers’ opinions, appreciable economic benefits" and had "spread the UK’s liberal model of policy-making more widely across the EU."

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now and get 40% off for an annual subscription. Sale ends soon.

  1. €90 per year. Use discount code EUOBS40%
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

"A broad consensus that [the single market] is at the core of the EU’s development, that it has driven growth and prosperity in the member states, and that it should continue to do so. All this means that the single market could once again be more at the centre of European political debate, which could open up opportunities for Britain," it added.

But it noted that single market regulation had created "a regulatory framework which some find difficult to operate within or find burdensome."

The review of the EU's single market is one of the first six reports of the so-called 'balance of competences' review launched in July 2012 by foreign secretary William Hague.

Their findings were based on over 500 individual submissions. A further 26 separate reports are expected to be published between now and autumn 2014.

The reports are likely to form the basis for any re-negotiation of the UK's EU membership. Earlier this year, prime minister David Cameron outlined plans to seek further opt-outs and derogations followed by an 'in/out' referendum if his Conservative party wins the next election.

Meanwhile, the report on health policy expressed concern that non-health legislation, such as the controversial working time directive - which regulated hours worked per week - could have a negative impact on the UK's national health service.

They also insisted that any changes to EU tax policy should be decided by unanimity rather than a qualified majority vote.

The reports on development aid and foreign policy also offered qualified support for EU action, noting that "the close alignment of UK and EU development objectives… mean the EU can act as a multiplier for the UK’s policy priorities and influence."

In a statement, Hague commented that the reports "bring together in one place evidence from across the spectrum to provide an accurate and detailed picture of the impact that the European Union has on our everyday lives."

These reports make a valuable contribution not only to the debate in this country but also to the debate taking place in other European nations about the future of the EU,” he added.

However, Nigel Farage, leader of the UK Independence party which seeks British withdrawal from the EU, accused the government of being "disingenuous", describing the review as "a futile and cynical PR exercise."

He claimed that 400 new laws had come into effect since the coalition government was formed in 2010, costing British businesses £626 million a year.

Analysis

Listening to Britain on EU reform

'Listening' was the watchword of William Hague's speech at the Koenigswinter conference last Friday, an understated - and welcome - approach after the fire and brimstone that has dominated recent debate on the UK's membership of the EU.

Brexit realities dawn in UK

Just over a year after a small majority voted for Britain to leave the EU, new realities are dawning on both the in and the out camps.

News in Brief

  1. Macedonia sacks top prosecutor over wiretap scandal
  2. ECB concerned stronger euro could derail economic recovery
  3. Mixed Irish reactions to post-Brexit border proposal
  4. European Union returns to 2 percent growth
  5. Russian power most feared in Europe
  6. Ireland continues to refuse €13 billion in back taxes from Apple
  7. UK unemployment lowest since 1975
  8. Europe facing 'explosive cocktail' in its backyard, report warns

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Jewish CongressEuropean Governments Must Take Stronger Action Against Terrorism
  2. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceDoes Genetics Explain Why So Few of Us Have an Ideal Cardiovascular Health?
  3. EU2017EEFuture-Themed Digital Painting Competition Welcomes Artists - Deadline 31 Aug
  4. ACCABusinesses Must Grip Ethics and Trust in the Digital Age
  5. European Jewish CongressEJC Welcomes European Court of Justice's Decision to Keep Hamas on Terror List
  6. UNICEFReport: Children on the Move From Africa Do Not First Aim to Go to Europe
  7. Centre Maurits CoppietersWe Need Democratic and Transparent Free Trade Agreements Says MEP Jordi Solé
  8. Counter BalanceOut for Summer, Ep. 2: EIB Promoting Development in Egypt - At What Cost?
  9. EU2017EELocal Leaders Push for Local and Regional Targets to Address Climate Change
  10. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceMore Women Than Men Have Died From Heart Disease in Past 30 Years
  11. European Jewish CongressJean-Marie Le Pen Faces Trial for Oven Comments About Jewish Singer
  12. ACCAAnnounces Belt & Road Research at Shanghai Conference