An Open Question on the EU membership: What is the Point?

Various voices on the political right, from the Express Newspaper to Eurosceptic Tory MP’s, have been asking for a referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union.

According to Sean O’Grady of the Independent, the net transfer of funds from Britain to the EU rose to £9.2bn in 2010 from £5.3bn in 2009. The almost £4bn increase was ‘Enough to avoid the recent rise in national insurance or the new 50p rate of tax ‘ and worth ‘£230 for every household in the country.’

The Economist* cites a British Chambers of Commerce study that put the cost of 144 new regulations over 1998 – 2010 to the British Economy at £88bn, of which two thirds of which was attributable to European Union Legislation.

Irrespective of whether these regulations are necessary or not, Eurosceptics point out they have not been implemented by our democratically elected parliament.

Arch Eurosceptic Tory MEP Daniel Hannan points out that the countries with the highest GDP per capita in Europe are non EU members Norway and Switzerland.

What is the other side of this debate? What is the benefit for Britain in being part of the European Union?

*Economist March 19th – 25th 2011 Edition. See pg 19 of ‘A special Report on the future of the State.’

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