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Trade argument in Brexit debate a big red herring

Published 28/01/2016

Thank goodness for some common sense from Sammy Wilson MP (News, January 21) regarding the possible Brexit from the EU.

The UK contributes over €14.5bn a year to the EU. It is approximately equal to the whole Northern Ireland Budget for 2015/16. In return, the UK receives slightly over €6bn a year from the EU.

So, in effect, in the event of a Brexit, the UK Government could double the current level of EU funding and still be €2bn better off each year. Any suggestion of a detrimental effect on trade is a big red herring. We buy French wines, Spanish tomatoes, Italian olive oil because we like them.

In the event of a Brexit, no one would believe that we will stop purchasing these things, so why do leading economists suggest the opposite - ie that EU countries will stop buying Comber potatoes, Armagh apples or farm-assured quality meat?

EU politicians are in a high-stakes poker game with David Cameron, whereby they could lose 10% of the annual EU budget in the event of a Brexit. It would be suicidal for them to then enter into a trade war and risk losing a further £19bn in trade each month (Office of National Statistics figures).

EU membership is akin to gym membership: we join with good intentions, but at some point reality dawns that we are not getting our money's worth.



Belfast Telegraph

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