Top Conversational Rebuttals


Thanks to the EU, we have been flooded with scrounging immigrants;

·            Not true. EU citizens come as tourists, to study or to work, but not for benefits – many of which are more generous elsewhere in the EU.  EU migrants are estimated by UCL to contribute 34% more in taxes than they receive in benefits - they stay an average of only 4 years before returning home.   An estimated 40,000 Brits are claiming unemployment benefits in other EU countries – more than the number of EU citizens claiming job seekers allowance in the UK. The main benefits paid are Housing benefit and Child benefit paid to those in work on low wages. If we stopped EU migrants coming we would have to raise taxes to meet the increase in the deficit that would result.

We need to leave the EU and re-gain control of our borders again.

·               We have retained control of our borders – we are not in the Schengen Area without internal border controls.  ALL EU citizens can live, work, study and retire anywhere in the rest of Europe, and 2.2 million Brits already do. Would you want to lose that opportunity for you and your children? Most of us already know someone who spends much of their time living in Europe – studying, working or living in a sunnier climate in their retirement.  From tents and camper vans to luxury villas hundreds of thousands of Brits take advantage of this right.  More than 60m Brits could go and live in Europe, but we don’t all go nor will they all come here. EU migration benefits our economy hugely and, according to the Centre for Economics & Business Research, it could cost our economy £60 billion if it were curbed.

EU Regulation is crippling UK business:

·          If EU regulation is so crippling, why are the UK, Finland, Germany, Sweden and the Netherlands ranked in the top ten most competitive countries in the world? Clearly EU regulation isn't holding either us or them back. Germany is in the EU but has an outstanding record of exporting around the world.  But it is not perfect either and a new EU initiative will greatly exempt Small & Medium size businesses (SMEs) from many EU regulations. 

We have no say in EU legislation, the Commission imposes diktats:

·          The UK has huge influence on all EU legislation. The Commission cannot “impose diktats” – it can only propose legislation to meet the strategic objectives decided by the Council of Ministers.  Legislation is amended and approved by elected MEPs in the European Parliament (the UK has 73 (10% of total)) and by the European Council where the UK is represented by Government Ministers.  The UK is the most powerful country alongside France and Germany.

The EU costs too much and is a rip off:

·               The total EU budget is £106bn, this compares with the UK government budget of more than £700bn. The CBI estimates that the benefits of EU membership are £1225 per person each year, more than ten times the average cost of only £116 per person each year, which is a pretty good deal by anyone’s standards.

The EU is a bloated bureaucracy

·            This is a myth. The total number of staff in the European Commission is only 33,000 administering a continent of 500 million people, less than the 36,000 employees of Hampshire County Council.

The EU budget is riddled with fraud – their accounts have never been signed off.

·               More nonsense! The Court of Auditors said it "has signed off the 2014 accounts of the European Union, as it has done each year since the 2007 financial year". There are some technical errors but these are due to a tiny minority of cross allocation by national governments - the UK has been fined hundreds of millions for mismanaging EU funds! There is more fraud in the UK’s DWP accounts than in the whole of Europe and the DWP accounts have never been given an unqualified audit. Auditing standards are higher in the EU than in the UK Government and the UK Comptroller General has said were the same standards to be applied in the UK he would have to qualify all 500 UK government accounts!!

The EU is an economic basket case, the Eurozone is in crisis.

·            The EU is now the largest and most successful economic region in the world. Following complete devastation in WWII it has over-taken the USA.  The demise of the Eurozone has been forecast since the financial crisis in 2008. To date not one country has left the Eurozone and countries like Ireland and Greece which were among the worst affected are now growing again.  The new Government in Greece is looking for relief from its debts but does NOT want to leave the Eurozone. Growth in Ireland is now 4.6%, faster than the UK & since joining the EU and the Eurozone Ireland’s GDP/head has risen to be more than the UK’s.

Let's just trade with Europe but get out of the EU.

·                   How would that work? Why would they let us?  Countries outside the European Economic Area all have to pay 6% import tariffs into the EU. We might then still want to buy German cars but would they want to buy Japanese cars made in the UK? And why would the Japanese continue to make cars here rather than in Poland or Czech or Slovenia where it would be much cheaper and they would not have any tariffs.

·             Norway & Switzerland are often quoted as examples but they are BOTH in the Schengen Area (no passport controls) and both pay contributions to the EU budget and have to implement most of the EU legislation – yet neither has any influence in creating the rules. For example, Norway has taken on 75% of EU legislation without having any say and they still pay £106 per person each year to the EU budget – only £6pp/year less than the UK!

·            Since the referendum in Switzerland to limit migration the Swiss have been in breach of their treaty obligations with the EU. As a result neither their companies nor Universities have been able to participate in the latest round of EU research grants. As a result some large pharmaceutical companies are considering relocating their headquarters and some operations to be within the EU.  British Universities and companies receive more than £1bn in research funds and Britain is by far the biggest beneficiary of EU investment in research.        Since the referendum in Switzerland to limit migration the Swiss have been in breach of their treaty obligations with the EU. As a result neither their companies nor Universities have been able t