In Defence of Liberty

Driven by data; ridden with liberty.

Leaving Leaflets II: Leave.EU

This is from Leave.EU, the unofficial Leave campaign, saying “there are debates and there are FACTS”.


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In the time it takes to read this leaflet the UK will have paid £58,219.18 to the EU. Over a year, that’s enough to pay for 38 state-of-the-art new hospitals. (HoC Library)

No, the House of Commons Library does not say this [1].


Yeah, this is what the House of Commons Library says. (Source: House of Commons Library)

I’m a fast reader, and the Library does not use “state-of-the-art hospitals” as a standard measurement. Why obfuscate the “FACTS” in this manner? Also, the leaflet contradicts itself later, claiming only 35 hospitals could be built with the “windfall”.

Food is 17% more expensive as a direct result of EU policies. (IEA)

The IEA article refers to the average consumer nominal protection coefficient (NPC) between 2000 and 2010, in the OECD database for the EU [2].

That coefficient is much smaller in recent years, with an average consumer NPC of 1.05 between 2011 and 2014, for the EU.


Agricultural support has been falling in the European Union. (Source: OECD)


There are further reforms to make to the Common Agricultural Policy and the common external tariff, but this research is out-of-date.

50% of UK laws are made in Brussels. (HoC Library)

The House of Commons Library do not say this [3]. They say it is a subjective exercise, providing percentages between 15% (only considering statutory instruments) and 55% (taking a wider definition of law).

Is an update to olive oil packaging really equivalent to a Finance Act or an Act restructuring a major public service?

The UK is unable to defend its interest in the EU. Its share of the vote over European Union law is just 11%, and a mere 4% of EU policymakers are British. (EU)

That is a subjective claim, not a fact. Those percentages provide no illumination on British influence.

Total immigration from the EU in the last 3 years is greater than the population of Leeds. (ONS)

I thought Newcastle was the standard measure of immigration. This is, once again, gross long-term immigration, failing to account for the EU citizens who leave the EU.

This claim about Leeds is also incorrect or out-of-date: Leeds has a population of 751,500, according to the 2011 census, and the central estimate for long-term immigration by EU citizens in the last three years (YE Dec 13 to YE Dec 15) is 735,000.

Only outside the EU can we be sure the UK never adopts the Euro.

The UK has a permanent opt-out from joining the euro.

Indeed, if we are discussing vague possibilities, the UK could join the euro from outside the EU, if it so chose, just as Switzerland has joined the Schengen common visa zone.


[1] Thompson, G., and Harari, D., 2013. The economic impact of EU membership on the UK. House of Commons Library. Available from: [Accessed: 3rd June 2016]

[2] Niemietz, K., 2013. Abolish the CAP, let food prices tumble. Institute for Economic Affairs. Available from: [Accessed: 3rd June 2016]

[3] Miller, V., 2014. How much legislation comes from Europe? Second reading. Available from: [Accessed: 3rd June 2016]



This entry was posted on June 13, 2016 by in European Politics and tagged , , .
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