The signatories of this Report are members of ‘Lawyers-In for Britain’ – a group of lawyers who consider that the UK’s interests are best served by remaining in the EU. Our view stems from our individual experiences and beliefs, and not those of our clients or the organisations we represent or work for in our professional lives.
We do not believe that the EU is perfect – as with any organisation, it will need to reform and evolve with its members over time. The recent Settlement agreed by the EU Council on 19 February 2016, contains reforms designed to allay concerns raised by some about the UK’s membership of the EU.
However, we believe that the EU referendum raises far more issues than those addressed by the Settlement. The choice facing the UK electorate is whether to remain in the EU as it currently stands (and as reformed by the Settlement agreed on 19 February), or to leave. Our focus, therefore, is on what the EU currently is – not what it should or could be.
In discussing our views on the EU, we recognised how much of the debate on the UK’s membership of the EU is based on a lack of information, misconceptions, or, worse, misinformation.
The UK electorate faces a significant decision on 23 June. Ultimately, we believe a sensible judgment on EU membership can be made only on the basis of reliable evidence.
We therefore decided to gather together into a single report what we consider to be the most reliable key evidence on which we have based our respective conclusions that the UK’s interests are best served by remaining in the EU.
This report seeks to provide the reader with reliable information on:
- the key benefits of the UK remaining in the EU;
- the truth behind some of the common criticisms about the EU; and
- the alternatives to membership of the EU and why they would be unlikely to deliver the benefits of single market access which the UK enjoys today.
We have sourced our evidence from documents released prior to the Settlement of 19 February 2016 and are published primarily by the UK Government, UK Government departments, and independent institutions such as the Bank of England and the UK’s Office of Budgetary Responsibility and UK universities.
The front part of the Report summarises the facts in a succinct fashion. The interested reader can find out more by clicking the appropriate link to go to the relevant section. The footnotes contain references to the source materials, including links where available.
We conclude with some light-hearted examples of the EU’s influence on British life being misrepresented in the national press.