Some Facts And Myths About Brexit

- by Becky Hall

Were you misled by campaigners before Brexit? Find out the truth. The facts and myths about Brexit debunked, by Cashfloat. 

Cashfloat looks at some facts and myths about Brexit

Both before and after the EU referendum vote there were many facts and myths about Brexit bandied around by campaigners on both sides. In this article we can look at some of them in more detail. Both sides set out a series of so called facts on which they based their point of view. Cashfloat, a short term finance lender looks at some of the claims that were expressed before the vote and how they stack up against the real facts.

Statistics and figures were in great supply about many concerns, including;

  • The number of immigrants who came into the country,
  • The amount of money that is sent to the EU,
  • And the economic situation of the UK.

Brexiteers or remainers manipulated many of these statistics to influence voters one way or the other.

Searching For The Truth About Brexit

Following the result of the referendum there were also many figures about the split between voters which were published and which have caused a lot of divisiveness. Even now there is a tendency for the pro Brexit media to call all those who voted to remain names like ‘luvvy left’ or ‘elite Londoners’. Furthermore, since nothing much has happened since the result of the vote, it is also worth while looking at whether any of the predictions from both sides have come true.

Some Myths About Brexit From The Remain Side

Difficulties With Trading After Brexit

Those who wanted to remain within the EU made much of the fact that after Brexit trading would be impossible with the European Union. The World Trade Organisation which could be used for trade deals would still allow access to European markets albeit with some tariffs attached. Therefore, this is one statement that does not hold the exact truth. But, what the trading model will look like will impact the economy.

High Unemployment After Brexit

Remainers shouted loudly about an increase of unemployment of some 3 million people if Brexit went ahead. However, the demand for British goods does no appear to be in decline. Although some service jobs could disappear if the big banks decided to move to Europe. So far there has been no impact with unemployment actually going down and not up.

The Disappearance Of Human Rights For UK Citizens

While it is true that Theresa May intends to withdraw the UK from the laws under the Court of the European Human Rights, the UK has a robust Bill of Rights that will stay in place. The UK government has always been the first in line to show respect for human rights and nothing will change on that score.

Funding For Universities Will End

The EU funding for universities in the UK would end. But since the UK would end its contribution to EU coffers it could easily be replaced by government funding. Whether it will be is another matter.

These are just a few of the scare stories that were being put out by the remain campaigners. However, they appear to have had no impact since voters went overwhelmingly for a Brexit vote. Now look at some of the myths that were put out by the Leave campaign.

Some Myths About Brexit From The Leave Side

Funding From The UK To The EU

One of the major winning arguments from Brexiteers was based on the amount of funds that the UK pays towards the EU. Leavers complained that it was costing the UK taxpayer an eye watering £350 million per week and that this could be spent on the NHS if the UK decide to leave. The facts showed that the UK gets a discount on its payments to the EU. In 2015 it paid some £250 million per week. However, the EU then returned some of the money to the UK in funding. So the final net sum that it cost the UK was actually £160 million per week (or less than half the sum quoted).

Footnote – When payments do cease to the EU, none of this money is so far being earmarked for the NHS.

The UK Loses Out On Policy Voting To Other Countries In The EU

Much was made of the fact that the UK lost on a number of majority votes for various policies within the EU. However this may be yet another of the many myths about Brexit. The actual fact is that from 1999 the UK was only in a minority of votes for 57 policies whilst it was in the majority on 2,474 times. The UK also abstained on voting on 70 occasions. So, the records prove that the EU countires did not outvote the UK consistently as was alleged by Leave campaigners.

Immigration And The Impact On UK Citizens

Immigration was a most contentious issue in the EU referendum campaign. UKIP felt that it would continue to go up. Measuring the impact on society and how immigration would affect the population is difficult but there is no reason to suppose that there would be a continued increase in immigration from EU countries. One claim stated that a rise of 10% in immigration would cause a decrease of 2% in wages. However, this was for a specific area of the economy and only related to those in lower paid sectors. Nevertheless the fact was published as being related to all wages but this was simply not true.

The Impact On The UK Economy

Brexiteers were not very sure of the impact on the economy if the UK voted to leave the UK. They said it would have little impact although everyone expected a fall in the value of sterling. The view that being a member of the EU was damaging the economy is hard to reconcile with that of financial experts who said that in the event of a leave vote the economy would suffer. This one is still in debate since nothing yet has actually happened. The impact on business has been small. Exporters have enjoyed a lower value pound whilst importers have yet to feel the impact of higher prices. This might come in the next few months. When the actual process of leaving has started the UK will then feel the full impact on the economy what ever that is.

The Split Between Voters

At first glance it appears that there was a clear division between voters who took part in the EU referendum. Much of media stated that there was a division between the young and the old. Other suggestions stated that those people who had higher education voted one way whilst those who did not have a degree voted another.

The results show that although a majority of young people did vote to remain, the split was more about where voters lived. It was less about their age or education. Londoners who live in a cosmopolitan society and who obviously feel closer to Europe voted to remain. The rest of England and Wales voted to leave. However, Scotland and Northern Ireland also voted to stay.

Since the population of Scotland and Northern Ireland has younger populations this does somewhat back up the claim that for the most part the younger voters wanted remain to win.

The full facts and myths about Brexit are very complex. No doubt the future will show exactly which of the myths about Brexit proved to be true and which were just part of a sophisticated propaganda machine that was designed to win the day.

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About The Author
Becky Hall
Becky transitioned from accounting to financial blogging unexpectedly after earning a first-class degree in Business and Accounting. Initially a freelance bookkeeper, Becky’s exposure to frequent cash flow issues among clients sparked her interest in financial education.
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