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EU Myth Busting

Myth: There’s no point or need in Wales being part of the
European Union.
Fact: Quite the opposite, there is a strong case for Wales being part of the EU and
we reap many benefits from our membership. The citizens of Wales each now receive £70 more from the EU budget than they pay in, equating to a £120 million surplus. Wales is actually a net recipient to the EU, meaning that it gets back more that it puts in – Wales  would never receive the same amount of money from the UK Government as it does from  the EU (around £1 bn per year). Without the EU Wales would receive far less money for
jobs and growth, the agricultural sector and community regeneration.
Jobs Growth Wales – the Welsh Government programme backed by the European Union –
is a prime example of how we’re benefiting in Wales from our membership of the EU.
The part EU funded scheme has meant that over 8,000 young people have so far been
supported into decent work in Wales.

Myth: The European Union (EU) is just a club for the elite
and is not in the interests of workers in Wales
Fact: Whilst some seem to be going out of their way to heap criticism on the EU, if
you look a bit more closely you’ll see it is about more than a building and bureaucracy in
Brussels. The EU has given us the laws and protection that has meant sickness and holiday
rights; the same rights at work whether you’re full time, part time or an agency worker;
maternity and parental leave; and health and safety protection at work, to name but a
few. EU law protects working people.

Myth: Being part of the EU costs workers in Wales.
Fact: Not being part of the EU would cost Welsh workers dearly. Roughly 150,000
Welsh jobs rely directly upon European Funding. These jobs would potentially be at risk if
Wales left the EU as companies only invest in Wales (and the UK) to have tariff free access
to a market of 500 million people. Indeed, major companies with bases in Wales and key to
both Welsh jobs and the wider economy – such as Airbus and Ford – have already sounded
the alarm should we ever decide to leave the EU.

Myth: The EU interferes too much in UK law. 
Fact: UKIP MEPs – fuelled by elements of the right wing press – often say that 75 per
cent of our laws come from Brussels. In reality this figure is more like 8-10 per cent. Laws
are not ‘imposed’ by Brussels but agreed by UK Government Ministers in the Council for
Europe and MEPs in the European Parliament.
Whilst we’re on the subject, let’s make no mistake, when David Cameron talks about
repatriating powers from Europe, he's talking about Social Europe, workers’ rights and
protecting the vulnerable. For example,
• Four weeks paid leave per year, time off for urgent family reasons and good
breaks during the working day.
• Protection for workers from discrimination or harassment and has delivered
stronger rights for disabled people to win equal treatment.
• Mums now have protection against being sacked for being pregnant, time
off for ante-natal appointments and parental leave thanks to EU legislation.
• Employers are also required by EU law to protect the health and safety of
staff in the workplace.

Myth: EU migrants are taking resources and benefits
from British people
Fact: Around 2.5m EU migrants live in the UK and about 2.2m UK citizens live and
work in the EU. EU migrants put far more into the public purse than they take out.
Recent figures show that EU immigration contributes about £60 billion to the UK
economy. 70 per cent of EU migrants are aged between 20 and 35, have higher labour
market participation than British males and are 59 per cent less likely to be claiming
welfare benefits.
In contrast to what many people might believe, migrants can't just turn up in the UK
and start claiming benefits straight away. In order to be eligible for social income support,
housing benefit and social security benefits (maternity leave, unemployment, etc) you
need to be in employment in the UK. Likewise, only those citizens who are employed
in the UK are fully entitled to treatment on the NHS (exceptions are made for
emergency treatment). It is simply not the case that citizens from other
countries have "unrestricted" access to the UK benefit system.

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