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Osgerby: Why the UK is threatening to leave the EU

BY PAUL OSGERBY | NOVEMBER 17, 2014 5:00 AM

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Osgerby is studying abroad at City University, London.

Prime Minister David Cameron has said this past week that a European Union reform is the “best future for Britain,” while challenging those who argue against his stance by saying “come what may.”

The UK has been part of the EU for 44 years now, and a departure would only seem to cause turmoil.

The UK has become stalwart figure in the union amid numerous countries seeing economic turnovers and depressions, including Greece and Spain and more recently, France. If the UK leaves, then it would be detrimental for the remaining countries.

However, the UK’s Labour Party business spokesman, Chuka Umunna, and others have criticized Cameron’s statements that Britain’s economy would remain stable in response to departing from the EU.

Cameron responded by saying that a EU referendum without the UK would keep business, jobs, and prosperity safe.

It was already revealed weeks ago how little the UK’s tax expenditure toward the EU budget is, but one major consequence of breaking apart is the volatile political topic of immigration.

Leaders have questioned the effectiveness of open immigration within the EU for Britain, frequently citing that it siphons legitimate taxpayer dollars. “Health Tourism” is a term often used concerning foreigners exploiting free health care in European countries, claiming that has created an uncontrollable influx of immigrants.

Cameron has said it consequently forces the UK to be ordered around by the EU.

By manipulating the economic downturn throughout those countries, it turns the UK into a victim role. However, to continue with the “Health Tourism” allegations, a University of York study released that up to twice as many foreigners pay to use the National Health Service in Britain than those who attempt to capitalize on free health care.

If 52,000 foreigners entered the UK in 2010, claiming that health services were the primary reason for their visit, then the quality of British health care has an international reputation. As a result, 18 National Health Service trusts received a total income of £42 million from foreign visitors that year.

That hardly sounds like its hurting the UK’s economy.

There is a reason so many European immigrants utilize the free movement within EU countries to come to Britain. It’s quite similar to immigration back in the States.

Foreigners aren’t invading home turf, stealing the jobs of British. It is a competitive market, but the outlook isn’t bleak compared to most of Europe. In contrast to the global economic outlook, the UK is forecast to continue growing, focusing on supporting exports to the developing world.

Immigration is an easy topic within political rhetoric to fire up the debate of leaving the EU, but the UK depends on these foreigners more than some of its leaders would like to admit.


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