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The facts: That is true in theory but to do so we would need to renegotiate separate terms with each of the member states. The new terms might well be less favourable than those we enjoy as a member. We would continue to have to abide by EU trade laws but would no longer have any say in them. Access to the Single Market would not give us access to agreements the EU has with other countries. These would have to be negotiated separately. We have no recent experience in trade negotiation. It could all take years and the outcome cannot be predicted. Uncertainty deters investors.
The facts: This is also true in theory. But in practice we shall continue to need outside skills for business and some of our public services. If we choose to resume business with the EU one condition is likely to be the free movement of people. This is the case for Norway and Switzerland. And under international law we shall also continue to accept applications from asylum seekers. There is therefore likely to be little change in the number of immigrants coming to the UK.
The facts: We would certainly be able to do this as far as EU laws are concerned. But some pooling or sharing of sovereignty is a price we have been prepared to pay for achieving in cooperation with others what we cannot achieve on our own. Our membership of NATO is an example. To keep the so called loss of sovereignty in perspective, only two per cent of government spending is subject to EU rules, and we play a full part in framing those rules. All the big areas of expenditure such as health, defence, education, welfare and transport are reserved to the UK government.
The facts: The impact of Brussels rules is exaggerated. There is a lot of regulation holding back UK business, but most of it relating to planning and infrastructure, comes from Westminster and local authorities, not Brussels. You need common rules for a common market. These rules are not troubling other member states such as Germany or Sweden. And the UK remains one of the best places to do business in. According to a World Bank report we are in the 97th percentile of nations in respect of our regulation of business.
The facts: Sharing intelligence with EU members helps us fight cross border crime and terrorism. The European Arrest Warrant, to which we have access as a member of the EU, makes it easier to deport dangerous criminals.