The EU Referendum on 23rd June will decide whether Britain remains or leaves the EU. At Coda Plastics, we are watching the debate closely. We have been a global plastic manufacturer for over 35 years, and have always done trade with international clients. We take a look at how the referendum could impact British trade if we remain or leave the EU.
The EU and Exports
The EU is our biggest trading partner: we sell 44% of our exports to it. As an EU member, UK businesses can sell goods to other countries within the EU without customers needing to pay import taxes. Likewise, consumers and companies based in the UK can import goods from EU countries without tariffs.
Remain says: The World Trade Organisation estimates that the tariffs the UK would have to pay on goods if it wasn't a member of the EU would amount to £9 billion on imports and £5.5 billion on exports.
Leave says: The Vote Leave campaign's key argument is that the UK spends £50 million on EU membership every day, or £190 billion a year. Leaving would mean we would save this money.
The Single Market
The 28 countries in the EU, including the UK, have all agreed to the same trade rules - this is called the Single Market. The EU also has trade agreements with several other countries, including South Africa and South Korea. Leaving the EU would mean renegotiating trade deals with each of them - a total of over 50 countries.
Remain says: The Britain Stronger in Europe campaign argues that the EU's Single Market makes it easier and cheaper for UK companies to buy and sell products internationally. They say that the 3-4 million UK jobs linked to trade within the EU "would be at risk if we left the EU", and EU membership makes the UK more attractive for international investment - foreign companies have invested £540 billion in the UK over the past ten years.
Leave says: The Economists for Brexit group says leaving the EU would put Britain in a strong position to renegotiate trade deals that are more beneficial to our economy, creating more jobs. Vote Leave claims that Britain's ties to the EU distract its focus away from emerging international markets, such as India and China, and leaving the EU would open us up to new opportunities.
With the EU referendum fast approaching, it is unclear which way the British public will vote. At Coda Plastics we work with many European businesses, and we are determined to provide all of our customers with the same service, whatever the vote decides.