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3 million jobs “linked” to trade with the EU

Labour’s advertisement to businesses in the Financial Times today warns that the biggest risk to British business is the threat of an EU exit. The risk? Over 3 million jobs “linked to trade with the European Union”.

It’s a familiar claim that often gets described as jobs ‘dependent’ on our membership with the EU — but the figures only estimate how many jobs are linked to EU trade, not how many are dependent on the UK being an EU member. Labour has been careful to say this.

These numbers come from re-running calculations that were first used in research more than ten years ago. According to one of the original papers:

“despite the large number of jobs now associated with the production of the goods and services that Britain currently sells to the EU, there is no reason to suppose that unemployment would rise significantly if the UK were to withdraw from the EU.”

Recent estimates have put the figure at between 3.3 million (a government estimate) and over 4 million — take a look at our short briefing on the topic to find out more.

30 Mar 2015 • 8:04 am •
30 Mar: the importance of the EU, and your future tax bill

Today we open our 18 hour-a-day election centre, factchecking the parties, the candidates, the media, and the pressure groups as we near the vote on May 7th.

Despite the parties’ efforts, only six out of eleven national papers lead on the election today.

The Conservatives’ attack on Labour spending plans is picked up in The Times‘ splash: “Labour will raise tax bill by £3,000, says Cameron.” It notes that the calculations will be “strongly disputed.”

The Times doesn’t mention that the calculations relate to four tax years, not one, something The Sun does make clear. We’ll looking into the figures later today.

Labour are running with the importance of EU membership to the UK economy, a topic on which the evidence has been frequently been over-egged. More on that soon…

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30 Mar 2015 • 7:34 am •
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