The government's EU leaflet: introduction

8 May 2016

We've done 15 factchecks of the Government's EU leaflet.



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The government explicitly states that the leaflet is arguing for the UK remaining in the EU. So it is not attempting to be even-handed.

Given that, much of the leaflet is accurate and the government deserves some credit for ensuring that it was published with details of the sources, making it easier to judge independently.

There are a number of facts and figures that are highly contestable, or where readers are not given information that they would probably want to know, for example:

  • “8% of EU exports come to the UK” is a reasonable measure, but on another reasonable measure, you can make it 17%.
  • “For every £1 paid in tax, a little over 1p goes to the EU.” Again, this could be much higher—in fact, a little over 2p—depending on how you choose to count it.
  • “We control our own borders… giving us the right to check everyone”. The right to check does not amount to the right to control entry, in the case of EU citizens.


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