1970 21,443 fishermen 2914 11,845 fishermen
The EU has been most damaging to UK business. The more closely it has been involved, the bigger has been the collapse.
Consider our fishing industry. In 1971 just before entry we produced around 1 million tonnes of fish with a thriving industry in England as well as in Scotland. There were 21,500 fishermen.
Last year we caught around 600,000 tonnes, with just 11,845 fishermen. The English industry has been very badly damaged, with our fishing now concentrated on Scottish waters. Overfishing and regulation combined have done grave damage to the English fishery in particular, as the EU made our fishing grounds into a common resource with free access for all EU member states with dreadful results.
The UK now imports more fish than it exports, and has witnessed a collapse of the cod,haddock and plaice fishery.
Steel Output 1972 25 million tonnes 2013 12 million tonnes
Consider our steel industry. Output has more than halved since we joined the EU, whilst Germany’s at 43 million tonnes has been much more stable and is now 3.6 times the UK’s.
The current state of crisis in the industry has been brought about in part by very dear energy prices from EU energy policies, and from the inability of the UK to buy enough UK steel owing to EU procurement rules. Other states do not seem to enforce them in the same way. EU state aid rules now also prevent helping the industry at a time of crisis made worse by cheap Chinese steel.
The UK has become a heavy net importer of steel.
1972 300,000 tonnes 2015 43,000 tonnes
Both the UK’s large smelters at Anglesey and Lynemouth have closed. High energy costs resulting from EU and UK energy policies have been the main reason.
So can we say the EU has been good for business? It has certainly been good for continental businesses, who have come in and taken our fish and sold us many manufactured products. It has promoted imports to the UK, but has helped or caused the collapse of important industries at home. The Fishing decline is wholly attributable to the EU, as throughout the time we have been in the EEC/EU they have controlled it through their common policies and have insisted on others exploiting our natural resource.