What we get back

Our largest market for exports
A cleaner and safer environment
Help for our farmers and poorer areas
Outside the Balkans no more wars in Europe
Co-operation to combat international crime and climate change


Benefits of membership

Peace. The principal motivation for the setting up of the European Union in the 1950s was to stop further wars in Europe. War among European countries is now unthinkable.

Access to the world’s largest single market without paying any import duties. Over half by value of our exports of products go to other members of the European Union.

Support for our farmers, help with our economy, especially in the less well off parts of the country.

Continuing improvements to the environment by the setting of high standards for drinking water and bathing water, the disposal of waste and the protection of wildlife habitats.

Participation in programmes to combat the effects of climate change.

Participation in collective action against international crime.

Participation in negotiations on international trading arrangements to extend the benefits of free trade.

The right of British people to work in EU countries and to have their professional qualifications accepted.

Membership of a group of countries dedicated to peace, human rights, democracy, open competitive markets and the rule of law as the foundation of a fair and prosperous society.

St Helen's Central new railway station, Merseyside

Investment for innovation and regeneration

EU grants in the UK are mainly focused on projects in regional areas needing renovation or revival.

£1.7 million of EU funding was invested in a project to create a new gateway railway station into St Helen's town centre, Merseyside, completed in late 2007. The project included the design of a stylish new two-storey building with a glass façade and iconic copper-clad tower, designed to fit in with the surrounding cultural quarter.