Britain's membership of the European Union
Hello, I am Jacob Gibbs.
Resolution: Britain would be better off as a member of the European Union.
1. No abuse of semantics.
2. No resorts to insults or personal attacks.
3. All Terms of Service apply.
4. Breaking any rule constitutes a forfeit.
Round 1 - Acceptance
Round 2 - Arguments
Round 3&4 - Rebuttals
A) Britain's lack and loss of influence in the EU
MEPs can't initiate legislation [Michael Collins, 2014] .
93% of EU laws pass [Business for Britain, 2014 report] ; the EU can just keep bringing up legislation until the answer is Yes.
ii) Influence in Decline
Council of Ministers: 17% (1973) to 8.2% (present)
European Parliament: 19.8% (81/410 MEPs) (1973) to 9.7% (73/751 MEPs) (present) [Business for Britain, 2014 report] 
European Commission: 15% (2 commissioners) (1973) to 4% (1 commissioner) (present) [William Dartmouth MEP, 2014 report] 
iii) Attempts at major change
Britain has opposed 55 measures in the Council of Ministers, and has been overruled all 55 times [Business for Britain, 2014 report] .
EU regulations make up 53% of all regulations, and influence 10-4% and 9-14% of acts put in place by our parliament and regulations initiated by our parliament respectively [Full Fact, 2014] .
B) Membership fees
Britain's net contribution in the form of EU membership fees in 2003 was £3.6bn, £3.2bn in 2008, and £8.6bn in 2013 [HM Treasury, 2013 statement] .
i) No benefits from the EU
The UK receives no trade benefit from the EU [Civitas, 2004 report] .
The UK receives no trade benefit from the EU [Civitas, 2014 report] .
ii) Negative effects on trade
Outside the EU, we could reactivate our seat at the World Trade Organization [William Dartmouth MEP, 2014 report] .
D) Red Tape
From May 2010-4, 3,580 laws affecting British businesses were made by the EU [Business for Britain, 2014 report] .
EU energy policy threatens 1.5m jobs and will cost between £88.6bn-£93.2bn net [Business for Britain, 2014 report] , which promotes traditionally renewable energy, despite Google engineers have abandoning the concept, claiming that renewable energy won't do anything to stop climate change [WSJ, 2014] , and studies showing that there is no significant difference in CO2 emissions from using Wind/Nuclear [Prof Gordon Hughes, Edinburgh University] , Nuclear's wholesale cost being 1/2 [Chris Heaton-Harris MP, 2013] , creating 10x more direct jobs on a per MegaWatt basis [Nuclear Energy Institute, 2014] , and causes 1/3.75 the amount of deaths [Next Big Future, 2011] .
1/2 of Power Stations earmarked for closure for 2020 have been forced to close because of EU policy, which is to cost Britain 11 GigaWatts of energy [Business for Britain, 2014 report] .
The EU's CFP has cost Britain 9k fishing jobs [TaxPayers' Alliance, 2009 report] , and 88k in dependent industries [Freedom Association, 2011] , adding up to 97,000 in total.
The European Union is a political union of 28 European countries of which the United Kingdom is a part. We have been a part of this fantastic project since before it was even known as the EU. The EU is based on four main freedoms: movement of goods, capital, services, and people. Many in the UK want Britain to leave the EU for numerous reasons. However, I and many others believe that Britain is a European country which belongs in the European Union.
FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT
As I am a British citizen, I am also an EU citizen. This entitles me to live in any other European Union country whenever I like without the need for a visa, or any other sort of residence permit. If I'm unable to find a job in the UK, I can search for one across the rest of Europe. If I happen to get bored of this cold, wet little island I can move to Spain, Italy or Greece. If I want to go and study in France or Germany, I can do that and I'm entitled to the same financial support in paying my tuition fees as other citizens of that countr. When I want to retire, I can live elsewhere without stacks of paperwork to fill out. In fact, 1,600,000 Britons live outside of the UK in other EU countries.  This is the EU's greatest advantage. I am no longer restricted to the UK, Europe is my playground!
As a member of the European Union, we are a part of the world's largest economy. In fact, the EU has a larger economy than both the US and Japan combined. We are an English-speaking country which is part of the EU, making us very attractive to foreign investment due to our close links to both North America and the Continent. The EU's common market means that there are no tarriffs, and no extra taxes on trade within the EU. A seller in London can trade with someone in Bucharest just as easily as they could with someone in Sheffield. Five of our top six export partners are in the EU, as well as four of our top six import partners.  This links in with my previous point: citizens moving around the EU can take as much money with them as they would like and pay no extra tax on it. However, if we were to leave the EU, we would have to pay tax on bringing in sums of over €10,000. 
There's no doubt that leaving the EU, leaving this common market, and putting tarriffs, taxes and barriers between us and Europe would be devastating to Britain's economy. Yes, we are a rich and powerful country - but we can't face the world on our own.
At the centre of the European Union lies the EU government, comprised of three main bodies: the Commission, the Council, and the Parliament.  The Commission represents the interests of the Union as a whole, the Council represents the member states' governments, and the Parliament represents the people of Europe and are directly elected. In order for legislation to pass, all three institutions must agree on a bill. The EU institutions have a reputation for acting in the interests of the people and of Europe (its economy, its environment, etc). Whilst our government here in the UK is raising tuition fees to £9,000 p/year, the EU is banning roaming charges  effective from Dec 2015. The EU institutions also improve the human rights of EU-citizens. Our participation in the European Court of Human Rights has ensured that the rights of Britons are not abused. In 2000, for example, the ECHR ordered the UK to equalise the age of consent for heterosexual and homosexual intercourse. More recently, a Christian couple who owned a hotel in Cornwall were told that they were not allowed to discriminate against LGBT couples and the ECHR supported the UK's anti-discrimination laws.  Whilst the EU is unrelated to the ECHR, most Britons opposed to the EU are also opposed to our membership of the ECHR (notably, UKIP wish to see the UK leave). Surely any institution which works to protect the rights of the British people is an institution that we should be proud oto be a part of?
The fact is, Britain is European. And Britain should be part of this European Union. We shouldn't turn our backs on our neighbours, but approach them and work together. The European Project is a project which works for the good of the European people. The more we are, the stronger we are.
 CIA World Factbook 2012
AA) Freedom of Movement
It would be hypocritical to simultaneously expect to be able to go to any country you like regardless of whether you have legitimate reason to be there and control our borders, the consequences of not doing so, as I described in the previous round, are far greater than the possible upsides freedom of movement could mean to British people going into Europe. + there are ways, as even my opponent has conceded for well-meaning people to travel across the world;
But he also does cite some of the upsides of freedom of movement to British people;
I ask my opponent to tell me whether he thinks that these reasons outweigh the following problems to be caused by immigration at its current scale;
The Coalition Government's record on immigration illustrates the great lack of control that Britain has on the scale and quality of immigration whilst being a member of the European Union. As I've pointed out before, David Cameron was trying to get net migration to under 100,000 p.a., and even while trying to provide incentives through legislation for people from the EU to migrate to Britain, such as making it harder for British and foreign people to create families together and limiting the amount of benefits new migrants can receive, it has still now increased to over 260,000.
BB) Common Market
A lot of the points my opponent tries to make here I have already refuted in my first round where I cited two reports showing zero benefit to trade that Britain receives from EU membership. I have also provided evidence to suggest that trade would be much greater outside of the EU, as we'd be able to reactivate our seat on the World Trade Organization. Pro claims that if we left the EU we'd have to pay tax if we went to another European country with € 10 000 (£7,507.93) or more, ignoring that there's no reason why legislation, if mutually beneficial, could be kept, and that this clearly does not come close to being greater than the consequences of open borders.
My opponent's implied claim that the ECHR acts in the will of the people is very disputable. For example;
My opponent also implies a sketchy claim that without the ECHR, the age of consent for homosexual and heterosexual sex would not have been equalised, which is reasonable to be sceptical of considering there was legislation only 6 years ago changing it from 21 to 18 [YouGov, 2013] . Human Rights do, despite europhile claims, predate the European Union.
I shall now rebut some of your points.
Firstly, you have talked about Britain's influence in the European Union.
No, MEPs cannot initiate legislation but this isn't necessarily a bad thing. Legislation is initiated by the European Commission before being scrutinised by both the Council and the Parliament. This doesn't mean British MEPs have any less influence in the EU as we are, of course, represented in the commission.
93% of laws pass? Great... How does this show that we have no influence...?
Yes, of course our representation in the Council, the Parliament, and the Commission has gone down! In 1973, the EU (or the EC as it was known) was tiny with only a select few countries party to it. As the EU has grown, we have taken up less of the EU and so our influence has gone down just as the influence of all other EU countries has as others have joined. This is something I like to call democracy.
The Council of Ministers makes up a very, very small part of the entire EU. One cannot suggest that Britain is incapable of making change in the EU simply because it doesn't get on well with the Council of Ministers.
Okay, that's cool: 53% of our regulations are EU directives or EU legislation. What's the point? We are a part of the EU, we are a part of the law making process. I live in South East England, 99% of regulations affecting me come from Parliament - that's just how it works. I have a representative in that parliament who votes on my and others' behalf.
Our contribution to the EU is nothing compared to the £45bn we spend on Defence and £109bn we spend on Welfare [ukpublicspending.co.uk]. The EU doesn't just take our money, it improves services and lives all around Europe - including in the UK. Sky News reported in November 2014 that EU migrants contribute £4.4bn to the UK's finances whereas non-EU migrants cost us £118bn. In essence, the EU pays for itself. 
I hate to say it but the claim that the UK has no trade benefit to the EU is utter bollocks. Free-trade with the people we trade with most is undoubtedly good for an economy. I, too, have a report which contradicts yours: http://www.cer.org.uk...f
Furthermore, I don't think you've quite got your facts right with the WTO. Britain is represented in the World Trade Organisation: we are represented by the European Union. That the largest economy in the world is given one seat in the WTO greatly increases Europe's (and therefore our) influence. It wouldn't make sense to have one economy saying 28 different things.
All economies have red tape. It's not necessarily bad for business. The most regulated economies such as the EU and the US are the biggest economies.
Regulation is always going to affect something. Sometimes, the effect is loss of jobs and whilst that's undesirable, politics is all about balance. As I have no links to any of your references, I'm unable to gauge what the benefits may be of these regulations but I can promise you that the European Union, would never pass regulation with the sole intent of getting rid of jobs. It's not good for Britain, it's not good for the people, it's not good for Europe.
Yes, Freedom of Movement is one of the four freedoms central to the European Union. Yet most Britons do not realise how much they benefit from it. In the previous round, I have outlined these benefits.
According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), 131,000 EU-migrants entered the UK. However, 265,000 non-EU migrants also entered the UK! Most of our immigrants are from outside the EU and they are the ones who cost us over £118bn per year as previously mentioned. We have control over who we take in from outside the EU and David Cameron can make whatever promises he wants but if we don't control what we can control why on earth would he complain about 'taking back control of our borders'? We live the easy life in terms of EU-migration in our little corner of Europe as we are not part of the Schengen Zone so we are not as vulnerable to illegal immigration.
Please read this article before scapegoating Romanians: http://www.bbc.co.uk...
Conclusively, the European Union has next to no negative effect on the UK or its economy. EU-migrants are *great* for our country and politicans like David Cameron should think twice before committing to outrageously hypocritical comments. I used to be opposed to the EU until I informed myself on it; the rise of UKIP is down to just that - misinformation.
A) Britain's lack and loss of influence in the EU
Pro claims that MEPs not being able to initiate legislation is not necessarily a bad thing, however he doesn't give us any reason to think that this isn't just another reason why Britain is better off out of the EU, as British democracy > EU kleptocracy, as MPs can initiate legislation.
The fact that 93% of EU laws pass shows/is a good example of;
Pro claims that Britain's falling influence in the EU's Council of Ministers, parliament, and the commission is due to "something I like to call democracy". I'd like to ask pro whether he'd want to ask his local town or city what TV programs he should watch, for sake of democracy, of course. The point is that the British people would have more influence over their own laws outside of the EU.
Pro then claims that the Council of Ministers makes up "a very, very small part of the entire EU", and that therefore the fact that all 55 times Britain has challenged EU proposals there have failed does not necessarily mean that we cannot change the EU. This is just one example, there are others:
Pro then tries to equate the situation with electing MPs with more local/national elections, saying "I live in South East England, 99% of regulations affecting me come from Parliament - that's just how it works. I have a representative in that parliament who votes on my and others' behalf.", but these sorts of statements ignore the fact that there will very seldom be pro-FPTP eurosceptics, and most favour some kind of alternative vote system. However, with the EU, you will never have this sort of freedom as you cannot have any kind of impact on the parties elected in the 27 other countries of the EU. This is why influence would be more direct outside of the European Union.
B) Membership fees
Here, pro confuses net membership fees with the amount of money by which we'd be better off if we left the EU - the latter also includes things like the cost of EU regulations, treaties, financial rules, etc.
A recent report has concluded that:
"The UK is roughly 11½% of GDP – about £185 billion a year – worse-offPro then cites a report by UCL, hosted by Sky News, claiming that "EU migrants contribute £4.4bn to the UK's finances whereas non-EU migrants cost us £118bn". Even if this report were reliable, it does nothing to further the case for EU membership, as there is no reason why, if we left the EU, we could not have the same immigration policy that we had while a member of it. So the EU certainly does not "pay for itself".
But this UCL report is not reliable. It's been discredited by a fellow professor (of statistics) at University College London as containing "schoolboy errors" , spelled out in two complementary papers, including that:
I'd like to refer pro to a more accurate report by MigrationWatchUK that I linked to earlier, stating "the fiscal cost of immigration in this period [1995-2011] might well be over £140bn" .
MEPs cannot introduce legislation. That is an undisputed fact. What I don't personally understand is why this is such a bad thing? The purpose of the EU Parliament is to strutinise legislation produced by the European Commission. That's just what it does. It isn't something to complain about or leave the EU over!
Con states that 84% of EU legislation opposed by British MEPs is passed. This doesn't show our lack of influence in the EU - it just reflects what democracy is all about. We make up a tiny proportion of the European Union and so we get a tiny share of the vote. That's how it works. It's the same in this country: people in Sheffield have a small voice in Westminster because they make up such a small part of the UK. We can't have it all our way, and we can't just shout down other countries because we disagree with a law. The benefits of working together as a continent far outweigh the disadvantages of having certain EU legislation passed when our MEPs (most of whom are made up of UKIP nutters) oppose it.
Quite frankly, I don't understand Con's anecdote with the 'TV programs [sic]' seeing as if one follows it, one ends up advocating anarchy. And considering Con has such a soft spot for 'British democracy', we wouldn't want that now, would we?
Con then goes on to say this:
"as I referred to earlier, Britain's vastly declining vote share in the European Commission, Parliament, and Council of Ministers