The Government Brexit Leaflet

This is part of the EU Fact File

The leaflet was circulated to all homes in the UK and therefore became the basis for the referendum.

Some facts1:

  • Author: HM Government2
  • Size: 14 pages
  • Cost: £9.3m
  • Circulation: 27m houses
  • Leaflet Title: Why the Government believes
    that voting to remain in the
    European Union is the best
    decision for the UK

The leaflet stated clearly what the referendum was all about.


Quote on the purpose of the leaflet (page 2):

This leaflet sets out the facts, and explains why the Government believes a vote to remain in the EU is in the best interests of the people of the UK. It shows some of the choices the UK would face if there were a vote to leave.

Quotes on the terms of the referendum:

  • The Government believes the UK should remain in the EU (page 2)
  • The referendum on Thursday, 23rd June is your chance to decide if we should remain in or leave the European Union (page 14)
  • This is your decision. The Government will implement what you decide (page 14)
  • The EU referendum is a once in a generation decision (page 16)

Quotes on the consequences of the referendum (my comments in italic):

  • The Government believes the UK should remain in the EU
    It is against the “national interest” if you vote for Brexit

  • Remaining inside the EU guarantees our full access to its Single Market. By contrast, leaving creates uncertainty and risk (page 4).
    In other words the referendum is about leaving the EU and the single market

  • A more limited trade deal with the EU would give the UK less access to the Single Market than we have now – including for services, which make up almost 80% of the UK economy. For example, Canada’s deal with the EU will give limited access for services, it has so far been seven years in the making and is still not in force (page 8).
    Here the government makes the public aware of the Canada deal as NOT an option as it is taking too long

  • Some argue that leaving the EU would give us more freedom to limit immigration. But in return for the economic benefits of access to the EU’s Single Market, non-EU countries – such as Norway – have had to accept the right of all EU citizens to live and work in their country (page 10).
    Here the government make the public aware of the Norway deal as NOT an option as it allows free movement

  • The EU operates as a single, free trading market, without taxes between borders (page 12).
    So this implies, leaving the EU we will leave the customs union as well.


  • The vote is about leaving the single market and customs union
  • We will not consider a Canada nor a Norway style deal if we do leave

Some dodgy quotes with comment (in italic):

  • The Single Market makes it  easier and cheaper for UK companies to sell their products outside the UK, creating jobs as a result (page 4).
    Yes, to the EU, but not to the rest of the world. Largest growth is outside the EU

  • Being inside the EU also makes it more attractive  for companies to invest in the UK, meaning more jobs (page 4).
    Maybe, but why not invest somewhere else in the EU where labour cost is lower then?
    In fact businesses will get a EU grant to setup business in Eastern Europe.

  • If the UK voted to leave the EU, the resulting economic shock would put pressure on the value of the pound, which would risk higher prices of some household goods and damage living standards (page 6).
    Yes and no, as a lower pound promotes buying local and enable increase in export; which is good for business.
    Main pressure on the pound is created by the low interest rate imposed by BoE governor Mark Carney.

  • From next year, mobile  phone roaming charges will  be abolished across the EU, saving UK customers up to 38p per minute on calls (page 6).
    Well 3 (Three) already had this facility plus additional countries including roaming in the USA, well before it was introduced by the EU

  • EU membership also gives UK citizens travelling in other European countries the right  to access free or cheaper public healthcare (page 6).
    Well in theory yes, but most travel insurances offer little or no discount if you have a E111/EHIC card, as you need a travel insurance anyway.
    Few insurances offer a minor reduction in excess if you bring a E111/EHIC abroad.

    Additionally the E111 does not provide transport home if needed so get an insurance in any case!

  • The Government judges it could result in 10 years or more of uncertainty as the UK unpicks our relationship with the EU and renegotiates new arrangements with the EU and over 50 other countries around the world (page 8).

    That could be right if the break with the EU is not a clean break. A clean break would make everything certain as the UK would be like any other non-EU country.
    A no deal Brexit would instantly stop the uncertainty as the UK would be on the well known WTO term.

  • The UK is part of the EU,  a group of 28 countries which exists to promote economic security, peace and stability (page 12).

    A questionable statement as many southern European countries are suffering economically and the EU is seeking to have an EU army on it’s own in addition to NATO, why if all is fine?
  • EU membership means you and your family have the right to live, work or study abroad in any of the 27 other member countries. It also guarantees many employment rights (page 12).
    We can live, work or study abroad  anyway in most cases in most developed countries just as well as they can do same in the UK.
    If you have worked in London you would have been working with Americans, South Africans, Chinese and others.

    EU employment rights are just normal in a developed country and many countries have stronger employment rights than enforced by the EU directives.

Good Articles (subscripted)


References (superscripted)


Change log:

  1. 26/9-18: Created