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For all interested in the Brexit case here is an opinion piece written more than twelve months ago:
"“What did the EU ever do for us?

In the week when the UK's five extremist right-wing media billionaires won their battle to waste our time, money and political capital on a EU referendum, I thought it a good time to post the great letter by Simon Sweeney in the Guardian, which he kindly allowed me to reproduce in my book, "The Prostitute State - How Britain's Democracy has Been Bought":

"What did the EU ever do for us?
Not much, apart from: providing 57% of our trade;
structural funding to areas hit by industrial decline;
clean beaches and rivers;
cleaner air;
lead free petrol;
restrictions on landfill dumping;
a recycling culture;
cheaper mobile charges;
cheaper air travel;
improved consumer protection and food labelling;
a ban on growth hormones and other harmful food additives;
better product safety;
single market competition bringing quality improvements and better industrial performance;
break up of monopolies;
Europe-wide patent and copyright protection;
no paperwork or customs for exports throughout the single market;
price transparency and removal of commission on currency exchanges across the eurozone;
freedom to travel, live and work across Europe;
funded opportunities for young people to undertake study or work placements abroad;
access to European health services;
labour protection and enhanced social welfare;
smoke-free workplaces;
equal pay legislation;
holiday entitlement;
the right not to work more than a 48-hour week without overtime;
strongest wildlife protection in the world;
improved animal welfare in food production;
EU-funded research and industrial collaboration;
EU representation in international forums;
bloc EEA negotiation at the WTO;
EU diplomatic efforts to uphold the nuclear non-proliferation treaty;
European arrest warrant;
cross border policing to combat human trafficking, arms and drug smuggling; counter terrorism intelligence;
European civil and military co-operation in post-conflict zones in Europe and Africa;
support for democracy and human rights across Europe and beyond;
investment across Europe contributing to better living standards and educational, social and cultural capital.
All of this is nothing compared with its greatest achievements: the EU has for 60 years been the foundation of peace between European neighbours after centuries of bloodshed.
It furthermore assisted the extraordinary political, social and economic transformation of 13 former dictatorships, now EU members, since 1980.
Now the union faces major challenges brought on by neoliberal economic globalisation, and worsened by its own systemic weaknesses. It is taking measures to overcome these. We in the UK should reflect on whether our net contribution of £7bn out of total government expenditure of £695bn is good value. We must play a full part in enabling the union to be a force for good in a multi-polar global future.

Simon Sweeney,

Lecturer in international political economy, University of York"

FrayedBear 9 Feb 22
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It is good (in a bad way) to read this again. Bloody Brexshit has been delaying a recent Politics assessment. When the question was set, the SQA probably never thought that at this late stage we would still not know what Brexshit would be.
I still remember the days before the EEC (I'm a very mature student). The trouble we had moving around Europe, buying things, and seasonal food.
Still, I imagine we will get the duty free shops returning to the cross channel ferries.

Sofabeast Level 7 Feb 23, 2019

I bet that's fun - mature student? Can your classmates understand half of the words that you use?

@FrayedBear hahahahaha! NO.
It was fun last year, when as an end of year project (1985 UK Miners strike) I got to be a first hand source and therefore, provide empirical evidence as well.


The national broadcaster in every country in the EU has run a programme at least weekly on the proceedings of the EU. All that is, apart from the UK, whose national broadcaster, the BBC, whose charter is to 'educate, inform and entertain'. Since joining the EU, the BBC has been quite happy to report the views of the gutter press (straight bananas etc.) but has made no attempt to inform or educate the public on the benefits of EU membership, how the different institutions work or even what the UK elected MEP's or appointed commissioners do in their respective roles. In the run up to the referendum in 2016 which was based on lies, misunderstandings and alleged illegal funding, the BBC did not think it appropriate to report the facts. It seems to me that the broadcast media news and current affairs presenters were happy to read out excerpts from their twitter feed from members of the public and then justify their actions by calling it 'balanced journalism'. The mainstream broadcast media are supposed to be independent from outside influence, but I wonder????

Grumpy Level 5 Feb 23, 2019

My dislike is directed at rhe impartial news.

In my opinion Channel 4 has done much that the Beeb should have.

@Red_Cat Agreed. Channel 4 are not subject to quite the same political control as the BBC is. However, the current affairs presenters on all UK based radio and TV channels seem to just read out excerpts from their twitter feed and call it 'journalism'.

@Grumpy I don't agree with that. Channel 4 journalists have done some very incisive reporting.


Yes, but apart from all that, what have they ever done for us!


The case for remaining in the EU was never put properly to the British people, if these positive benefits had been published and broadcast widely by the goverment, instead of them telling us what could happen if we left ...which the Brexiteers labelled “project fear”, then the result may have been very different. Since the day we joined the EU we have had a constant diatribe against it in our gutter press, the agenda of the Daily Mail and others has been to misinform and bamboozle their readers about the EU on daily basis.. If all you ever hear of something is negative information, it colours your opinion, and this constant drip of poison has had its effect with the masses who read this rubbish every day. Too late these people will realise the benefits we had, when the pound in their pocket is hit as everything becomes much more expensive after Brexit.

I completely agree, Marion. Sadly, I think that the people who will really suffer the effects of Brexit are the ones who will have been taken in by what they have been told (I.e. working class people)


What a shame the BBC and other news channels didn't splash that around instead of giving us stories about posters on buses.

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