Let's be brutally honest: I doubt *anyone* realised the full extent of everything EU membership offered us.

Here are 77 examples of what we lost, and what we might stand to gain if we were to join once more...

1. Full unfettered access to the largest trading bloc in the world.
2. Free trade deals with dozens of countries around the world, including Japan, Canada and South Korea.

3. Frictionless borders allowing for just-in-time manufacturing, supporting millions of jobs in the auto industry, aerospace etc.
4. Wide-open border between Northern Ireland and Ireland, with no customs or other checks between NI and the rest of the UK.

5. Active support for the Good Friday Agreement and the Irish peace process (PEACE funding delivered over 1.5 billion euro to NI between 1995 and 2020)
6. Longest unbroken period of peace on the European continent for over a thousand years, aside from civil wars. Friends tend not to fight friends. (This is, after all, one of the impulses that drove the creation of the EU in the first place!)
7. Freedom for UK citizens to travel, work, study and retire anywhere in the EU.

8. Freedom for EU citizens to travel, work, study and retire in the UK.

9. Scientific and academic collaboration, including access to grants, and knowledge pooling.
10. Participation in Horizon 2020 and its successor: Horizon is the world's largest multinational research programme, and has previously provided funding and assistance for over 10,000 collaborative research projects in the UK.

11. Collaborative space exploration
12. Participation in the Galileo GPS satellite cluster, including its high quality military signal

13. Driving licenses valid all over the EU. No need for international driving permits.

14. Car insurance valid all over the EU.
15. Pet passports that make travelling with pets easy and smooth.

16. Simplified system of fixed compensation for flight delays and cancellations thanks to EU Air Passenger Rights.

17. European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) providing EU healthcare for free, or at reduced cost.
18. EU-wide mobile roaming (data, calls and texts) at home prices.

19. Portable streaming services, allowing access to existing Netflix and other streaming accounts all across the EU.
20. Erasmus student exchange programme involving more than 4,000 universities in 31 countries. In the past, over 15,000 UK students participated per year.

21. Enhanced consumer protection, including protections for cross-border shopping.
22. Simplified VAT reverse charge mechanism for those selling across the EU

23. Cross-border taxation collaboration, to hold firms like Amazon and Facebook to account more than any single country could.

24. Training courses for the unemployed, funded by the European Social Fund
25. Disaster relief funding, such as the 60 million euro we received for flood relief in 2017.

26. Access to a court of last resort (the ECJ) that can be accessed by citizens to hold the Government to account.

27. Enhanced environmental protections.
28. REACH regulations and the EU Chemicals Agency, which combine to improve human, animal and environmental safety around chemicals.

29. Safer medicines due to the pan-EU testing regime.

30. Security cooperation, and sharing of crime and terrorist databases.
31. Participation in the European arrest warrant programme that allows for the speedy capture of wanted criminals in other EU countries.

32. Participation in the EURATOM programme to ensure the availability of vital medical isotopes, including very short half-life radiologicals.
33. Support for rural areas (which have long been ignored by successive UK governments).

34. Regulations governing better food labelling, including from April 2020 the requirement to identify the country of origin of the primary ingredient in processed foods.
35. EU funding to support the British film industry, theatre and music.

36. Free movement for musicians and their instruments, bands and their equipment, artists and their materials etc., enabling a flourishing European culture scene.
37. Participation in the European Capital of Culture programme, which has previously boosted cities such as Glasgow and Liverpool.

38. Service providers (e.g. freelance translators) can offer their services to clients all over the EU on the same basis as they can UK clients.
39. EU citizenship (it's a real thing, separate and additional to UK citizenship - look it up!)

40. No VAT or duty payable when goods from the EU are imported (great for online shopping as there are no unpleasant surprises in the form of extra charges).
41. Substantial venture capital funding, and the provision of startup loans.

42. Protection for minority languages, such as Welsh, enshrined in law.

43. Mutual recognition of academic qualifications, and of many professional qualifications.
44. Legal protection for foods of geographic origin, e.g. Melton Mowbray pork pies, ensuring that copycat products from other regions can't be passed off as the real thing.

45. The elimination of surcharges when using credit or debit cards.
46. EU structural funding (e.g. the £2 billion Liverpool has received in the past) with a requirement for matched private funding to boost its effectiveness further.

47. Support and encouragement for democracy in post-communist countries.
48. Guaranteed use of EU queues at ports and airports, including e-gates where available.

49. A bigger, stronger presence on the world stage when facing off economic giants such as the USA and China.
50. Products made or grown in the UK can be sold in 31 countries without type approval, customs duties, phytosanitary certificates or other costly red tape.

51. Strong, legally enforced food hygiene standards, including prohibitions on chlorinated chicken and GM crops.
52. Objective 1 funding for deprived areas and regions.

53. Financial passporting, enabling firms in the City of London to provide services to clients all over the EU.

54. Strong intellectual property protection, including participation in the upcoming unified patent system
55. Access to university education in other EU countries at home student rates (many EU countries still offer free education).

56. Consular protection in countries outside of the EU from any EU embassy or consulate, if there's no UK embassy or consulate there.
57. Secure baseline of worker protections, including restrictions on maximum hours worked, maternity leave etc. (We are free to improve on these in domestic UK law any time we like - as indeed we already do in many instances - because they're a floor, not a ceiling.)
58. Protection against discriminatory treatment when working in other EU countries, compared to local staff.

59. Minimum of 4 weeks of paid leave a year (introduced by the EU in 1993, taken up by the UK in 1998, and later extended to 28 days in 2009).
60. Right to land fish in EU ports (the EU buys more than half of all fish caught by UK fishermen).

61. Access to a willing seasonal workforce to pick our fruit and vegetables.

62. A vital supply of medicines (we import 37 million packs a month from the EU)
63. Minimum 2 year guarantee on all consumer products.

64. A major say in the running of the EU, with representation in the European Parliament (MEPs), on the ECJ, etc.

65. A say in the setting of the EU budget and on determining the EU's priorities and focus.
66. More influence on environmental policy, since we would have a hand in shaping laws that governed 28 countries (pollution and carbon emissions don't stop neatly at borders).
67. Cleaner air backed by the EU Air Quality Directive (in the past, the UK Government has been successfully taken to court for failing to meet its obligations).

68. Legally enforced 14 day cooling-off period on new timeshare agreements.
69. Some of the highest toy safety standards in the world.

70. Protection of 500 bird species under legislation dating back to 1979 and enhanced in 2009.

71. Cleaner beaches.
72. Pan-EU regulators (food, chemicals etc.) that can save us money by doing away with the need to duplicate their function at the local UK level.

73. A powerful presence on the world stage thanks to 28 EU countries acting in unison.
74. Right to vote and stand as a candidate in local and European elections in the EU country you're living in, under the same conditions as local candidates.
75. Right to petition the European Parliament, either singly or jointly with others, on any matter within the EU's fields of activity. This right is also extended to companies headquartered in the EU as well as individuals.
76. Right to contact EU institutions in any one of the 24 official languages of the EU, and receive a reply in that same language
77. Support for people with disabilities through initiatives such as the European accessibility act (mandating the accessibility requirements of various products and services) and the EU parking card.
This is a solid overview, but it's far from a comprehensive list. I believe we will only ever begin to understand what we've lost when it's all gone, like recognising the pieces of a jigsaw after they're taken away.
On your way out of this thread, I urge you to take a look at my book "Slaying Brexit Unicorns". It delves into the truth of Brexit with the aid of copious facts, busting Brexit myths and exploring the reality of no deal and trade on WTO terms... Thank you! https://www.amazon.co.uk/Slaying-Brexit-Unicorns-truth-decision-ebook/dp/B07Z1FTRQW/
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