§ Mr. Marlow
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list the five major advantages and five major disadvantages of United Kingdom membership of the European Economic Communities.
§ Sir Geoffrey Howe
The main economic advantages result from the widening of the domestic market for our exporters. For elaboration of these arguments I refer my hon. Friend to the Prime Minister's written reply of 19 February 1980 to the hon. Member for Grimsby (Mr. Mitchell)—[Vol. 979, c.116–17]. In addition, of course, the political case for membership is especially strong in a volatile and dangerous world.
On the debit side, the Government have repeatedly emphasised that the United Kingdom's present and prospective net contribution to the budget imposes an intolerable economic burden on a country which is the third poorest in the Community. There is an additional loss of resources to the United Kingdom as a result of higher prices which consumers have to pay for food under the CAP price-support system.