EU Referendum

Reality Check: The government's referendum leaflet

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Media captionBBC Reality Check's Anthony Reuben fact-checks the government's leaflet

The government is sending out a leaflet to 27 million homes explaining why it thinks people should vote to stay in the European Union.

Here is a selection of some of the claims made in the leaflet.

The claim: Over three million UK jobs are linked to exports to the EU

Reality Check verdict: The methodology is suspect. The Treasury worked out what proportion of the country's total economic output is made up of exports to the EU. Then it calculated that proportion of the UK labour force. And that's the answer!

You can get more details here.

The claim: EU co-operation makes it easier to keep criminals and terrorists out of the UK.

Reality Check verdict: Tricky - there are arguments on both sides, but a former head of MI6 says the co-operation would continue even if the UK left the EU.

Read more about the security issues here.

The claim: EU reforms in the 1990s resulted in a drop in fares of over 40% for lower cost flights within Europe as well as opening up new routes across the continent.

Reality Check verdict: It's true that the fares have dropped, but other parts of the world also have low-cost airlines, so it's hard to conclude it wouldn't have happened without EU reforms. Still, the boss of Easyjet has been pretty vocal in her view that leaving the EU would be very bad news for low-cost carriers.

The claim: From next year, mobile phone roaming charges will be abolished across the EU, saving UK customers up to 38p per minute on calls.

Reality Check verdict: It is reasonable to allow the EU to take credit for the abolition of roaming charges next year, although we can't necessarily say that if the UK left the EU there couldn't still be a deal to abolish them.

The claim: Less than 8% of EU exports come to the UK while 44% of UK exports go to the EU.

Reality Check verdict: That's true, although looking in percentage terms makes UK trade look less important to the EU. In cash terms, the UK in 2014 exported £227bn worth of goods and services to other EU countries and imported £288bn from them, which makes the UK look like a much more important customer for the rest of the EU.

The claim: We will not join the euro

Reality Check verdict: This is true - the UK secured an opt-out, which is written into EU law. The UK cannot be forced to adopt the single currency.

The claim: EU membership also gives UK citizens travelling in other European countries the right to access free or cheaper public healthcare.

Reality Check verdict: True, but some forms of healthcare such as emergency care while on holiday could be secured through reciprocal agreements post-Brexit.

Read more about healthcare arrangements

The claim: No other country has managed to secure significant access to the single market without having to follow EU rules over which they have no real say, pay into the EU and accept EU citizens living and working in their country.

Reality Check verdict: This is true of the countries that have full access to the single market and are not members of the EU - Norway, Switzerland, Iceland and Lichtenstein. All of them pay into the EU, although less than the full members, and accept exactly the same rules on the movement of people as the rest of the EU.

The claim: In future, new EU migrants will not have full access to certain benefits until they have worked here for up to four years

Reality Check verdict: This was a part of the EU-UK deal agreed in February 2016, which will be implemented if the UK votes to stay in the EU.


READ MORE: The facts behind claims in the EU debate


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