Richard North, EUReferendum, has posted on the subject of Nick Clegg’s “phone-in” on LBC in which Clegg repeated the oft-made claim:
“that about three million, one in ten jobs in this country are dependent now, one way or the other, on our membership of the world’s largest borderless single market”.
Let us rewind to 31st October 2011 and Nick Clegg, Today on BBC Radio Four:
“There are three million of our fellow citizens, men and women, in this country whose jobs rely directly on our participation and role and place in what is after all the world’s largest borderless single market with 500 million consumers right on our doorstep… isolation costs jobs, costs growth, costs people’s livelihood.”
This figure of three million jobs has been quoted since 2000, here by Stephen Byers (Trade and Industry Secretary) and here by Tony Blair. In the same year a report was issued by the South Bank University in which the figure of three million is mentioned. Yet another report was published in 2000 by the National Institute of Economic and Social Research in which it is stated that: “detailed estimates from input-output tables suggest that up to 3.2 million UK jobs are now associated directly with exports of goods and services to other EU countries” and went on to state that: “there is no reason to suppose that many of these [jobs], if any, would be lost permanently if Britain were to leave the EU”.
From Hansard of 2011 a figure of 3.5 million was mentioned during a BIS debate in the HoC about overseas investment, based on an analysis apparently conducted in 2006. Further, a BIS report from February 2011, on the UK Government Response to the European Commission Consultation on the Single Market Act, stated that “the single market has also contributed to increased growth of at least 1.85 per cent and the creation of 2.75 million new jobs across the EU since 1992.”
There was a further report in 2008, by the predecessor to BIS namely the BERR, which found that: “approximately 3 – 3.5 million British jobs are linked (both directly and indirectly) with exports to the EU”.
An extensive search of the EU website has failed to produce one report by the Commission about any UK-specific estimates of the number of jobs created as a consequence of EU membership.
Another interesting fact is that, if this figure of three million can be traced back to 2000, it seems a tad strange that current estimates are the same as those made twelve years ago – not least because we have seen a significant recession during this period.
With all the instances of politicians being economical with the actualité, it is becoming obvious that they have no intention of promoting accuracy in any public debate – which is a surprise (not)!