How Much Can the British Like the E.U.?

With Brexit heading towards an unending deferral, NBC News finds Europeans understand very little how EU works, other than expressing how they like it.

The privilege of few borders, easy travel and free trade come in part because of the alliance. Out of a common goal for peace in a war-torn Europe 5 years after World War II, France and Germany devised a plan to avoid the two countries going to war again. Six nations reached a deal to pool their coal and steel resources in 1950. A treaty signed in Rome 7 years later formed the European Economic Community (EEC), which subsequently became today's European Union. The UK was one of three new members in 1973. Today the EU has 28 member states with a total population of more than 500 million, including Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Britain, Ireland, Denmark, Greece, Portugal, Spain, Eastern Germany, Austria, Finland, Sweden, Romania, Bulgaria, and Croatia.

Four institutions work together to run the EU: the European Commission, the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union and the Court of Justice. According to Treasury data, the UK contributed £8.5bn to EU in 2015. Each country receives money back from the EU to support development and other projects. The UK also gets a rebate, on its contribution, because much of the budget is spent on agricultural subsidies and the UK does not gain nearly as much as other countries like France. After all repayments were taken into account in 2015, Britain contributed about 12.6% of the entire EU budget. Germany paid the largest share, 21.36% and France was the second-biggest contributor at 15.72%.

Starting out as a trading bloc, the EEC promotes free movement of goods and services within the Common Market, and now advances its initiatives to encompass regional inequalities reduction, environment preservation, human rights support and education and research investment.

The EU is Britain's biggest trading partner. British citizens can work in any EU country. EU funding sponsors farmers, boosts job markets, redevelops poor areas, and supports research. The EU has made travel more affordable by challenging monopolies and creating competition. It has cut down the cost of mobile data roaming and set other living standards in Europe.

On the other hand, giving subsidies to farmers has led to surplus of some crops. The EU’s regulations are costly to the British economy, and without its overpowering control, Britain would be more likely to establish trade relations with countries like China and India. Some believe Britain is being restrained by the EU, gains little for the money it pays in and would be better taking back control. Others opt for the benefits of staying in the EU. To this day, the conundrum of Brexit is still unfolding and has yet to be resolved.



由于欧洲联盟之存在,欧洲人得以享受无边界限制,轻松旅行和自由贸易的特权。欧盟乃是法国和德国在第二次世界大战后5年,因饱受战争蹂躏为实现和平的共同目标而制定的一项避免两国再次发生战争之计划而衍生。 1950年,六个国家达成了一项集中煤炭和钢铁资源的协议。7年后各国在罗马签署的一项条约组成了欧洲经济共同体(EEC),后来成为今天的欧盟。英国是1973年的三个新成员之一。今天,欧盟有28个成员国,总人口超过5亿,包括比利时,法国,德国,意大利,卢森堡,荷兰,英国,爱尔兰,丹麦,希腊,葡萄牙,西班牙,东德,奥地利,芬兰,瑞典,罗马尼亚,保加利亚和克罗地亚。