On The Pulse: Would Britain be better off not being part of the EU?


SW Londoner reporter Hardeep Matharu takes to the streets of Wimbledon to find out.


By Hardeep Matharu

Having joined the European Union in 1973, Britain’s membership of the EU has always been a topic of controversy. 

From rights to trade links, competition and finance, issues relating to participation in this economic and political union have provoked much debate in recent years, and this is especially the case right now.

With the Eurozone debt crisis spiralling out of control and talks of Greece potentially having to leave the Euro, much has been said about countries including Britain, which is not part of the Eurozone, having to contribute to the bail-out of the much indebted economies of Europe. 

Considering the current financial problems threatening to engulf the EU, how is Britain’s continuing membership of it viewed?  

SW Londoner took to the streets of Wimbledon to find out what people had to say.

Given the current economic crisis in Europe, would it be better for Britain not to be part of the EU?







Don’t Know



Neil, 68:

“I would prefer to be out of the EU.  It keeps passing laws I disagree with.  But it’s more the law than the economics side of things which I have an issue with.”


Frank, 69:

“I think we would be better off out of it as we’re too governed by the EU.  A lot of things are happening which are not really to do with this country and yet we’re being penalised.  We shouldn’t really be paying for the Euro bailout, but we’re mixed up in it all.”


Bevan, 59:

“I think it’s better for Britain to stay in the EU because we’ve invested so much money in it.  We would be worse-off if we pulled out.”


Elaine, 52:

“I’d hate for Britain to go the same way as Greece has and it does feel as though being a part of the Euro has caused its problems.  But we do have a responsibility to help countries like Greece.  I’m glad Britain isn’t a part of the Euro, but I think the trade links with the rest of Europe provided by the EU are good.”    


Dave, 61:

“I like the idea of greater rights which comes from the EU, but not the finance.  It’s crazy trying to use one economic system across many different countries.  It’s just not practical.” 


Bjorn, 20:

“I think Britain should stay in the EU because I’m from Germany and I work here.  I can live here without restrictions and can come into the UK whenever I want with my national identity card and not needing my passport, and I really enjoy that.  I think it’s very difficult situation at the moment because Britain is not part of the Euro so I can understand why people disagree with Britain having to bail out other countries.  But, I do think it should contribute towards the bail-out, although not as much as countries like Germany or France.”   


Terry, 49:

“It’s outrageous – we should rule our own country and have nothing to do with the EU.  I don’t think Britain should have to contribute towards bailing out Greece.  I think we should look after our own country first – Britain is itself in trouble economically.  We should be putting our own house in order before we start handing out to other countries. Britain isn’t the country I used to know.”


Nigel, 53:

“We need to reinvent the EU as it has become a huge bureaucratic nightmare which is profoundly undemocratic.  There is no accountability to national governments or individual electorates.  There are obviously great benefits for Britain to be part of a European community, but it should be just that: an economic community, and not a huge political union.  The EU has just become too big and it’s cumbersome.  The problems happening now have been on the cards for a long time as Greece should never have been made part of the Eurozone in the first place.” 


Keith, 65:

“We should be part of the EU as I think we’ve learnt a lot from it.  Britain is a conservative country and the influence of Europe has been very positive.  It’s time for European countries to work a bit more closely and to help each other.  So let’s stay in the EU, strengthen links and move on.”  

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