Leaving the EU - Myth 1: “Britain will lose three million jobs as a consequence of leaving the EU”
The Reality: If Britain leaves the EU it will put in place of its EU membership a UK/EU Free Trade Agreement such as the EEA Lite Agreement presented in this book to preserve the benefits of trade with the EU. The EU sells much more to us than we sell to them: currently, the UK’s trade deficit in manufactured goods with the EU was £56 billion. So, in theory, if there was the very worst case of a trade war and no trade at all with the EU, the UK would lose the three million jobs which depend on trade with the EU (10% of all UK jobs (Note: The BBC quoted ONS statistics that there were 29.16 million in work. Three million jobs therefore represents 10% of the total), whilst the EU would lose some four million jobs. This simply won’t happen, as the EU would not want to lose their biggest customer. Even the Lisbon Treaty requires the EU to make a withdrawal agreement (trade and political) with a nation that leaves the EU (under Article 50).
Under the EEA Lite model, the UK would guarantee the 3 million jobs through continued tariff-free access to the EU Single Market, just as the EEA Agreement currently gives Norway, which exports five times more than the UK per head. Access to the EU Single Market and Swiss trade agreements do the same in agreed areas for Switzerland, which exports three times more per head to the EU than the UK. But whilst both these countries run a strong surplus with the EU, the UK now runs a massive deficit - some £56 billion deficit for goods , putting the UK in a stronger negotiating position.
from "Time to Jump" by David Campbell Bannerman MEP