This site contains government information on the EU referendum. No material was published on this website between 27 May and 23 June 2016, in line with the restrictions set out in the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000.

What does the EU do for…?

The EU referendum takes place on the 23rd June. On this page you'll find some frequently asked questions on a range of topics related to the UK's EU membership and the Government's answers to these questions.

What does the EU do for climate change?

The recent climate change deal in Paris saw almost 200 countries come together to sign the first global climate deal ever agreed. It was a big step forward, and a good example of how the UK can use its membership of the EU to magnify its voice in the world. The EU did more than any other group to define the key elements of the agreement. The UK’s position within the EU meant we played a significant role in helping to shape the EU’s goals and approach.

What does the EU do for the environment?

By harnessing the clout of all 28 EU countries the UK has led the way in tackling some of the world’s toughest environmental problems. This includes taking action to stop trade in illegally logged timber, working together to keep our seas and beaches clean, and working to significantly reduce air pollution. Environmental problems often don’t just affect one country, they can affect the whole of Europe. So we have to work together to tackle them.

What does the EU do for workers?

EU rules have guaranteed rights for workers, with the aim of promoting employment and improving working and living conditions across Europe. This includes a maximum 48-hour working week (which workers can opt-out of if they wish); paid holiday; and rules to prevent discrimination and guarantee fair treatment, such as those that guarantee maternity leave and ensure part-time workers have the same rights as full-time workers.

What does the EU do for farmers?

Our EU membership benefits the UK farming industry by giving easy access to the world’s largest single market of 500 million consumers, which accounts for 60 per cent of our food and drink exports worth £11 billion. Being in the EU means we can act collectively to prevent spread of disease, and common standards on labelling, food safety and animal health mean we have a level playing field with competitors. The National Farmers Union Council have resolved that “the interests of farmers are best served by our continuing membership of the European Union.”

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