Brexit 2015 Directions for Britain Outside the EU

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2015-02-16
  • Publisher: Institute Of Economic Affairs

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During 2013-14, the IEA ran a competition to find the best blueprint for Britain outside the EU, with the objective of securing a free and prosperous economy should it choose to leave. The IEA does not have a position on whether Britain should leave the EU. However, it is part of their educational mission to promote a wider understanding of the importance of a free economy and the institutions that are necessary for a free economy. They therefore regarded it as important to promote debate on the best way to achieve this in the event of the British people choosing to leave the EU: that was the main purpose of the competition. To provide a longer-lasting contribution to this debate, the IEA decided to publish this monograph examining the various options using, in the main, entries to the British Exit ('Brexit') competition. There was a wide range of possible approaches suggested by entrants to that competition.Some proposed that Britain should promote free trade and openness through the unilateral removal of trade and other barriers to economic activity; others proposed maintaining formal relationships with European countries through the European Free Trade Association and/or the European Economic Area; still other entrants took the view that Britain should seek to form economic and political alliances and partnerships with countries outside Europe - for example with the Commonwealth or the --Anglosphere - normally with a view to that being a gateway to free trade with as much of the world as would be willing.The winner was Foreign Office diplomat Iain Mansfield, who received most of the publicity at the end of the competition. However, in understanding how Britain can be free and prosperous in the event that it leaves the EU, it is worthwhile considering a range of other approaches to 'Brexit'. It is only through determining the best destiny for Britain outside the EU that the correct decision will be taken about whether to leave the EU and, if so, how. This book therefore brings together Iain Mansfield's submission with edited versions of two other entries.One of those, by Robert Oulds, proposes that the UK remains a member of the European Economic Area and rejoins the European Free Trade Association; another, by Ralph Buckle and Tim Hewish, proposes that Britain pursues free trade through the route of the Commonwealth and the Anglosphere. The final contribution, by John Hulsman, was not an entry to the competition but re-examines an approach to promoting free trade first proposed in his IEA monograph published in 2001, The World Turned Rightside Up. This involved the development of a global free-trade association.Overall, this book is an important contribution to the debate about how Britain should leave the EU, should it choose to do so. It distils clearly the different options and the advantages and disadvantages of alternative approaches with reference to the objective of promoting a free and prosperous economy. The authors have different views about how to achieve the same objective. It is hoped that, by presenting those different views in this volume, the debate will move beyond 'Britain - in or out?' to a debate about something just as important: 'If Britain should leave, how should it leave?'

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