Plan A+

This report from the UK think tank IEA looks at creating a prosperous post-Brexit UK.

The opportunity before the UK as a result of Brexit is, this paper proposes, a great one: but if the UK squanders it, what has been described as the ‘new normal’ of limited economic growth could prevail, with an EU system that does not appear to be responding on a competitive level to the challenges of the modern economy. In her Mansion House speech, then Prime Minister Theresa May stated that the UK’s regulations need not be identical to the EU’s, even if they would achieve the same outcomes. But the government White Paper (The future relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union) proposed that the UK would have substantively harmonised regulations with the EU, which, with the customs arrangement it outlined, would mean it is hard to see how any independent trade policy is possible. It also described a swathe of other ways in which the UK would be unable to determine its regulations.

The UK regulating its own economy will not render a deal with the EU impossible. As this paper will outline, it has the capacity to increase economic growth, let the UK do other trade deals, and create leverage to get positive results from EU negotiations. Political, trade and regulatory independence is therefore not just an ideological position, but, we propose, what makes the bulk of the gains possible.

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