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Setting Business Free: Into the Global Economy by Professor Patrick Minford CBE


Setting Business Free: Into the Global Economy is the latest piece of research published by The Hampden Trust and The Freedom Association in which Professor Patrick Minford CBE reveals the total cost of the EU and how the case for “Brexit” has now become “overwhelming”.

In this latest publication, Professor Minford describes how the European Union will be obsessed with the euro-crisis over the coming decade, why the United Kingdom will be disadvantaged in the coming years as a result and how the UK could have been able to connect with the global economy, if it weren’t for the costly consequences of continued EU membership.

Professor Minford also estimates the cost of EU regulation to the UK at a minimum of 6 per cent per year. This is a minimum of £90 billion a year and indicates – once again – that the UK would be better off out.

Alongside this, issues that are looked at include some of the transitional concerns that the UK might face in moving from full membership to departure – and what the trading relationship might be after the UK becomes free from EU membership. In doing so, Professor Minford describes how by leaving the EU the UK would be enabled to reset financial regulations to its own free-trade interests and that it would allow the UK to integrate into the global – rather than the regional – market.

Setting Business Free: Into the Global Economy puts forward the following arguments:

  • EU protectionism will probably increase; even within the EU, covert protection against non-euro countries could occur.
  • The cost of EU regulation is at least 6 per cent of UK GDP – around £90 billion – with the total cost of the EU over 11 per cent of UK GDP per year (circa. £165 billion).
  • Even without any change in the status quo the economic costs to the UK of the EU are substantial and are likely to increase under the pressure of the euro crisis.
  • Claims the UK would lose Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) are entirely fallacious and that, free from EU membership, the UK economy’s productivity is likely to be maximized.
  • Free from the EU’s Common Tariff, the UK could instantly benefit from free trade by around 3 per cent of GDP.
  • The concern that the UK will not enjoy the ‘muscle’ of the EU in trade negotiations with third countries is confused and that, trading at world trade prices, it would be against the interests of the other parties to introduce trade barriers.
  • The UK is being constrained through regulation by countries that do not share the same industries. By leaving the EU, the UK would be able to reset its regulations in its own free-trade interests and open the UK to the global economy.

Commenting on this Simon Richards, Director of The Freedom Association, said:

“This publication shows that the regulatory burdens on UK business from the EU will only increase in the next few years. The world is growing while our membership of the EU is restricting the UK’s ability to enjoy the benefits. This publication shows that, if the UK left the EU, it would allow our businesses to capitalise on the growth that is happening elsewhere.”

Better Off Out is a campaign run by The Freedom Association, a non-partisan pressure group dedicated to principles of freedom and national sovereignty. To keep up to date with the campaign, do follow us on Twitter @BetterOffOut. 

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