Studies that show UK better off out of EU


A vocal minority of those wishing to remain in the EU has taken up the cry “Name one study that shows Britain will be better off out of the EU”.  So let’s look at a few, shall we?

The following are just some of the first-rate studies that show Britain better off out of the EU. First I’d nominate “Should Britain leave the EU?” by Patrick Minford.  He is Professor of Economics at Cardiff Business school and has been researching and writing about the economy of the EU for several decades.

Minford was assisted in the 2015 edition of his book by Sakshi Gupta, Economist CRISIL India, Vidya Mahambare, Associate Professor of Economics, Great Lakes Institute of Management, Chennai, India, and others.

His book is an exceptionally detailed investigation of the economics of the EU and UK, made possible because, “Minford and his research team . . . created the Liverpool Model, the first operational Rational Expectations model of any economy.”

One of Minford’s concrete findings is that British customers will pay an average of 8% less for goods out of the EU, because we will be able to buy at world market prices, rather than higher protectionist EU prices.

Second, I recommend “A Blueprint for Britain: Openness not Isolation, by Iain Mansfield.  Read it here:

This essay was the winner of the €100,000 Brexit Prize awarded by the Institute for Economic Affairs. Mansfield is the Director of Trade and Industry at the British Embassy in Manila. So incisive and well-argued is his essay that the Government rushed to ban him from giving interviews.

A key point made by Mansfield – an expert in international trade – is that the outcome of Brexit would be, “. . . to accelerate the shifting pattern of UK’s exports and total trade away from the EU to the emerging markets, where the majority of the world’s growth is located.”

Mansfield estimates that, “The total long-term impact is estimated to be between -2.6% and +1.1% of GDP, with a best estimate of +0.1%. Although the years immediately surrounding the exit are likely to feature some degree of market uncertainty, if the right measures are taken the UK can be confident of a healthy long- term economic outlook outside the EU.”

If you don’t have the time to wade through these detailed studies, I recommend the round-up of key points published in The Spectator by Warwick Lightfoot, titled “A sober economic analysis shows that Brexit is best”. Lightfoot is an economist specialising in monetary economics and public finance who was special adviser to the Chancellor of the Exchequer from 1989 to 1992.

One key point made by Lightfoot: “The UK’s net contribution to the EU budget is £10 billion; our gross EU-related expenditure is £16 billion. Much of that might still be spent if we were outside the EU, but the programmes involved could be made more cost-effective and better focused; £10 billion may appear modest in the context of total public spending of £750 billion — but would more than cover the cost of free long-term social care for the elderly, or of 2p cut in basic-rate income tax.”

The failure of those wishing to remain in the EU to find even a single study showing a positive outcome for Brexit is inexplicable if they really wanted to find one.  All they had to do was turn to their already well-thumbed copy of the briefing paper prepared by the House of Commons Library in 2013.   (

This paper refers to four studies, all of which found either zero or negative financial benefit from being in the EU, from which it can reasonably be deduced that Brexit would have the reverse effect.

The US International Trade Commission studied the UK’s position in 2000 and found that Britain would experience around zero financial benefit. The Institute of Directors surveyed the question the same year and found the cost of membership to the UK of 1.75% of GDP.  The Institute of Economic Affairs survey of 2005 estimated the cost of membership at 3.2% to 3.7% of GDP. And the UK Independence Party commissioned a study in 2010 that estimated the net cost to the UK in 2010 of £77 Billion.

The Parliamentary paper makes the point that these studies were compiled on actual costs and expenses, not on estimates of forward projections.

So, can we now please see the references to the studies that show the economic outcome of Britain remaining in the EU?

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