IEA - UK has nothing to fear from a ‘bare bones’ Brexit deal
IEA releases briefing on what a minimal Brexit deal might mean
Halloween may not be the most auspicious time to be talking about what happens if the Brexit negotiations break up without a deal. But there are still plenty of scare stories to dispel – including planes no longer flying, cancer patients being denied life-saving treatment, and criminals running amok.
A more credible ‘no deal’ scenario would involve the UK leaving the Single Market and the Customs Union in March 2019, but still allow for continued cooperation in many other areas of common interest. To be clear, the practical obstacles to implementing even this ‘bare bones’ Brexit in time would be substantial. But while this outcome would surely be second best, it need not be the nightmare that many seem to fear.
In a new briefing from the Institute of Economic Affairs’ Brexit Unit, Julian Jessop argues that there is no need to fear if talks are still bogged down at Christmas. Announcing then that the UK is leaving both the Single Market and the Customs Union in 2019 would at least give businesses the certainty they crave. It would also avoid the scenario where a ‘transition’ period mysteriously becomes ‘permanent’.
Much of the discussion of a ‘no deal’ Brexit has focussed on a chaotic outcome where talks break up without any agreements on the future relationship. However, this outcome would be so bad for all parties that it is highly unlikely. A more credible scenario would involve the UK leaving the Single Market and the Customs Union in March 2019, but still allow for continued cooperation in many other areas. This could be called a ‘bare bones’ Brexit. There are four reasons why this is a serious runner:
- First, the UK and the EU would not be starting from scratch. In almost all cases it would be a question of agreeing that existing arrangements are satisfactory.
- Second, the EU already cooperates closely with many third countries that are not even in Europe – including in sensitive areas such as aviation and nuclear technology.
- Third, both sides will surely want to make this work. Would EU politicians really be willing to forego the rights of their airlines to fly to the UK, or block the vital trade in medical isotopes, just to punish us for the audacity of Brexit?
- Fourth, there is much that can be done unilaterally. In particular, the UK could simply go ahead and implement its proposals on citizens’ rights. This would put the onus on the EU to reciprocate, but why wouldn’t they? Again, what would the alternative say about our European partners?
Any form of ‘no deal’ Brexit would surely still be a second best, given the short timescales involved. But it needn’t be the Halloween nightmare that many seem to fear.
Commenting on the briefing, Julian Jessop, Chief Economist and Head of the Brexit Unit at the Institute of Economic Affairs, said:
“Fears that a ‘no deal’ Brexit would inevitably result in chaos are a Halloween scare story. In reality, both sides would have a strong interest in continuing to cooperate in a wide range of areas, even if the UK leaves the Single Market and Customs Union in 2019.”
Notes to editors:
For media enquiries please contact Nerissa Chesterfield, Communications Officer: email@example.com or 020 7799 8920 or 07791 390268
To download a copy of ‘Putting some flesh on a “bare bones” Brexit’ please click here.
For more information on the IEA’s Brexit Unit, click here.
The mission of the Institute of Economic Affairs is to improve understanding of the fundamental institutions of a free society by analysing and expounding the role of markets in solving economic and social problems and seeks to provide analysis in order to improve the public understanding of economics.
The IEA is a registered educational charity and independent of all political parties.
Latest News from
IFS - Higher education enables graduates to move to places with better career prospects – but this leads to brain drain from the North and coastal areas17/09/2021 11:20:00
By age 27, graduates are 10 percentage points more likely to have moved away from the area where they grew up than otherwise similar non-graduates. Graduates who move tend to move to London and other affluent cities and experience large gains in earnings. This suggests that higher education enables people to move to areas that offer better labour market opportunities.
JRF - New Cabinet faces living standards crisis if they go ahead with cut to Universal Credit16/09/2021 15:20:00
JRF responds to House of Commons debate on the planned cut to Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit.
Civitas - Two Tests for UK Trade: Does seamless, tariff-free trade boost exports and does distance matter?16/09/2021 14:20:00
During the UK’s departure from the European Union, debate about UK trade policy was dominated by two assertions:
Inflation could reach 5 per cent by Christmas, says IEA Expert15/09/2021 16:10:00
Julian Jessop, Economics Fellow at free market think tank the Institute of Economic Affairs, responded to ONS consumer price inflation figures for August 2021
IEA - Think tank helped ensure UK-EU FTA “against the odds”15/09/2021 14:15:00
The Institute of Economic Affairs has reached the final of this year’s Templeton Freedom Award, which celebrates organisations that have made a meaningful impact on the proliferation of free market ideas through education, policy research or media outreach.
JRF - New research highlights ‘shameful’ racial disparities in housing system15/09/2021 09:10:00
Welfare and immigration policies are contributing to sharply unequal access to affordable housing among BAME communities. A new report from the independent Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) analyses the impact of these policies.
IEA - UK ranks 12th amongst 165 jurisdictions in economic freedom14/09/2021 15:20:00
The UK ranks 12th out of 165 countries and territories included in the Economic Freedom of the World: 2021 Annual Report, released today by the Institute of Economic Affairs in conjunction with Canada’s Fraser Institute. Last year, the UK ranked 13th.
Adam Smith Inst - 2.1 Million Vulnerable Unvaccinated14/09/2021 10:05:00
Raft of measures proposed to protect human life and liberty as Covid-19 becomes endemic
Adam Smith Inst - NEW POLL: Brits back freer movement with New Zealand14/09/2021 09:05:00
A new poll from the Adam Smith Institute and C|T Group RSR confirms that Brits are eager to strike a trade deal with New Zealand which includes freer movement and mutual recognition of qualifications.
IFS - NHS funding boost should be enough to meet pressures over the next two years, but not in the medium term13/09/2021 14:20:00
Last Tuesday the Prime Minister announced a new funding settlement for health and social care in England. This included an additional £6.6 billion for NHS England in 2022−23 and £3.6 billion in 2023−24, on top of pre-pandemic plans, in the face of ongoing pressures from the COVID-19 pandemic.