'The Case for the (Interim) EEA Option' gets pick up in the Daily Express and Wall Street Journal

The ASI's latest paper 'The Case for the (Interim) EEA Option' has been featured in the Wall Street Journal and Daily Express this morning. The new collaborative report promotes the EEA option as a short to medium term strategy for Brexit.

The Daily Express reported:

A report by the Adam Smith Institute, put together by both Leave and Remain campaigners, has said the only way Britain can successfully exit the 28-country bloc is to choose the ‘Norway option’ - quit the EU but stay in the European Economic Area (EEA). 
This option, while acknowledged as something of a compromise and not a full Leave, would allow the UK to keep control of its borders while still enjoying trade agreements, in the years before a long-term economic deal can be reached with the EU. 
The report said "the only way is EEA", explaining remaining in the economic club would be the best of both world’s for post-Brexit Britain. 

The Wall Street Journal reported:

Some trade experts also think Mr. Davis's optimism that trade deals can be easily reached relies on assuming trade is mostly about manufactured goods.
"It doesn't appreciate the importance of services to the U.K. and of regulatory barriers" said Sam Bowman of the free-market Adam Smith Institute in London. "It's like tariffs are all the matter."

EEASE US OUT OF THE EU - Why the only way is EEA for a post Brexit Britain

Today a new briefing paper released by the Adam Smith Institute lays out the core arguments for why the EEA option is the best exit strategy for Britain.

The paper covers twenty-one key points explaining why the EEA option is favourable in the short to medium term. Key among these are getting a deal that will keep Scotland and Northern Ireland in the Union, staying in the Single Market to avoid economic damage during Britain’s exit, and securing a deal that a large majority of Britons would support.

The paper, a collaborative effort by Leavers and Remainers including Adam Smith Institute Fellow Roland Smith and Executive Director Sam Bowman, is clear in stating that joining the European Economic Area is a method of leaving the EU, and is not a version of remaining. Participation in the EEA outside the EU would however be a compromise position for the short/medium term with a scheduled time limit for review – but crucially it would mean that Britain leaves the EU.

The EEA Option is one currently held by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. It involves participation in the Single Market but from a position outside the EU. EEA countries have a market-based relationship with the EU but are free of the EU’s political ambitions, and are outside the ‘Common’ policies: Common Agricultural Policy, Common Fisheries Policy, Common Foreign and Defence Policy, and Justice & Home Affairs measures, yet maintain so-called passporting rights for financial services companies along with continued participation in some useful science and education programmes.

The EEA Option opens up the ability to make trade agreements with third countries, providing the UK with the freedom to set its own levels of VAT and to step away from its joint liability of EU debts. It maintains the free movement of goods, capital, services and people with the rest of the EU, all of which are in Britain’s long-term interests, but could also give the UK safeguards on free movement, something David Cameron attempted to win during his renegotiation but failed to do.

The paper comes as Britain’s new government tries to firm up a negotiating position on Brexit, and the Prime Minister has vowed to secure a deal acceptable to the whole UK, including Scotland. The authors believe that the EEA Option would square the Brexit circle, getting us a safe and secure exit that keeps Britain united.

Co-author of the report, and Adam Smith Institute fellow, Roland Smith said:

“The EEA option starts from a very liberal, cooperative agenda that is practical and realistic, and evolves the UK away from the European Union. This first step of staying in the EEA but giving up EU membership will be part of an ongoing evolutionary process to disentangle the UK from the EU - a process that ultimately promises a reinvigoration of Britain as a global player and a re-maturing of Britain’s democracy. And all the while, maintaining the very open trade and free exchange we have with our nearest neighbours and friends.”

Sam Bowman, Executive Director of the Adam Smith Institute, said:

“Brexiteers won the referendum but now is the time for everyone to come together to get the best possible Brexit. A bespoke deal probably isn’t possible within a two-year negotiating period, and it is crucial that British firms retain access to the Single Market on the same terms that they currently do – that means keeping down regulatory barriers as well as tariff barriers, since so much of our trade involves services. The EEA Option will make Brexit safe and stable, and keep Scotland on board as the Prime Minister has promised.”

-ENDS-

Notes to editors:

For further comments or to arrange an interview, contact Flora Laven-Morris, Head of Communications, at flora@adamsmith.org | 07584 778207.

The report ‘The Case for the (Interim) EEA Option’ will be live on the Adam Smith Institute website from 00:01 20th July 2016. And can be viewed here

The Adam Smith Institute is a free market, libertarian think tank based in London. It advocates classically liberal public policies to create a richer, freer world.

New paper 'Rebooting Britain' bolstered by widespread national media coverage

Dr Madsen Pirie's latest paper, Rebooting Britain: Making the most of Brexit, was released this morning to widespread media coverage. The Telegraph ran it on the front page of their business section, the Guardian included in their front page story, and the paper also appeared in print across The Times, City AM and the Daily Mail. 

The Telegraph reported:

Politicians should use Brexit as a chance to “reboot Britain”, scrapping corporation tax and reforming swathes of government in an effort to reignite the economy, a think tank has recommended.
Madsen Pirie, president of the Adam Smith Institute, said that leaving the European Union provided “a unique chance of the sort that occurs perhaps once in a generation”.
He identified tax as one area where policy has evolved “from accidents and incidents rather than from design”  and proposed sweeping  reforms, including the elimination of corporation tax.

The Daily Mail reported:

Britain should slash corporation tax to zero to reboot the economy after Brexit, according to a think tank. Corporation tax was reduced from 28pc to 20pc by former Chancellor George Osborne who, following the referendum, said it should be cut to 15pc to boost business.
But the Adam Smith Institute is calling for it to be cut to 12.5pc, then 6.25pc, before finally being abolished. Corporation tax is paid by businesses on the profits they make but many large multinational companies are able to avoid it. Critics also argue that the tax pushes up prices and eats into wages.

The Times reported:

The government should abolish corporation tax, inheritance tax and capital gains tax, make all schools independent from the state, legalise drugs and rescind the law that protects green-belt land, a free-market think tank has suggested. 
Brexit should be seen as a chance to "reboot Britain" with a series of radical changes to government policy in an attempt to solve many of the UK's longstanding problems, a report from the Adam Smith Institute said. 

City AM reported:

A controversial free-market think tank says that Britain must slash corporation tax to zero, scrap farmers' subsidies and encourage immigration if the UK is to make a success of leaving the European Union.
A new report from the Adam Smith Institute argued that the Brexit vote is a chance to “reboot” Britain, and tackle long-standing issues. And chief among the recommendations is an end to corporation tax, currently set at 20 per cent.

The Guardian reported:

Matt Whittaker, chief economist at the Resolution Foundation, said that if the IMF forecast were right, the UK economy would be £21bn smaller than thought: “A £21bn [cut] in the … economy alone would reduce the tax take by £150m a week.”
The Adam Smith Institute said the “rebooting” of the economy after Brexit should include the scrapping of corporation tax, abolition of subsidies for farmers, and protection of Britain’s fishing waters.

REBOOTING BRITAIN: Cut corporation tax to ZERO, scrap agricultural subsidies and start fishing like Icelanders

For further comments or to arrange an interview, contact Flora Laven-Morris, Head of Communications, at flora@adamsmith.org | 07584 778207.

Brexit is a real chance to reboot Britain, says a new report released today by economic think tank the Adam Smith Institute.

The report, “Rebooting Britain: making the most of Brexit”, authored by the Institute’s President Dr Madsen Pirie, sets out an agenda through which the UK could solve many of its long-standing problems.
 
The report runs through major policy areas, from housing and pensions to drugs and unemployment, highlighting the changes that should be made in this new political climate - many of which were previously impossible due to Britain’s membership of the EU, or are now necessary to make the most of Brexit.

Among the most important recommendations is the phasing out of Corporation Tax.  "There is a false belief," says the report, "that this is paid by companies, but it is not. It is paid by the employees of companies, by their customers, and by their shareholders." The government should first cut it to 12.5% to match the rate charged by Ireland, which achieved great success at attracting investment, then to 6.25% and finally to zero. This would deliver a real boost to economic growth post-Brexit.
 
Dr Pirie argues that the UK should use its newfound freedom over immigration policy to attract more skilled and talented immigrants from across the globe, as well as those people willing to invest in creating businesses and jobs. It is also called for Britain to stop classifying foreign students in the UK as immigrants.
 
Controversially, the paper calls for a New Zealand style abolition of agricultural subsidies once Britain is out of the Common Agricultural Policy. In 1984, subsidies accounted for 34% of the total value of New Zealand’s agricultural production. These were cut to 2% within ten years, but far from suffering, Kiwi farmers responded to world markets and became among the most efficient in the world – indeed, agricultural productivity growth doubled. British farmers could do the same, says the ASI report.

Brexit also allows the UK to reassert control over its fishing waters and to ditch the flawed EU policies which currently result in thousands of tons of fish being destroyed. Britain’s fishing policy should be modeled on an Icelandic style conservation policy that sets annual quotas for each vessel, quotas which can be traded. This would give UK fishermen an incentive to conserve stocks with the same success that Iceland has seen.
 
The new report also examines such areas as housing, education, pensions, drug legalisation and employment, and suggests ways in which current policies could be rebooted with clear-sighted solutions that address the problems directly instead of tinkering at the edges. 

Dr Madsen Pirie, author of the report, said:

“There are many features of modern Britain that are simply inadequate to serve its needs today. Some have been allowed to continue with occasional tinkering at the edges when a comprehensive overhaul would be more appropriate, and some have not been tackled because of our membership of the EU and the obligation to accept its rules over our own national interest.

"The decision to leave the EU presents the opportunity to abandon the politics of drift and muddle, and to take confident steps to create the kind of country we want ourselves and our children to live in."

-ENDS-
 
Notes to editors:

For further comments or to arrange an interview, contact Flora Laven-Morris, Head of Communications, at flora@adamsmith.org | 07584 778207.

To report ‘Rebooting Britain - making the most of Brexit’’ will be live on the Adam Smith Institute website from 09:00 20th July 2016 and can be accessed ahead of time here

The Adam Smith Institute is a free market, libertarian think tank based in London. It advocates classically liberal public policies to create a richer, freer world.

Sam Bowman calls for a clear Brexit strategy on Sky News

Sam Bowman, Executive Director of the Adam Smith Institute, appeared on Sky News this morning calling for a clear Brexit plan before invoking Article 50. Promoting the benefits of the EEA option Sam noted:

"The real emergency here is to get a plan on the table...what we should be looking for is a soft transitionary period of five to ten years where we remain in the European Economic Area, in the Single Market, leave the European Union, perhaps slightly modify Freedom of Movement, and use that time to agree a truly British deal where we have as much access to the Single Market as possible but do bring in those restrictions to Freedom of Movement that people want."

ASI makes the case for the EEA option in wake of historic Brexit vote

As the conversation turns to what Brexit will look like, the Adam Smith Institute has continued to make the case for the EEA option across the national media.

The Sunday Times reported:

Many experts say that Brits already living in Europe will be able to stay under the Vienna Convention on 1969, which gives expats acquired rights. In the future expats may have to apply for a visa to live on the Continent, depending on the outcome of the exit negotiations, and this may vary from country to country.
It is nevertheless likely that the EU would offer Britain a deal to stay in the European Economic Area (EEA), according to the Adam Smith Institute. If this were the case, some say it would be business as usual for expats.  

The Sunday Telegraph reported:

Sam Bowman, executive director of the Adam Smith Institute, says it is right that Cameron waits before starting the official process of withdrawal.
“We’ve just seen one of the biggest political earthquakes in modern British history. The important thing now is to wait for things to calm down, take some time to take stock of where we are and where we want to be, and do everything we can to avoid major shocks to the economy as we leave.”

The Financial Times reported:

The rest of the EU would no doubt be satisfied with a Norway-style arrangement, but this only looks realistic as a way station while looser relations are worked out, as proposed by the Adam Smith Institute. And as an explicitly temporary solution, it is the least stabalising arrangement that might  - just might - be acceptable on both sides.

In another FT article: 

Some proponents of Brexit, such as Daniel Hannan MEP and the Adam Smith Institute, a think-tank, have advocated joining the EEA or agreeing bilateral trade deals similar to the one Switzerland has struck with the EU.

The Daily Express reported:

The think-tank's Executive Director, Sam Bowman, last night said: "This is a vote for Britain to open up to the world. "However it is clear that markets have taken a severe hit, much of which is down to uncertainty about what will happen next.

"It is crucial that the UK does not leave the Single Market even as it leaves the EU, in order to reassure markets and avoid a major economic shock. This option will take the economic risk out of leaving and avoid most of the economic losses that Remainers warned leaving would entail. Staying in the Single Market for a period of five to ten years would give the UK the time it needs to properly disengage from Europe as a process, not a one-off event."

I News reported:

It is very likely that we will follow a very pragmatic of 'liberal leave' process, and so we should. This takes Brexit as a multistage process that firstly sees Britain exit EU membership while maintaining Single Market participation. Such a halfway house would put us in the European Economic Area (EEA), like Iceland or Norway. That lessens the economic risk of exit yet also repatriated big powers over agriculture, fisheries and VAT, whilst at the same time giving the British government the leverage to pull an emergency break over free movement. - Roland Smith

City AM reported: 

As plans are set in motion for the UK's break from the EU, the "safest way out" is to become a member of the European Economic Area (EEA), a free market think tank has said as a British trade deal could take years.
The Adam Smith Institute (ASI) has said that a sharp break from the EU would be "very bad for British exporters, and really would threaten jobs", adding that a unique trade deal with the UK "will take many years" to agree upon.
The think tank says that the UK should follow the example of countries like Iceland and Norway which are part of the EEA, allowing Britain to trade with the EU as normal and continue to have freedom of movement for the next five years before a British deal can be arranged.

The Daily Telegraph reported:

Sam Bowman, executive director of the Adam Smith Institute, said he was “confident” that the EEA option would be on the table. “As long as all we’re asking for is the same deal that other countries have, the EU would find it very difficult to say no, because that would be clear and egregious punishment for leaving,” he said.
EEA membership would allow the City of London to keep precious “passporting rights” that mean firms can do cross-border business in any part of the bloc. “Passporting is important if we want the City to be a base for international financial institutions,” said Mr Bowman. “It’s for this reason that all the warnings we have heard from banks that they may need to leave the City are contingent on the UK leaving the single market – if we stay, little will change.”

The Daily Telegraph also quoted Sam Bowman in their latest article: "After Brexit, only one thing can keep Britain together: the Norway model". 

An op-ed from Roland Smith in The Daily Telegraph noted:

That journey will very likely involve a first step to an European Economic Area-type position. It won’t be like Norway as there will be no Schengen involvement and of course our geographic borders are more robust.

That EEA position will come with a much-needed emergency brake on the four freedoms – one that can be pulled unilaterally and thus which essentially repatriates to Britain some greater semblance of migration control. There are also other mechanisms putting some democratic control over free movement that already have some precedent in the EEA today.

The UK has voted to Leave the EU, but we must not leave the Single Market

Sam Bowman, Executive Director of the Adam Smith Institute, said:

“This is a vote for Britain to open up to the world: to strike free trade agreements with Asia’s growing economies, forge deeper links with the other Anglosphere countries, and make Britain’s economy as competitive as possible.
“However it is clear that markets have taken a severe hit, much of which is down to uncertainty about what will happen next. It is crucial that the UK does not leave the Single Market even as it leaves the EU, in order to reassure markets and avoid a major economic shock.
“This ‘EEA Option’ will take the economic risk out of leaving and avoid most of the economic losses that Remainers warned leaving would entail. Staying in the Single Market for a period of five to ten years would give the UK the time it needs to properly disengage from Europe as a process, not a one-off event. It is also important that the government does not trigger Article 50 immediately – we need as much time as we can get to negotiate Britain’s exit.
“Of all the arguments for Leaving, the one unifying feature is a desire for sovereignty and UK having control over our own policies. Though immigration did motivate people it was as much the sense of having ‘no control’ as it was about there being too many people. It would be a mistake to assume that this is a strictly anti-immigrant vote.”

For further comments or to arrange an interview, contact Flora Laven-Morris, Head of Communications, at flora@adamsmith.org | 07584 778207.

Roland Smith's EEA option receives further attention in The Daily Telegraph

With the polls as close as they are ahead of Thursday's vote, media attention has increasingly been turning to what Brexit would actually look like. Roland Smith's brilliant EEA option has been receiving ample attention, as has our YouGov poll. The Daily Telegraph reported:

Roland Smith, an Adam Smith Institute fellow, and a proponent of a staged exit from the EU, says a move back into EFTA and the EEA would result in powers over agriculture, fishing, justice, security, and others being returned to the UK.
These alone will “be enough to be getting on with, bearing in mind that we have spent 43 years outsourcing all our capacity in these areas”, Smith says. “Actually getting experts in these areas now will be a real issue”.
Britain’s capacity for negotiating international trade deals has become severely atrophied, since for decades Brussels has done them on its behalf, and recruiting and training new negotiators would become a priority.
A clean break, which would see the UK suddenly regaining every one of its powers from the EU, would overwhelm Whitehall, Smith suggests. The issues the UK would have to deal with by stepping back into EFTA and the EEA would be “more than enough to chew on for a while”.
A large proportion of support for withdrawal is motivated by opposition to EU migration. An immediate solution that did not address those concerns could face backlash. However, polling by the Adam Smith Institute and YouGov suggests that Britons overall are willing to accept the compromise, if it was only a temporary move.

Read the full Daily Telegraph article here