The Case for the (Interim) EEA Option

Joining the European Economic Area (EEA) is one option for the UK outside the EU. There are pros and cons to this version of Leave, on which people will have different views. What is undoubtedly true is that, whatever its pros or cons, it is a version of Leave. It is an alternative to the EU. It is not a version of Remaining within the EU. EEA members like Norway are not members of the EU.

Read the whole paper here.

Rebooting Britain: Making the most of Brexit

The referendum decision to leave the EU has proved a real chance for Britain to renew itself, to regain its confidence in itself, and to take decisions that have been put off for too long. There are many features of modern Britain that are simply inadequate to serve its needs today. Some have not been tackled for a lack of political will, and the fear of confronting established interests that act against the national good. Some have been allowed to continue with occasional tinkering at the edges, when a comprehensive overhaul would be more appropriate. Some have not been tackled because our membership of the EU and the obligation to accept its rules has prevented us from doing what is necessary in the national interest.

It is as if the nation has been on automatic drift, plodding on with no clear sense of direction and purpose. A patchwork quilt of policies has evolved from a series of historical events, with no-one taking a clear look at where the nation should be heading if it is to serve the needs of its people in a changing world. The nation has fallen into managerialism as its governing ethos, with the view that the purpose of politics should be to manage things as they are, perhaps more efficiently, perhaps more competently, than the party in opposition might achieve, but without looking at the underlying philosophy that should underpin what we are trying to do.

Institutions and practices are allowed to continue simply because noone seems ready to challenge them and to change them. When they fail to deliver adequate outcomes, temporary patches are applied when the real answer would be to change the system that engendered those failings.

Brexit provides a pretext and an opportunity now to do things differently, for the nation to reboot itself and bring its policies, practices and its performance up to speed, and in ways that transcend the merely adequate and promise instead the achievements that a modern nation such as ours should be able to deliver. Britain has problems, it is true, but they can all be solved by creative energy and skilful resourcefulness. All it needs is the will to do things differently, acting across every area of public policy.

Read the whole paper here.

Evolution not revolution: the case for the EEA option

Evolution not revolution: the case for the EEA option

Britain needs to leave the European Union, which over 43 years of membership has proven to be sclerotic, anti-democratic and immune to reform.  It is a political relic of a post-war order that no longer exists.The best exit route is for the UK to step back to a position in the European Economic Area (‘EEA’) and the European Free Trade Association (‘EFTA’), thereby wholly maintaining the open trading arrangements of the single market and related economic integration. 

Read the paper online here.

Download the paper here.

UK PLC: Britain's debt time bomb

UK PLC: Britain's debt time bomb

Nigel Hawkins, in his new ASI paper, reviews the big numbers in the Whole Government Accounts, and finds that Britain's government liabilities go far beyond the national debt. In order to ensure stability in security in public finances into the future, he argues that the government must cut back further, as well as selling off some of the assets mentioned in his previous paper Cash in the Attic.

Read the paper here.

Migration and development

Fredrik Segerfeldt argues that migration benefits not only migrants from developing countries but also the family and friends that they leave behind. The idea of 'brain drain,' that the outward flow of the best and brightest inhabitants of a developing country adversely affects that country's prospects, is not borne out in the empirical data, while remittances are shown to significantly ameliorate poverty. 

Read the report.