Much has been made of the manner in which as we leave the European Union we'll leave behind all those lovely things the EU does for us. Something that's true, obviously, but we'd also like to know whether this is important.
For example, there are various EU funds which invest in varied things and we'll not be able to tap those funds:
Draper Esprit has backed two venture capital firms that missed out on EU funding after the UK issued its formal notification to leave the bloc, as part of a new strategy of investing in funds as well as companies. Draper, a publicly listed venture capital firm, has committed money to Seedcamp and Episode1, seed funds that back early-stage start-ups. They are the first of 20 investors to which Draper plans to commit $100m over the next five years. The move is a sign that UK investors are attempting to fill the large hole left by a pause in funding from the European Investment Fund following the UK’s Article 50 notification in March.
We think that's rather interesting. The EU isn't providing the funds but private capital is. That would mean that the EU provision in the first place was simple crowding out. That is, if government doing something stops the private sector doing it, there is no argument in favour of the government doing it in the first place. In the absence of that intervention it would still get done.
Precisely that - this applies to only this instance of course but it would be interesting to see how far this is true of other matters - the private sector manages this unadorned means that not having the EU doing it is trivially unimportant. And all of that before we point out that the UK has long been a net contributor, meaning that even if the intervention were necessary it would be more efficient for the UK to do it itself, rather than paying into a common pot and getting less than 100% of contributions back.