'Brexit' Is a Losing Game

The U.K. would be less prosperous, less influential, and less secure if it left the European Union.

Less prosperous because it is unclear that the U.K. would retain full access to the EU Single Market of 500 million consumers.

Even if it did, it could no longer directly influence Single Market rules. Either way, the U.K. would become a less attractive location for investment and job creation.

Brexit would give investors a big reason to hesitate before investing in the U.K.

Less influential because in negotiating with other non-EU states (like the U.S.), the U.K. would lose the political and economic leverage that comes with membership in a 28-state, 500-million-person union. This would directly and negatively influence the kind of economic and political deals it would get.

Who do you think the U.S. president would want on the other end of the phone? The leader of a state with 64 million citizens or the leader of a union with half a billion?

Outside the EU, the U.K. would have to get used to Air Force One flights bypassing London for Berlin and Paris.

Obviously, the U.K. would have less influence within the EU, since it wouldn t be in it anymore.

As a next-best option, it might well end up in a Norway-style fax union compelled to wait by the fax to read rules dictated by others (and to contribute financially) as the price for U.K. access to European markets.

Less secure internally and externally because the U.K. would lose its current level of access to military and internal affairs cooperation.

Moreover, the U.K. would be dealing with a Europe which it would have weakened and damaged by its leaving.

Brexit is a losing game. The U.K.

should stay in the EU.

Gavin Barrett is a professor of European constitutional and economic law at University College Dublin s Sutherland School of Law.

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