Financial Times questions: Europe

Head of Economic Research Ryan Bourne took part in a Financial Times series of questions on the global economy in 2013. Here are his thoughts on Question 6, Europe:

To view the other answers give, visit the Financial Times website.

As far as the economics are concerned, how much should people worry that Britain might leave the European Union in the years ahead?

The scaremongering on Britain’s potential exit from the EU is all too familiar to observers of the euro debate in the 1990s. Given the UK’s large trade deficit with other EU countries, and its large net contribution to the EU budget, it would be an extraordinarily self-defeating decision by the EU not to continue to accommodate Britain in a free-trade relationship. Furthermore, research from NIESR has suggested there would be little effect on unemployment of an exit, whilst Britain would of course be free to makes its own trade arrangements with the fast developing nations of the world. Though the single market brings some economic benefits, the overall net effect of leaving on the economy is likely to be small (politics aside).

To view the other answers give, visit the Financial Times website.

Date added: Wednesday 2nd January 2013

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