Tel. +44 (0)20 7287 4414
Email. info@brugesgroup.com
Tel. +44 (0)20 7287 4414
Email. info@brugesgroup.com
The Bruges Group spearheaded the intellectual battle to win a vote to leave the European Union and, above all, against the emergence of a centralised EU state.
The Bruges Group spearheaded the intellectual battle to win a vote to leave the European Union and, above all, against the emergence of a centralised EU state.
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Bruges Group Blog

Spearheading the intellectual battle against the EU. And for new thinking in international affairs.

Brexit Party MEP: 'Boris' Deal is NOT Brexit'

Boris-and-Ben-Habib
This article was initially published on BrexitCentral  ​ https://brexitcentral.com/why-the-brexit-party-maintains-that-boris-johnsons-deal-is-not-brexit/   ​by Brexit Party MEP, Ben Habib  Ben Habib believes there is an "understandable desire amongst many Brexiteers to accept Boris Johnson's deal". Everyone is battle weary, but it is...
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Flawed Outcome is a Tolerable Price to Pay for Our Freedom

Boris-thumbs-up
Initially published in The Daily Telegraph by Martin Howe QC, Chairman of Lawyers for Britain https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/10/18/flawed-outcome-tolerable-price-pay-freedom/   F irst, the positives. Boris Johnson's deal is miles better than Theresa May's ghastly capitulation. The Northern Ireland backstop protocol in the Withdrawal...
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Guilt, Identity and Blame

Blair
The strength of democracy is that no one ideology will ever triumph over the others. Its weakness is that they all retain that ambition Britain seems to have gone insane, or at least (anti-)social media has. Politics dominates, but not rational political discussion. Legitimate news media has been swept aside by online propaganda rags describing the...
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Magic and Tricks

Farage-BXP
Boris Johnson has really taken us on a ride here. The trick, ladies and gentlemen, was to make us believe that he intended to take us out of the European Union with or without a deal, even with the Benn Act and all will be revealed in time and it was. There was no way he could avoid the Benn Act so didn't just send one letter to the European Union ...
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The Loopholes of the Surrender Act

Boris-Surrender-Bill
​As I assume you know, the Benn Act, or more commonly known as the Surrender Act, isn't the most well thought out piece of legislation, as lined out by Chair of Lawyers for Britain Martin Howe QC at The Bruges Group 'Moment of Truth' event in Manchester during Conservative Party conference. This article will outline the loopholes that Boris Johnson...
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Statement from Barry Legg, Chairman of The Bruges Group on the Withdrawal Agreement

mayandboris
The Bruges Group is opposed to the acceptance by Parliament of the Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration which has been released today. The Bruges Group has always put the highest priority in maintaining the integrity of the United Kingdom. This agreement provides for a different status for Northern Ireland and therefore has the potential ...
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Time to Flip the Script for Brexit Negotiations

We-Voted-Leave-1
The reaction of the European Union negotiators and heads of state to Prime Minister Johnson's recent slate of proposals for eliminating the Irish backstop has exposed a fundamental truth about the Brexit negotiation process. So long as the EU must consent to British proposals for leaving under Article 50 of the Treaty of the European Union, the EU ...
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The Summary of a Judicial Crisis

Supreme-Court
​ On 28 August Gina Miller applied for judicial review of the decision to prorogue Parliament , seeking a declaration of the court that the Prime Minister's decision to tender this advice was unlawful. On 6 September, the High Court of England and Wales granted Ms Miller permission to bring the application but then unanimously dismissed the claim. ...
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Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Boris-and-Farage
There is probably no greater struggle in life than the one with oneself. The European Union has always been a contentious issue in this country this is why David Cameron decided to call a referendum. The so-called Remainers believed wholeheartedly that they could win it and lay to rest once and for all oppositions to the UK's EU membership, but it ...
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'Why we Support Brexit': Robert and Sally Wright

1568699240263_237 Sally Wright, Robert Wright and I with Charles Moore at the Institute of Directors earlier this year
After previously speaking to Brexit supporting student Alice Grant and then royal superfan and former Labour Party member Joseph Afrane, this episode I spoke to the organisers of the 'We Voted Leave' group, Robert and Sally Wright. Robert and Sally coordinate the Leave protesters, who represent the 17.4m Leave voters, around College Green and Parli...
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Project Fatigue

Boris-fatigue
Project Fear 3.0 has been in full swing since the summer as we approach 31 st October 2019, the third date for leaving the EU. The unfortunate citizens of the UK who wish to leave the European Union have been fed wall-to-wall saturation coverage of how terrible Brexit will be. TV stations, newspapers, magazines and social media advertisements conti...
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In War, Truth is the First Casualty

Jo-Swinson-Stop-Brexit
Make no mistake about it, we are at war, and it is one of the dirtiest wars yet fought, in which the truth has been hijacked by the 'Remainers' and twisted to suit their personal agenda. Look at what has happened over the last three years, and especially over the last three months: those who never wanted to leave have stepped up their campaign of l...
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Brexit - the moment of truth

Leaving the EU Brexit Hub Monday, 30th September 2019 1pm until 2.30pm With the speakers; Rt Hon Sir John Redwood MP Former Secretary of State and serving Privy Counsellor Rt Hon. Arlene Foster, MLA Leader of the Democratic Unionist Party Rt Hon. Mark Francois MP European Research Group & Martin Howe QC Lawyers for Britain AGENDA Speeches and p...
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Recent Comments
Suzanne Bhayro
Excellent, but sadly not convenient for travel. Will you be holding further meetings in other parts of the country? I live in Devo... Read More
Thursday, 29 August 2019 15:50
Robert Oulds
Certainly, most of our meetings are usually in London. Thanks for your kind words and support, these are very much appreciated.... Read More
Thursday, 29 August 2019 16:29
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The Benefits of Leaving the EU

Brexit-Boris
We often hear much wailing and doom and gloom from those who, for various personal and mostly self indulgent financial reasons, why we should remain in the EU. These people, who many have big fat EU pensions or receive grants and other hand outs from the EU seem to care little for the democratic will of the British people who, by a majority of 1.4 ...
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Interview with Alice Grant: 'Why People Support Brexit Series'

Alice-Grant
​ Over the past three or so years, us Brexiteers have been labelled with all sorts of  names such as fascists and racists, among others. There is an ever-growing perception that  we are all over 80, own grand estates and are on the far-right wing of the political spectrum; let me tell you we are not! I have spoken to people from all backg...
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The Brexit Speeches

Brexit-Speeches
  The following article and above PDF are speeches by Richard Tice MEP for the Brexit Party and also property businessman; Swedish-British billionaire businessman Johan Eliasch who is CEO of sportswear giant Head; Sir John Nott the former Secretary of State for Trade and Industry then Defence under Margaret Thatcher; Peter Lilley the former Se...
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Now's the Time for a Special Relationship More Than Ever

Screenshot_20190723-110649_Google
Today we'll know who our next Prime Minister will be, and Wednesday will see the Maybot's last PMQT before she heads off to formally resign to the Queen at Buckingham Palace on the afternoon. No matter who our next PM will be, either Boris Johnson or Jeremy Hunt, we need to rebuild that special relationship with our closest ally, America.  We'...
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An Existential Crisis: We Are Threatened by a Parliamentary Coup

Parliament
 Sir Austen Chamberlain, speaking about Germany's violation of the Treaty of Locarno, remarked: "It is not so long ago that a member of the Diplomatic Body in London, who had spent some years of his service in China, told me that there was a Chinese curse which took the form of saying, 'May you live in interesting times.' There is no doubt tha...
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You Can't Have Your Cake and Eat It

Brexit-cake
Having one's cake, eating it - demanding more, and eating that, has long been a feature of the EU Brexit negotiating team. A recent example of their hypocrisy is to be found in the wave of faux outrage over Boris Johnson's threat that if he became PM, he would refuse to pay the £39 billion that Brussels is demanding from us. In terms of the race fo...
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Now Finish The Job

Finish-the-Job
The latest attempt by would-be Brexit wreckers was defeated in Parliament last week. But the job is not yet done. They will try again. We have to keep the pressure on untrustworthy Westminster politicians of whatever party. On 12 June the Labour Party led an attempt to tie the next prime minister's hands by ruling out no deal on leaving the EU. It ...
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The EU, Workers' Rights and the Good Old Trade Unions

Len-McCluskey
It's become a mantra, endlessly repeated by remainer unions: "Workers must not pay the price of Brexit." What price would that be? And how about acknowledging the price of staying in the EU? On 6 July 2017 Michel Barnier, the EU Brexit negotiator, addressed the EU's Economic and Social Committee. His words were noted and passed on to unions in Brit...
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How Maggie Was Right About The EU Decades Ago

Margaret-Thatcher-on-EU
As the Conservatives elect their replacement for Theresa May over the summer, it's worth looking back to see how crucial it is for a leader that is in line with grassroots views, and currently Euroscepticism is the overwhelming grassroots position among members. Ever since the Maastricht Treaty was signed in 1992 there has been a battle for a refer...
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There is no Such Thing as No Deal

Screenshot_20190605-183819_Google
The withdrawal agreement is not only unjustified but also not required. In the event of the UK's departure from the EU without a withdrawal agreement the EU itself has put in place measures to keep trade open. These range from agreeing to equivalence in financial services, access for hauliers, the continuation of flights, and the transport conventi...
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We Can Work It Out

Screenshot_20190530-104240_Google
  "Life is very short, and there's no time, for fussing and fighting, my friend." (John Lennon and Paul McCartney – 1965 "We Can Work It Out") We had one deadline - 29th March – for leaving the EU, which was inexplicably lost in the mists of political time. (Political time is like real time, but without reality, adherence to deadlines, or...
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Why Sovereignty Matters

Screenshot_20190530-101140_Google
  The evolution of sovereign states around the world has been an uneven process. Some were founded on shared nationhood, language and culture. Some on lines drawn by colonial rulers. Others out of the chaos of war. But sovereign states have this in common: they are all that now stands between the peoples of the world and utter domination by th...
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Just Leave!

Screenshot_20190530-094840_Google
  Through the treachery of the government and MPs, Britain is in political and economic limbo. Instead of being free to taking back control, they have handed the future of the country over to the EU… Delay, and more delay. Britain is now going to be denied independence for up to 6 months longer, a total of three-and-a-half years after voting f...
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Tell Us What Do You Want!

Screenshot_20190529-182452_Google
​ I have become increasingly annoyed over the last year by those people who decry the desirability of leaving the EU on WTO terms – commonly referred to as 'no deal'. As I have pointed out on a number of occasions (Swift, 2018a, 2018b, 2019a, 2019b, 2019c), an exit without an agreement would give us numerous advantages when dealing with the EU, in ...
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John Poynton
You may be interested in my latest futile attempt at getting the editor of the Sunday Telegraph to publish a letter! Here is what ... Read More
Tuesday, 02 July 2019 17:27
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‘No deal’ is our only remaining negotiating weapon; don’t decommission it.

Approaching the Wire at the Eleventh Hour I have written about Brexit for a number of months now and basically my message has been the same: keep our collective nerve and hold out for a good deal. By a 'good deal' I mean one that allows us free trade with the EU – nothing more. No shady 'backstops', no mealy-mouthed words that allow the 'reject pol...
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Two-Stage Withdrawal

DashedIrishBorderQuestion
Disaster is just around the corner. Payroll problems will prevent us receiving our salaries, banking systems will fail leading to a meltdown in financial markets, hospitals services will collapse and aircraft will fall out of the sky. Because of a no-deal Brexit? No.This was the original Project Fear, in the late nineties, as the world woke up...
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THE ECONOMIC IMPERATIVE FOR A NO-DEAL BREXIT

Any sort of trade deal with the EU is bound to result in economic meltdown. Here's how and why.   Author: John Poynton This graph shows our Balance of Payments Current Account – in effect our national profit and loss account, comprising mainly but not exclusively of trade – split into two separate components; our trade with the EU (the red lin...
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John Poynton
Trying to get this fixed. Will also post the original leaflet on my own blog later today.
Friday, 23 November 2018 12:54
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Statement by Barry Legg - Chairman of the Bruges Group

 Contact your Member of Parliament Theresa May has decided to pursue a policy of Brexit in name only (BRINO). This arrangement will be worse than our current membership of the European Union as we will then be a vassal state. If this policy is implemented the electoral consequences for the Conservative Party will be dire. I urge all members of...
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India - a 400 Year Business and Strategic Relationship

flag_of_india
I wish to write of India and of the opportunity between the UK and India, the changing relationship between HMG and UK Business that will enable it and of changing strategies within HMG that will advantage the UK in its trading and strategic relationship with India on EU Exit. A company can be defined as the sum of the individuals within it. My aim...
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Brexit Compared: Estonia regains independence and USSR falls

Brexit Compared: Estonia regains independence and USSR falls
Tuesday 20th March 2018, from 1pm - 3pm How the Brexit negotiations should be handled. The man who delivered the Estonian Unilateral Declaration of Independence in 1991 to Mikhail Gorbachev, the Head of the Soviet Union, advises the UK on Brexit.  Location: Committee Room 20 The House of Commons Westminster London SW1A 0AA (via the Cromwell En...
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The Art of the Possible

​ By Marcus Watney For the past four years and four hundred miles away, an unequal confrontation has been taking place between a tiny country swamped by uncontrolled immigration and the mighty unresponsive EU. Switzerland's population is just 8.5 million, an eighth that of the United Kingdom, of which about two million are foreigners. Of those, 1.4...
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Open letter to the British government: Keep calm and walk away from Brexit negotiations

​ Dear members of Her Majesty's Government, In your efforts to ensure the UK's smooth transition away from EU membership, you have met more than one stumbling block. It's still unclear whether the European Court of Justice will maintain jurisdiction in Britain. The amount of money on offer to the EU to "settle your accounts" has only increased, and...
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Robert Oulds
Thanks for your comment, it is alarming. I think that we have people who are ultimately in charge of the process that do not belie... Read More
Monday, 11 December 2017 09:06
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Signalling a post-Brexit industrial strategy

Supporting Bombardier - Putting employment in Britain at the heart of economic policy.

Robert Oulds

25th September 2017

We are determined that Brexit, if when it eventually happens in earnest, delivers the change we need. One of these new approaches can be in defending British industry, along with its jobs and innovation from unfair actions. But why wait for Brexit? It can begin now!

 

Bombardier, a major employer in Britain, a new entrant in the plane market, is being threatened by a trade complaint brought by Boeing designed to keep it out of the US market.[i] Theresa May’s government must show that a post-Brexit Britain will use its new-found independence to stand up for UK jobs. A policy area where we would not have to live with pan-EU rules any more. British taxpayers give Boeing hundreds of millions of pounds in defence deals, while at the same time they’re trying to close British factories. That’s not the action of a trusted partner for this country.


 

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Financial Services and Brexit

​Project Fear scaremongered more about financial services than anything else during the EU referendum campaign and this scaremongering has unfortunately continued after the Brexit vote. Remoaners and soft Brexiteers (those who want us to remain members of the European single market after Brexit) now tell us that the reason why there was not an imme...
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The Shape of Gibraltar in the aftermath of Brexit

A Brexit-driven reconfiguration of the UK’s food and agricultural sector suggests that a period of significant transformation lies ahead; but if mapped successfully, can be a positive one.

George Macquisten

31st August 2017

Every civilization that has settled in Gibraltar has thrived, be it the Phoenicians, the Romans, the Ottomans, the Spanish and most recently, the British. Its strategic location and deep water harbour have been the reasons behind this, and enabled them to make it a vital trading hub.

Brexit represents a huge challenge to the future of Gibraltar as an economic centre, since it means losing membership of the biggest trading bloc in the world once the UK leaves in 2019. Gibraltar has experienced similar issues before in the various sieges mounted against it in the War of the Spanish Succession, and most recently during Franco’s blockade. There is certainly plenty to be cautious about, since the territory has become more dependent than ever on the land frontier remaining open to facilitate the movement of tourists, labour and imports.

However, the thriving financial services sector, which is closely aligned with that of the UK, means that the economic outlook is not as bleak as businesses and politicians initially feared, especially since the TiSA negotiations are proceeding well. The symbolic relationship Gibraltar shares with the neighbouring Spanish province of Andalucia means that they cannot function without the other.

Sense between the negotiating parties will prevail, especially since Madrid will not wish to sacrifice the economic well being of 10,000 Spaniards and forego the purchasing power of 30,000 comparatively wealthy Gibraltarians through causing difficulties at the border. If all sides can tone down the sometimes fiery rhetoric, there is every hope for creative solutions to keep the border with Spain open and flowing to the benefit of all.

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The Will to Act

In the referendum on 23 June 2016 the majority of British people voted Leave. In doing so, they placed the cornerstone of a new future for the U.K. beyond the E.U. Some politicians, mainstream media and many pollsters failed to remember how the will to act had built the British Empire, Commonwealth and NATO. The will to act against questionable ves...
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The Future is Another Country: Brexit, CAP and the Future of British Agriculture

A Brexit-driven reconfiguration of the UK’s food and agricultural sector suggests that a period of significant transformation lies ahead; but if mapped successfully, can be a positive one.

Richard Ferguson

21st June 2017

The possibility of a Brexit-driven reconfiguration of the UK’s food and agricultural sector suggests that a period of significant transformation and structural adjustment lies ahead. Set against an industry already in the midst of rapid technological displacement, value-chain disruption and regulatory change, a transformative event such as Brexit appears to add to existing uncertainty.


However, while the potential institutional, financial and operating frameworks that will arise from Brexit suggest a wide range of possible outcomes, the process, if mapped successfully, can be a positive one. The UK’s current position is not unique. In the 1980s, the government of New Zealand instigated a reform programme to transform the country’s food and agriculture sector, the results of which were immediate and painful as well as long-term and beneficial.


At the core of the transformation that shook New Zealand’s agriculture sector in the 1980s and 1990s was a pressing need to access new markets in the face of external economic shocks and structural adjustments, such as the UK’s decision to join the then European Economic Community (EEC) in 1973. While there are obvious direct parallels between the New Zealand case study and Brexit, both situations remain distinct and unique. The first section of this report “The past is another country” considers the New Zealand experience and argues that an agenda focused on long-term goals can deliver significant economic and social benefits, but may come with considerable short-term costs. The battle about to commence is set to be as brutal, complex and ideological as that which determined the direction of the British economy in the late-1970s and early 1980s.

 

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Norwegians reject the 'Norway option'

More Norwegians want to see a bilateral comprehensive free trade agreement with the EU replacing Norway's membership of the European Economic Area (EEA) than those who want to hold onto the country's EEA membership according to a new opinion poll. The poll was produced last week by the polling company Sentio for the Norwegian organisation Nei til E...
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Will the Netherlands be the next domino to fall?

Opinion poll shows Dutch opposition to the EU is strong and can win.

56% = Support Nexit (EFTA + FTA)

Only 44% = Support for EU

26th February 2017
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A new Dutch poll commissioned by the Bruges Group, carried out by www.peil.nl, shows that more Dutch people prefer the alternatives to the European Union than they do EU membership. As the alternatives are already gathering more support than EU membership a concerted campaign in the Netherlands, which could force a referendum[1], will mean Holland voting to leave the EU.

 

The Dutch general election will take place on 15th March and the question of the EU is becoming increasingly important. The Netherlands’ terms of EU membership are already being questioned by an increasing amount of political parties; namely the Centre Democrats (Netherlands)‎, ChristianUnion, Party for Freedom‎, Party for the Animals, Libertarian party, Reformed Political Party, and Socialist Party (Netherlands). Which can make gains. The issues are immigration, who makes law, and size of the Dutch financial contribution.

 

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Opinion Poll: There is an alternative to EU Membership

EU referendum Opinion Poll

Robert Oulds
29th March 2016

58% said they would prefer Britain being a part of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) rather than the EU, 42%

A majority of voters would prefer the UK to be a member of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) as opposed to the EU, according to a new survey published today by the Bruges Group.

Removing don’t knows, of those expressing a preference in the survey, a clear 58% said that Britain would be better off as a member of the trade group EFTA, as opposed to 42% who thought that Britain should remain a member of the EU.


EFTA differs from the EU in that it would not have jurisdiction over the UK’s agriculture, fisheries, home affairs or justice policies. It takes Britain out of the Europe Union whilst still giving UK businesses full access to the EU’s Single Market. EFTA membership would also allow the UK to negotiate free trade agreements with countries outside of the EU.
In addition, Britain would become again a sovereign nation with more power over its domestic affairs. This is the positive alternative to EU control.

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Britain's Global Leadership

The positive future for a UK outside the EU

Ewen Stewart
19th June 2015

To purchase a copy please visit:
www.brugesgroup.com/shop

The Bruges Group firmly believes that we need to reframe the debate to focus on the positives that Britain poses, in particular our excellent global links, higher education, to the City of London and technical brilliance in manufacturing. The UK, when freed from the restraints of the EU, has numerous attributes. Quite simply we do not have to be governed by Brussels to secure our prosperity, in fact far from it. As things stand Britain, being subsumed within the EU, is punching below its weight. We want this country’s potential to be fulfilled. Establishing the confidence that we need will be an important part of this. This booklet makes this positive case. Members of the Bruges Group will receive this research for free.

• Inside the EU we are punching below our weight and should do better. Self-belief coupled with a hard analysis of the nexus of power and strategic advantage will lead to this being addressed but that can only be so once we are outside of the EU.

• The Eurocentric orientation of the UK is misplaced. Emerging markets, by 2018 are expected to account for 45% of world GDP and the European Union’s share will have declined from 34.1% to 20.2%, with the Eurozone representing an even smaller 14.6%. China’s share is predicted to surpass the entire Eurozone by 2018.

• Nations that can address this extraordinary shift in global growth will capitalise most effectively on these new trade flows. The attractive European trade bloc, of the 1970’s does not look so attractive in this light, given the Eurozone’s inexorable decline of the share of global GDP. The UK is uniquely well placed to exploit these shifting trading patterns given its global links and its service and financial sector bias.

• Britain is uniquely positioned globally in terms of economic, cultural and soft and hard power assets. The UK is home to the world’s global language, the world’s most global city and many of the most notable global universities and research institutes. British legal ideas and the common law approach is admired the world over. It is the basis of our stability. These advantages would continue irrespective of our membership of the EU.

• British manufacturing remains comfortably within the top ten, in terms of output, globally. The UK is now a net exporter of motor cars with four out of every five cars produced in Britain exported. Britain is the world’s second most significant aerospace manufacturer, possesses two out of the top ten global pharmaceutical companies while also having strong positions in marine, defence systems, food, beverage and tobacco manufacture, off-shore engineering and high-end engineering and electronics. British design, be it in fashion or sports cars, continues to be world beating.

• Britain’s manufacturing base has shrunk, in common with most other developed economies, as the Far East has undercut on price. However the UK retains a key skills base and has developed a high-end, high-margin capability. Membership of the EU, with its cost pressures has almost certainly done more harm than good to this capability. Industry has little to fear from withdrawal.

• The UK is a world leader in sport, media and culture. Higher education is also a great strength with British universities ranked amongst the best in the world. This coupled with the growing strength of the English language and our traditional excellent global links gives the UK real influence in world affairs. This will not change once we are outside the EU.

• While the US is the pre-eminent power accounting for 39% of all global defence expenditure and an even greater technological lead the UK’s defence expenditure remains in the global top 4. Technologically too Britain’s forces, while numerically modest, are highly advanced. Technology generally trumps numbers. The UK is perhaps one of only 5 or 6 nations that can still project power across the globe.

• As the world’s 5th largest economy Britain will not be isolated by leaving the EU. On the contrary British power would, in some cases, be enhanced. For example we would swap our 12% EU voting weight at the World Trade Organisation for a 100% British vote.

• The UK is currently estimated to be a member of 96 different international governmental organisations so the loss of one such organisation, albeit a very important one, is unlikely to be damaging.

Video - should we be pessimists or optimists?

The Author

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