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.

The UK’s liabilities to the financial mechanisms of the European Union

The UK’s potential exposure to the EU is over £80 billion.

Bob Lyddon
16th June 2016

Independent research, commissioned by the Bruges Group from acknowledged expert in this field Bob Lyddon, shows that the true extent of the UK’s potential exposure to the European Investment Bank (EIB), European Central Bank (ECB) and EFSM (European Financial Stabilisation Mechanism) is over £80 billion. If the crisis in the Eurozone continues this already high figure could increase massively.

The UK carries huge financial liabilities as an EU Member State, liabilities that could translate into calls for cash far higher than our annual Member cash contribution. These are created through various funds and facilities of the EU itself, and through shareholdings in the European Investment Bank and the European Central Bank. Each of these bodies engages in financial dealings on a large scale, with the Member States acting as guarantors for sums borrowed. The main recipients of funds are the Eurozone periphery states: Italy, Spain, Greece, Portugal and Ireland.

The UK, being one of the largest and most creditworthy of the Member States, is looked at as one of the guarantors most able to stump up extra cash as and when demanded, demanded, that is, by a Qualified Majority of Member States with no unilateral right of refusal. Such calls can be expected if another crisis blows up in the Eurozone.

The UK’s leaving the EU would relieve us of these considerable risks and liabilities. This independent research shows that Britain should leave the European Union.

Jim Mellon, billionaire investor and well known specialist in sovereign risk, described this research as,
“An excellent, incisive and important work. The European Union is a millstone and we have a once in a life time opportunity to be free of it.”

Losses would be claimed by the EU institutions and added to the UK PSBR and therefore to the national debt, except that our current paid-in capital in EIB (€3.5 bn) and the ECB (€0.1 bn) have already been paid in and are already part of the UK's national debt.

Event UK cost in £ Cost per household
UK loses its capital in the European Investment
Bank and the ECB
32,560,000,000 £1,185
Loses through the European Financial
Stabilisation Mechanism
48,000,000,000 £1,747
TOTAL 80,560,000,000 £2,932

Number of UK households = 27,468,000

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The UK’s liabilities to the financial mechanisms of the European Union

The UK’s potential exposure to the EU is over £80 billion.

Bob Lyddon
16th June 2016

Independent research, commissioned by the Bruges Group from acknowledged expert in this field Bob Lyddon, shows that the true extent of the UK’s potential exposure to the European Investment Bank (EIB), European Central Bank (ECB) and EFSM (European Financial Stabilisation Mechanism) is over £80 billion. If the crisis in the Eurozone continues this already high figure could increase massively.

The UK carries huge financial liabilities as an EU Member State, liabilities that could translate into calls for cash far higher than our annual Member cash contribution. These are created through various funds and facilities of the EU itself, and through shareholdings in the European Investment Bank and the European Central Bank. Each of these bodies engages in financial dealings on a large scale, with the Member States acting as guarantors for sums borrowed. The main recipients of funds are the Eurozone periphery states: Italy, Spain, Greece, Portugal and Ireland.

The UK, being one of the largest and most creditworthy of the Member States, is looked at as one of the guarantors most able to stump up extra cash as and when demanded, demanded, that is, by a Qualified Majority of Member States with no unilateral right of refusal. Such calls can be expected if another crisis blows up in the Eurozone.

The UK’s leaving the EU would relieve us of these considerable risks and liabilities. This independent research shows that Britain should leave the European Union.

Jim Mellon, billionaire investor and well known specialist in sovereign risk, described this research as,
“An excellent, incisive and important work. The European Union is a millstone and we have a once in a life time opportunity to be free of it.”

Losses would be claimed by the EU institutions and added to the UK PSBR and therefore to the national debt, except that our current paid-in capital in EIB (€3.5 bn) and the ECB (€0.1 bn) have already been paid in and are already part of the UK's national debt.

Event UK cost in £ Cost per household
UK loses its capital in the European Investment
Bank and the ECB
32,560,000,000 £1,185
Loses through the European Financial
Stabilisation Mechanism
48,000,000,000 £1,747
TOTAL 80,560,000,000 £2,932

Number of UK households = 27,468,000

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The Business of Hope

We are better off out!

Emma Jane
11th June 2016
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Does Britain face dire consequences if we leave the EU? What is the effect of the EU on business?

This film talks to two businessmen about Brexit and explores the economic issues surrounding the UK's EU membership.

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The Business of Hope

We are better off out!

Emma Jane
11th June 2016
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Does Britain face dire consequences if we leave the EU? What is the effect of the EU on business?

This film talks to two businessmen about Brexit and explores the economic issues surrounding the UK's EU membership.

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Failing to Hold Back the Incoming Tide

How EU law has supremacy over national law and why attempts at reform will never succeed.

1st June 2016

The revolutionary nature of what the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has achieved in establishing EU legal supremacy cannot be overstated. The story of the emergence of the supremacy of EU law is a story of audacious expansion of legal authority enabling the CJEU, in the words of the scholar Karen Alter, to effectively become the ‘master of the Treaties’. The CJEU has become ‘master’ by awarding itself considerable latitude over the interpretation of the Treaties and the balance of competences between Member States and the EU. However, it has not done this entirely on its own. At different times the acquiescence of the Member States has been vital.

Achieving and consolidating legal supremacy has required collusion in the guise of new treaties. The Member States agreed a long series of treaty revisions that have:

Increased significantly the range of competences of the EU offering much more scope to integrationist judges (with the help of litigants and interest groups) to develop their doctrines further and increase their power;
and
Altered dramatically the decision-making processes within the EU, instigating a sustained shift from unanimity in the Council of Ministers to routine use of Qualified Majority Voting (QMV), and from a situation where the Council of Ministers was the senior decision making body on most policy issues to a system of co-decision between the Council of Ministers and the Parliament on the vast majority of policy issues.

The Prime Minister David Cameron suggested in a speech to Chatham House in late 2015 that as an accompaniment to his re-negotiation package he would like to introduce reforms which ‘…uphold… [the]… constitution and sovereignty’ and which protect the ‘…essential constitutional freedoms…’ of the UK. This paper has attempted to show that this domestic part of his EU reform agenda is, like his re-negotiation, likely to be a damp squib, achieve very little of substance and fall short of his own stated ambitions for the policy. In reality, raising the possibility of domestic legal reforms to uphold the constitution, sovereignty and protect essential constitutional freedoms is marketing and political spin, nothing more substantive that that. Empty domestic reform does however, nicely complement the vacuity of the claim that Cameron has achieved reform in the EU. Cameron’s reforms are likely to be nothing more than rhetoric and spin.

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Brexit and Free Trade

Would a post-Brexit UK be better able to sign free trade agreements with the rest of the world?

Sam Winders
9th May 2016
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This report investigates whether the UK would be better able to sign trade agreements with countries outside of Europe outside of the EU. A key consideration of this question is whether a larger domestic market confers a significant advantage when concluding trade negotiations.

To this end I undertake two case studies in which I investigate the likely nature and scope of a potential British trade agreement with China and the US. These two countries are not only important trading partners of the UK, but their economic might directly tests whether Britain, with a smaller domestic market than the EU, would be able to conclude deep and comprehensive trade deals with substantially larger economic powers.

This paper unequivocally supports the argument that Britain will be much stronger and more prosperous independent of the EU. Outside of Brussels' restrictive embrace, the world is the limit.

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Response to Justin Welby the Most Reverend Archbishop of Canterbury

Let us look at this prayer line by line

David Wilkinson
26th April 2016

The Church of England has released a prayer for the EU referendum campaign. The prayer is for use by churches and individuals ahead of the vote on 23rd June.

We feel this is a good prayer. It is regrettable that there have been comments critical of our Archbishop. Lord Tebbit is right in saying that there is ambiguity  - in some people's minds, about this prayer and confusion in their statements. The EU effects all of the world and we might pray for all of the world when considering our referendum decision.

Let us look at this prayer line by line.

God of truth,

give us grace to debate the issues in this referendum

with honesty and openness.

Not only must it be a Eurosceptic's plea that honesty and openness should prevail but what worth has a referendum decision, even for us, if it is gained by deceit?

Give generosity to those who seek to form opinion

and discernment to those who vote,

We might go futher and pray that we ourselves might engage in deep reflection and attempt to discern and abide by God's will before we seek to form opinion. And who could disagree that our intention when we speak should be generous? The manner in which we all conduct ourselves in this referendum should be as Jesus taught us.

that our nation may prosper

of course - and not even primarily in monetary terms.

and that with all the peoples of Europe

This is where my enthusiasm for the Arch-Bishop's prayer really builds because it as a blow against the harm the EU is causing to my neighbour that a vote for Brexit really matters. The prayer says peoples, plural, of Europe. This is the eurosceptic view. And the error of confusing the EU with Europe is avoided. And with the peoples of Europe, of course: it is for a better kind of "with" than the regime of the EU that our cause is all about.

we may work for peace and the common good;

With all my heart, yes!  There is more to peace than just not being in a shooting war.  If we sincerely believe that the EU has put its ideology, its idolatry, of the Euro before a care for the misery of the people from Ireland to Greece, then surely our first hope must be for real peace.  We see tensions and hatred building up in Europe today because of the injustice of the Euro and the babylonian shifting of people called free movement of labour. Let us pray for all who are shifted from their homes.

for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord.

Because we should not, in our arrogance, forget that all that we think is right or wrong in the affairs of men is subject to a higher purpose.

Amen.

Amen

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For Family Businesses

A level playing field for small, medium and family businesses
21st April 2016
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A vote to leave will give us more say over our economy. It is an opportunity to have:
●  Fair taxation, end big business tax avoidance by restoring national control
●  A level playing field for small and medium sized businesses
●  Bolster small businesses
●  Support entrepreneurship
●  Accountable British people helping to make the regulations, not a faceless bureaucrat in Brussels
●  Global trading, better opportunities to open up global markets
●  Access to the single market without our economy being dominated by those countries who make policies in the name of Europe what they will not ask for themselves

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EU Militarisation: A Dangerous Future

Protect our defence and security – Vote to Leave the EU
21st April 2016
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According to Colonel Richard Kemp Britain would be forced to join an EU army within five to 10 years if people vote to Remain in the EU.

“An EU army is inevitable. As the EU has declared, it is moving to ever closer union,  it intends to become a fully fledged superstate. That’s the plan.”

“We would essentially be giving up our right to sovereign self-defence. Control of the EU army would not rest with us but in a collective EU decision.”

“There would never be consensus for an EU military operation  to retake the Falklands. It could not happen.”

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Emergency Exit

A look at what can be once we are free

Marcus Watney
21st April 2016
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It isn’t going to be sufficient to grumble about how incompetent, dictatorial and corrupt the EU is. We are going to have to show convincingly that outside the EU we will be more free and more in control of our own lives; that freedom is something to be positively desired and pursued, and that liberty is priceless and so cannot be measured in pounds and euros.

We need to focus the debate on exactly how the new co-operative alignment of sovereign states that eventually replaces the European Union is likely to be structured. Only then will people stop obsessing over whether it is safe to leave the moribund EU, and begin to take departure for granted. Thinking and debating where you are going is always more exciting than mulling over where you have come from.

This paper is a comprehensive critique of the EU and a look at what can be once we are free.

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The EU and poverty briefing

This is a briefing supporting the 'How the EU makes you poor' leaflet. The briefing gives you, the activist, the arguments to use and back-up information when discussing the topic with an undecided voter. It can also be used to deliver a presentation on migration issues.

8th April 2016
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Stuart Rose, who was Executive Chairman of Marks & Spencer, speaking to MPs suggests that wages of low skilled workers could rise in the event of Britain leaving the EU.

According to the former M&S boss if there were restrictions on EU migrants, then “the price of labour will, frankly, go up”.

Immigration makes it harder to attend a good university, obtain a well-paid job, and secure affordable living accommodation. It is also having a debilitating effect on the countries of Central, Eastern and Suthern Europe who are suffering from a brain drain. They are losing their best and brightest to low wage employment in our post-industrial services sector.

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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.


Also, taking out the don't knows:

  • Scotland, EFTA 52%, EU 47%
  • Wales, EFTA 54%, EU 46%
  • London, EFTA 55%, EU 45%
  • 18-34, EFTA, 50%, EU 50%


Robert Oulds, Director of the Bruges Group, said:

“There is a fully worked out exit plan that clearly sets out what Britain will be like once we vote to leave the EU. We have shown there is a viable alternative to EU membership and what is more this will win us the referendum.

“The option of re-joining EFTA is very popular with the British public.”

- ends -


- notes for editors -

The opinion poll was carried out by Opinium for the Bruges Group on 11th March 2016, with 2,001 interviewees. The question asked was:

“The European Economic Area (EEA) is the single market that allows for free movement of goods, services, people and capital between all participating European countries. There are two organisations which allow countries to access this EEA single market - the European Union (EU) and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA).

Members of the EFTA adopt some of the regulations that the EU passes in order to be able to access the EEA single market and contribute to the EU’s budget but are not bound by EU rules on agriculture, fisheries, home affairs or justice policies.

EFTA members are also able to negotiate trade agreements with outside countries whereas the EU does this for its member states. In return, EFTA members have much more limited influence over how EU rules are made.


If the UK left the European Union, it could become a member of the EFTA instead.

Supporters of this move say that the UK would have to adopt fewer European regulations and pay less into the EU budget than it does now while still being able to help shape the rules.

Opponents say that the UK would still have to abide by EU rules to be part of the EEA single market but would have no say in making those rules


With this in mind, which would you prefer the UK to be a member of?”

EEA & EU (European Economic Area and European Union) (513 respondents out of 2,001)

EEA & EFTA (European Economic Area and European Free Trade Association) (710 respondents out of 2,001)

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David Nuttall MP speaks to the Bruges Group

Britain is Better Off Out

Glenn Bullivant
4th January 2016
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Glenn Bullivant speaks to David Nuttall MP, the Chairman of the Parliamentary All-Party Better Off Out Group. David Nuttall is the Memmber of Parliament for Bury North. David’s motion in the House of Commons of 24th October 2011 called for a referendum on EU membership and defeated the government which at the time opposed such a vote. As such it was instrumental in forcing the referendum firmly onto the political agenda.

Video

Podcast

The Interview

The Speakers

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Tackling the EU Empire

Basic critical facts on the EU/Eurozone

Dr Anthony Coughlan
12th December 2015
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Professor Anthony Coughlan of Trinity College Dublin and TEAM the international Alliance of EU-Critical movements has compiled a handbook for Europe’s democrats, whether on the political Right, Left or Centre.

Readers are invited to use or adapt this document for their own purposes, including changing its title if desired, and to circulate it to others without any need of reference to or acknowledgement of its source. People circulating it to others might consider adding an addendum outlining their own country’s experience of the EU/Eurozone.

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The EU Threat to Democracy and Liberty

Defending Europe's pluralism and diversity

Philip Vander Elst
17th November 2015
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We must not only be unafraid of a future outside the European Union. We should positively embrace it, because in rejecting the supranationalist goal of a European State, we would be defending the pluralism and diversity which has been the true glory of European civilization. As Wilhelm Wilhelm Röpke, one of Germany’s greatest liberal economists put it in the 1950s:

“In antiquity Strabo spoke of the ‘many shapes’ of Europe; Montesquieu would speak of Europe as a ‘nation des nations’; Decentrism is of the essence of the spirit of Europe. To try to organise Europe centrally…and to weld it into a bloc, would be nothing less than a betrayal of Europe and the European patrimony.” (A Humane Economy)

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The Sun and Trends in the Central England Temperature (CET) since 1659

The Sun and Climate Change

Dr John Pendlebury & Roderick Taylor
16th November 2015
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Atmospheric carbon dioxide is not the dominant force which changes the Earth’s climate. Warming is present, but there has not been any change in temperature in the summer months The dominant factor in determining changes in the world’s climate is the Sun.

The essential point is that estimating trends over anything other than very long periods is subject to a high degree of standard error. Only by taking data over the full length of the series produces anything of much value.

Attempts to reduce the emissions of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere such as the so-called but misnamed ‘carbon’ capture and storage (CCS) are pointless. Why should we be spending billions on global warming counter-measures as a result of climate specialists telling us huge problems are in store for us. These doom-mongers have no clothes. Their limitations continue to be exposed.

 

 

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Sweden's Immigration Crisis

The emergence of a political and cultural crisis

Pelle Neroth Taylor
12th November 2015
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Sweden has many things going for it, but may not be the democratic utopia many British people think – and, in a strange kind of poetic justice, may pay the price by quashing the freedom of speech of the “little people”, and hiding the problems associated with immigration. The EU has played a part in Sweden’s situation, in that the Schengen treaty has made the influx larger than would otherwise have been, and psychologically, membership of Europe has arguably loosened the psychological ties between the Swedish elite and their home country. But the EU is not the only culprit. The Swedish elite bears a large share of the responsibility.

 Swedish politicians have, with steely determination, opened their country up to mass immigration. Sweden’s demographics are changing fast. Many Swedes boast that their country is a beacon of enlightenment but this is giving rise to political extremes.

 

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British Euroscepticism

British identity and tradition

Adriel Kasonta
11th November 2015
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The supremacy of Parliament is a refuge of freedom in Britain. The weakening of the sovereignty of Parliament is not only a threat to the independence of the legislative and libertarian tradition but also a threat to the rule of law, which rests on the legal legitimacy founded by elected lawmakers. This kind of legitimacy cannot be ensured by the European institutions which do not have the right to demand obedience from the European citizens, since it rests on national identities embedded in individual states. The so called 'democratic deficit' is getting worse with every interference of EU law in the lives of the people.

It is being continuously emphasized that in Britain, various EU rules are construed as a malign attack on the British way of life which needs to be repelled.

Europeanness means the British identity being just one among many. The problem is that the EU possesses no historical or cultural basis. Therefore, it is doomed to be perceived as a rather abstract and artificially made concept.

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EU Renegotiation Briefing

David Cameron to adopt EU plan for second-class membership

Robert Oulds
10th November 2015

Prior to the referendum being held David Cameron will present to the British public proposals for reform of the EU, heralding a new British model of membership. This will include proposals for the creation of a two-tier Europe, where there will be a distinct divergence between the Eurozone (core Europe) and the outer non-Eurozone states. This is the essence of what David Cameron claims he is negotiating. It means the UK accepting what has become known as ‘Associate Membership’ of the EU. This new status may be rebranded as the ‘British Model’.

The so-called renegotiation is nothing more than David Cameron acquiescing to the EU’s demands, and failing to defend the British national interest. The UK will be told to accept this second-class status. The bogus renegotiation is, in reality, merely the acceptance of an existing EU plan which will turn the UK into a second-class member of the EU. Although ever-closer Union will no longer apply to Britain ultimately the UK will lose money, influence and power.

The Prime Minister is simply engaged in an exercise of managing expectations. In on current terms is an option that no longer exists, full integration with the newly emerging core EU by becoming part of the Eurozone is beyond the pale, yet an associate status is the worst of both worlds. The two-tier EU package that Cameron will try to sell to the electorate is little more than him blundering into a new relationship where we lose influence but will still be bound by many of the existing obligations of EU membership. David Cameron will be forced to accept these changes.

The result of this so-called renegotiation will be the Prime Minister signing up to a federalist plan that will allow the Eurozone to centralise but the UK will be excluded from the centre of the EU, isolating Britain still further. What is more, the two-tier EU will most probably become a two-speed EU. Where the UK, and the other non-euro EU members, are cajoled by the core into standardising their policies with the core Eurozone states.

The idea was first proposed by former MEP Andrew Duff. It was a ‘...strategy for resolving the British problem’.

  • Subsequently it has been proposed in the Spinelli Group paper: ‘A Fundamental Law of the European Union’
  • The original Duff plan for achieving associate status proposed that Associate Membership could be achieved either through a new and specific Article(s) in the Treaties or through the Member State first leaving the EU (utilising Article 50) then re-negotiating from the outside the ‘new’ Associate status.

Click here to read the Prime Minister's Letter to the President of the European Council

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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.

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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.

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The Future of the euro

An address and question time with Professor Bernd Lucke MEP

18th June 2015
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An address and question time with Professor Bernd Lucke MEP, founder and leader of the Alternative for Germany (Alternative für Deutschland) political party which opposes the euro. Recognising that the Single Currency is harming the economy Bernd Lucke MEP will gave a very interesting perspective on the crisis in the eurozone. Professor Lucke discussed the future of the euro.

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