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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Leaving the EU

  • "I want to deal with several arguments that should not count. The first is that in the 21st century Britain is too small a country to cope outside the European Union. That’s nonsense. We’re the fifth biggest economy in the world, we’re growing faster than any economy in the G7, we attract nearly a fifth of all foreign investment in the EU, we have a military capable of projecting its power around the world, intelligence services that are second to none, and friendships and alliances that go far beyond Europe. We have the greatest soft power in the world, we sit in exactly the right timezone for global trade and our language is the world’s language. Of course Britain could cope outside the European Union." — The Rt Hon. Theresa May, MP - Home Secretary, speech in London on leaving the EU, 25th April 2016
  • 'Given the importance of the UK market to the eurozone, the UK would probably have little difficulty in negotiating an FTA. There is a good chance that the tariffs levied by the EU on British manufactured goods would be zero.' — The Economic Consequences of Leaving the EU, Report by the Centre for European Reform, June 2014
  • 'The UK is highly likely to secure a Free Trade Agreement with the EU, and such an agreement would be likely to be negotiated at an extremely high level of ambition relative to other FTAs.' — Our Global Future, Report by the Confederation of British Industry, 4th November 2013
  • "There is no doubt that the UK could secure a free trade agreement with the EU. That is not an issue." — Lord Kerr of Kinlochard, UK's former Ambassador to the EU and leading supporter of BSE (Britain Stronger in Europe), Lords Hansard col. 1492, 2nd November 2015
  • "If we were outside the EU altogether, we’d still be trading with all these European countries, of course we would... Of course the trading would go on.
    Sometimes … There’s a lot of scaremongering on all sides of this debate. Of course the trading would go on." — The Rt Hon. David Cameron, MP - UK Prime Minister, Andrew Marr Show, 6th January 2013
  • "Of course, Britain could survive outside the EU...We could probably get access to the Single Market as Norway and Switzerland do..." — The Rt Hon. Tony Blair, MP - UK Prime Minister, speech in Ghent, 23rd February 2000