By David Airey

Brexit illustration

The buildup to the June 23rd referendum on whether the UK should leave the EU brings with it a ton of scare stories. Many of those doing the talking have vested interests — advancing their political careers, keeping employee wages down, holding onto their EU pensions, and so on. It’s tough to know who to trust.

Illustration by Robert G Fresson

I want to hear form people with educated, unbiased opinions, and the evidence professor Patrick Minford CBE gave to a Parliamentary select committee on November 3rd 2015 outlines the strongest case I’ve seen for which way my vote will go.

The professor asked:

“Do we want to be part of a global market with free trade or do we want to be inside the EU, inside a customs union with highly restrictive and excessively interventionist regulative policies?”

And perhaps the most important point from his evidence:

“What people are saying is that if we leave the EU it’s disastrous because we’ll lose leverage, but the truth is we will move — if we’ve got any sense — to a liberalised economy fundamentally under free trade. It pays us to sell our goods to other people in the world market and to take their goods at world prices. That will lower our cost of living.

“To have a simulation of leaving the EU, the first thing that comes out is an eight percent drop in the cost of living on day one because of the move from EU prices to world prices. Now that is really worth having.”


The backup working paper for the committee goes into detail about specific figures and percentages, and the full-length version of the video is here (from the 16:29 mark).

Patrick Minford is author of Should Britain leave the EU? (second edition, 2015).

Read more here:: Costs and benefits of UK membership of the EU