Making social science accessible

30 Jan 2017

A successful Brexit: four economic tests

In less than three months, the government will formally notify the European Union of the UK’s intention to withdraw from membership of the EU. Theresa May has already said that “we’re going to make a success of it” and has called for “a Brexit that works for Britain”. More specifically, in her Lancaster House speech, she stressed that Brexit means regaining national control over our laws and our borders.

At the same time, however, she expects Brexit to result in Britain being prosperous as well as fairer and more outward looking than ever before. But how will we know if the government’s plan sets out a coherent strategy for a successful Brexit? How should we judge the terms of any eventual deal and our disengagement from the EU? Over the long term, how will we know if Brexit is really “working for Britain”?

In order to answer these questions, we need to move beyond platitudes to focus on likely outcomes for individuals, families, businesses and the country as a whole. To find out whether we are headed for a successful Brexit, we need to know not just what
Brexit means, but what constitutes “success” and what “works”. For this, we need an agreed set of “tests” against which we can evaluate the government’s plan, the EU’s position, and what emerges during the negotiations.

This report was written by the initiative’s director Anand Menon and senior fellows Angus Armstrong, Catherine Barnard, Iain Begg and Jonathan Portes.



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