British Influence is launching a new series of reports as seek to change the terms of the debate about Britain’s role in Europe and in the world. Passionately internationalist, we are as concerned with the impact of power, politics and economics on people as on nations and institutions.
What happens to Britain in the days, months and years following the referendum is explored in the six chapters of this report. We look at the possible consequences raised for the country and demonstrate that a wide range of economic, constitutional and political issues would need to be addressed, and in a relatively short period of time.
The report concludes by posing 10 key questions that advocates of Britain's withdrawal from the EU need to answer if they are to put forward a credible alternative to EU membership that offers the UK the same advantages in terms of prosperity and security.
There have long been calls for opponents of the UK’s membership of the European Union to set out what alternative arrangements they would propose instead. Recently Vote Leave, one of the pressure groups competing to be the official voice of the leave campaign in the forthcoming referendum, has published what it called “seven principles” for the UK outside the EU. Unfortunately they are fuzzy, in some cases inaccurate and not reassuring.
In this brief analysis, David Hannay and Nick Kent provide their commentary on each of these "principles" to provide an analysis that they hope will be useful to all who care about Britain’s future and its position in the world.
When British Influence published its first Brexit report in December 2015, the question of the impact on Northern Ireland, on Ireland and on the Anglo-Irish relationship was an issue that repeatedly came up. Politicians, diplomats and business people all expressed concern that this important issue was given little prominence in the debate.
This report is a response to those concerns. It has been informed by discussions in Dublin in January with several leading figures in Irish politics, media and government. But it also reflects many other conversations over the last two years in Britain and in Brussels.
Those advocating that Britain leave the European Union often contend that it should do so in order to re-embrace the Commonwealth, develop it into a unified political and economic unit and utilise it as the chief means by which Britain exercises influence in the world.
This report demonstrates just how misguided this idea is, not only because of poor economic and geopolitical justifications, but because the Commonwealth nations themselves are not waiting with open arms for the UK to leave the EU.