Evolution Not Revolution: The Case for the EEA Option

Britain needs to leave the European Union, which over 43 years of membership has proven to be sclerotic, anti-democratic and immune to reform.  It is a political relic of a post-war order that no longer exists.

Globalisation has recast the entire debate and the legislative landscape, such that leaving the EU is now a compelling proposition to the liberal-minded.

The best exit route is for the UK to step back to a position in the European Economic Area (‘EEA’) and the European Free Trade Association (‘EFTA’), thereby wholly maintaining the open trading arrangements of the single market and related economic integration.

This EEA option allows the public to judge ‘what out looks like’ and simultaneously reassures them that disruption will be minimal. Once out, the dynamics of the move would prompt a recalibration of the EEA agreement and indeed the political map of Europe such that other liberal, trade-oriented EU nations would join the UK, leaving the Eurozone to politically integrate.

The paper contends that after a Leave vote, the EEA option would be the preferred option of the British government advised by the Civil Service, and would find much consensus among commentators, EFTA, the European Union itself, allies across the world and international bodies.

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