Thomas Sampson, Swati Dhingra, Gianmarco Ottaviano, John Van Reenen, 02 June 2016

The ‘Economists for Brexit’ recommend that the UK leaves the EU. Rather than striving for new trade deals, they recommend unilaterally abolishing all trade protection, and predict a subsequent boom of 4%. This rosy forecast stands in sharp contrast with all other economic analysis. This column explains how the modelling on which the group bases its recommendation, from Professor Patrick Minford, fails to grasp basic facts about the nature of international trade and product standards. A more realistic assessment shows that ‘unilateral trade liberalisation’ does very little to offset the steep decline in UK living standards that would follow Brexit.

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