FREE NEWSLETTER: Econintersect sends a nightly newsletter highlighting news events of the day, and providing a summary of new articles posted on the website. Econintersect will not sell or pass your email address to others per our privacy policy. You can cancel this subscription at any time by selecting the unsubscribing link in the footer of each email.

posted on 02 February 2016

Why Pulling Out Of The EU Won't Give Britain Complete Control Over Its Affairs

from The Conversation

-- this post authored by Eunice Goes, Richmond American International University

For years, crusaders of the Eurosceptic cause have claimed that all the evils of the world will disappear once Britain leaves the European Union. British fishermen and women will be able to fish as much cod as they like and greengrocers will be able to weigh Brussels sprouts in pounds. Britain will regain control of its borders, parliamentary sovereignty will be restored to its former glory and the great brotherhood of English-speaking countries will be rekindled.

But so far these grandiose promises have not been accompanied by any explanation of what exactly will happen after Brexit. No scenarios have been described apart from vague references to remaining part of the European free-trade zone. It's about time they spelled out their case.

Both the Leavers and Remainers make exaggerated claims about what withdrawal from the EU will mean. In reality, no one knows exactly what the consequences of Brexit will be, and it will take years to understand the full extent of the change. One thing is clear though - Brexit will not herald a new golden era of restored parliamentary sovereignty.

As the influential consultant on EU law, Jean-Claude Piris, spelled out in a gripping report, life outside the EU can be rather lonely. And even if you do go it alone, those meddling Eurocrats can still have the last word.

Withdrawal from the EU will obviously mean that Britain would regain sovereignty over a wide range of decisions, from agriculture and fisheries policy to justice and home affairs. But, as Piris shows, none of the seven alternative arrangements available to Britain offer complete control over its own affairs. If Britain wants to continue to trade with the EU, it will have to continue to comply with various European laws.

In fact, the only way to secure complete independence would be to rely on the rules of the World Trade Organisation to govern Britain's trade relations with the rest of the world. But in this scenario Britain would have to pay EU common external tariffs when trading with its former partners, and these can be rather expensive.

On top of that, Britain would no longer benefit from the free-trade agreements the EU has negotiated with other countries. The British government would have to negotiate new ones. This would be time consuming and, more importantly, less advantageous. Britain, as a lone trader, could never hope to have the negotiating clout of the world's largest trading bloc.

In the other six scenarios outlined by Piris, life for Britain would be less lonely but company and support would come at a price. Under all of them, the British taxpayer will continue to send cheques to Brussels and accept the free movement of people. And Westminster will continue to be constrained by EU law. If, for example, Britain seeks to join the European Economic Area like Norway it would retain sovereignty over agriculture, fisheries, judicial matters and home affairs and foreign policy but it would have to apply EU single market laws. This includes free movement for EU citizens.

An anti-immigration poster in Switzerland reads: Mass immigration hurts! Stop mass immigration EPA/Peter Klaunzer

If, on the other hand, Britain chooses to follow the Swiss model of signing sectoral agreements with the EU it will not be bound by the judgements of the European Court of Justice. However it would have to incorporate hundreds of European regulations into its domestic legislation affecting areas as different as cartel law, social legislation or food safety. And as Switzerland found out following the 2014 referendum on reintroducing immigration quotas, attempts to regain control over the areas covered by sectoral agreements have dire consequences.

In this referendum Swiss citizens voted against allowing unlimited immigration from the EU. Following the vote, the EU unilaterally decided to kick Swiss students out of the Erasmus study programme to cut access Swiss universities' access to EU research funding streams. The European Commission also announced it would review its relations with Switzerland.

For obvious reasons, Brexit advocates have not explained any of these scenarios to British voters. All these undignified bits tend to be left out. But it really is time for Brexit backers to admit that the alternatives to EU full membership do not imply freedom from Brussels.

The ConversationEunice Goes, Associate Professor of Politics, Richmond American International University

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

>>>>> Scroll down to view and make comments <<<<<<

Click here for Historical News Post Listing

Make a Comment

Econintersect wants your comments, data and opinion on the articles posted.  As the internet is a "war zone" of trolls, hackers and spammers - Econintersect must balance its defences against ease of commenting.  We have joined with Livefyre to manage our comment streams.

To comment, using Livefyre just click the "Sign In" button at the top-left corner of the comment box below. You can create a commenting account using your favorite social network such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn or Open ID - or open a Livefyre account using your email address.

You can also comment using Facebook directly using he comment block below.

Econintersect Contributors


Print this page or create a PDF file of this page
Print Friendly and PDF

The growing use of ad blocking software is creating a shortfall in covering our fixed expenses. Please consider a donation to Econintersect to allow continuing output of quality and balanced financial and economic news and analysis.

Take a look at what is going on inside of
Main Home
Analysis Blog
Rising Tide Does Not Lift All Ships
Comments on Feyerabend’s ‘Against Method’, Part II
News Blog
Docking A Huge Cruise Ship Is More Complicated Than You Think
New Seasonal Outlook Updates from NOAA and JAMSTEC - Let's Compare Them.
Infographic Of The Day: Driving Into A Battery Powered Future
Earthquake Risk - Location Matters
Investor Alert: Be On The Lookout For Investment Scams Related To Hurricane Matthew
Lost In Translation: Five Common English Phrases You May Be Using Incorrectly
The Size And Scope Of Samsung's Business
Immigration Is The Top Worry For Britons
People Killed By Russian Airstrikes In Syria
Have You Taken These 4 Simple Steps To Improve Your Trading?
14 October 2016: ECRI's WLI Growth Index Insignificantly Declines
Mom Breaks Down In Tears When Son With Autism Meets Service Dog
Rail Week Ending 15 October 2016 Paints A Negative Economic View
Investing Blog
FinTech Is Taking A Bite Out Of Banks
Options Early Assignment - Should You Worry?
Opinion Blog
US 2016 Election: Will US-China Relations Change
Prop. 51 Versus A State-Owned Bank: How California Can Save $10 Billion On A $9 Billion Loan
Precious Metals Blog
How Will The Election Outcome Impact Precious Metals?
Live Markets
21Oct2016 Market Close: Major US Indexes Close Flat On Low Volume, Crude Prices Resume Climb, US Dollar Stabilizes In Mid 98 Handle, Yes, Most Investors Are Worried Which Way This Market Will Go
Amazon Books & More

.... and keep up with economic news using our dynamic economic newspapers with the largest international coverage on the internet
Asia / Pacific
Middle East / Africa
USA Government

Crowdfunding ....



Analysis Blog
News Blog
Investing Blog
Opinion Blog
Precious Metals Blog
Markets Blog
Video of the Day


Asia / Pacific
Middle East / Africa
USA Government

RSS Feeds / Social Media

Combined Econintersect Feed

Free Newsletter

Marketplace - Books & More

Economic Forecast

Content Contribution



  Top Economics Site Contributor TalkMarkets Contributor Finance Blogs Free PageRank Checker Active Search Results Google+

This Web Page by Steven Hansen ---- Copyright 2010 - 2016 Econintersect LLC - all rights reserved