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Image of Alan Winters

19 April 2017

L. Alan Winters CB, Professor of Economics and Director of UKTPO.

In this blog, Professor Winters responds to Patrick Minford and Edgar Miller’s recent paper on unilateral free trade in relation to Brexit.

Economists for Free Trade’s Patrick Minford recently suggested that the UK should

simply eliminate our tariffs on them [the EU], and by implication – under WTO rules – on everyone else. By doing so, we would achieve free trade for our consumers with one quick move [and increase consumer welfare by 4%] Minford (2017).

This, he explains in a fuller exposition, is achievable ‘via Unilateral Free Trade’ – see page 8 of Minford and Miller (2017), henceforth referred to as M&M.

But this claim is misleading or worse:

  • It is based on a very particular view of the world economy,
  • Even in M&M’s own analysis, the benefits of 4% of welfare (or GDP) depend on far more than ‘simply eliminating tariffs’; they also require deeper integration with the EU and a race to the bottom on standards;
  • M&M assume that the devaluation of sterling will have no effect on the prices of UK imports!


April 19th, 2017

Posted In: UK- EU

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29 March 2017

New analysis shows that the nations of the UK are exposed to trade with the EU in quite different ways. If the UK leaves the EU without a trade deal the effects across regions will be quite different and this should therefore influence our trading priorities

Our Fellows have analysed trade data to examine the regional and sectoral impact of Brexit as well as the overall national impact.

Their findings, portrayed in a short video animation show that choosing trade priorities on the basis of aggregate UK data does not take into account the fact that the nations within the UK are exposed to trade with the EU in different ways.


March 29th, 2017

Posted In: UK - Non EU, UK- EU

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17 March 2017

Guest blog by Paul Eden, Senior Lecturer in Law at the University of Sussex


Now that the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Act has received Royal Assent, the UK government is on track to meet its deadline of invoking Article 50 of the Treaty of European Union (TEU) by the end of March. Whilst it seems inevitable that the UK will indeed invoke Article 50 a key question that remains is whether we can change our minds and stop the whole process, perhaps when we are a year down the line or if there was a change in government in the UK. (more…)

March 17th, 2017

Posted In: UK- EU

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2 March 2017

Giordano Mion is a Professor of Economics at the University of Sussex and fellow of the UK Trade Policy ObservatoryGiordano Mion

“The people have spoken” on Brexit. The UK is leaving the EU. We now need to focus on how the UK can maintain a leading world trade position in this new scenario.

Brexit has cast a shadow over the future international position of the UK and its trading relationship with both the EU and non-EU partners. Much attention has been devoted to number crunching regarding the costs related to the UK leaving the EU. Whilst some figures look more credible than others, both before and after the vote, there has been large discrepancies – leading to confusion and an overall lack of key message.


March 2nd, 2017

Posted In: UK- EU, Uncategorised

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