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Embargo: Immediate: Tuesday 20 September 2016


As the first of a series of detailed papers to consider how the UK should exit the European Union Global Britain has today published a research paper “Why the EU’s single market is failing Britain”.

Written by and , directors of the Global Britain think tank, the paper demonstrates three reasons the Single Market puts the UK at a disadvantage.

Firstly, because no single market has been achieved in services the EU gives a priority to trade in goods rather than services, where the UK strength lies. This results in a huge UK trade deficit in goods of £89bn with the EU.

This compares against a £10bn surplus in goods trade with the America’s (largely the US) where there is no preferential trade deal. The EU’s Single Market appears to give all other members an advantage while disadvantaging the UK.

Secondly, the UK runs a trade surplus with the rest of the world and a very large deficit with the EU. This is a paradox – the UK runs a surplus where it has no trade deal, and a huge deficit where it does. Having common EU regulations does not appear to give the UK any advantage.

Thirdly, the EU’s GDP growth has lagged every other region in the world for a generation – and its rate of decline is accelerating. This has caused British business to vote with its feet away from the declining EU to faster growth markets. In 1999 61% of UK trade was with the EU, now it is 43%. By 2025 the report suggests the EU will account for under 35% UK trade.

The Global Britain report argues it is the structurally low EU economic growth and its favouring of trade in goods over services that has caused the UK’s exports to the EU to perform so poorly compared with the rest of the world.

Download the Media Release: gb-media-release-05-20-09-16-single-market-trade-paper

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