LONDON — A major think tank released a report on that set out a “
clear, objective, and detailed framework for evaluating the economic impact of Brexit” on Monday.
The UK in a Changing Europe, a group funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and based at King’s College London, was set to promote “rigorous, high-quality and independent research into the complex and ever changing relationship between the UK and the European Union.”
It outlined the four key criteria that should be used to judge whether Brexit has been successful:
- “The economy and public finances” — The group said that “a successful Brexit will be one that makes us better-off overall.” Prime Minister Theresa May’s government should “focus squarely” on the economy.
- “Fairness” — The think tank said it is essential that May’s government makes sure that whatever deal is struck, there should be positive aspects that benefit all parts of society — especially those felt “left behind” or disadvantaged. It said that “a successful Brexit will be one that helps those who have done worst and promotes opportunity and social mobility for all across the UK.”
- “Will Brexit preserve and extend the UK’s openness as an economy?” — The UK in a Changing Europe report said that Brexit would only be successful if it “enhances the UK’s position as an open economy and society.” However, at the moment, May’s push for a “hard Brexit” suggests this would be a challenge. A “hard Brexit” would mean severing ties with all trading aspect of the EU, making it more onerous and expensive to doing trade with these member states while tightening immigration by restricting the freedom of movement, will impact those who can live and work in the UK.
- “Will Brexit enhance democratic control?” — One important aspect to seeing how successful Brexit will be if “individuals and communities feel that they have a genuine say in the decisions that affect them.” While it Britain elects a government to make important decisions concerning the economy and security, for example, the UK in a Changing Europe report said that Brexit should not impact society’s view that it has a real stake in being listened to or that it is being represented in the way that it had voted for.
May signalled a hard stance on Brexit in her speech in London on January 17 but she offered an olive branch to her European counterparts attending the World Economic forum two days later: “We are all united in our belief that [the new] world is built on the foundations of free trade and globalisation.”
Meanwhile, on January 24, t
he Supreme Court ruled that the government must allow Parliament to vote on the triggering of Article 50.
Two days later the UK government on Thursday published its “Brexit bill,” which paves the way for Britain’s exit from the EU. The bill, if passed, would give Prime Minister Theresa May the authorisation to trigger Article 50, starting the two-year negotiation period for Britain to leave the 28-nation bloc.
This week, parliament will debate that bill.
“As we start to consider the practical impact of Brexit,there needs to be a clear, evidence-based and, as far as possible, objective mechanism for assessment. What is important is that the credibility of the tests, and the process, are established in the minds of the public at large,” said Professor Anand Menon, director The UK in a Changing Europe.
“We are now entering a period when the choices we make, collectively, will determine our future for decades. We all have a stake in making a success of Brexit. But to do that we need to have a shared vision of what success means and these testslay the groundwork for that objective judgment.”