Over twenty of the country’s leading economists and economic commentators have backed calls for an In/Out referendum on the subject of Britain’s relationship with the EU.
As long-standing campaigners on this issue, we at Get Britain Out wholeheartedly agree. The British people deserve to have their voices heard, with a referendum on Britain’s membership long overdue.
The expert signatories of the letter, published in the Daily Telegraph, added that Britain had nothing to fear from leaving the EU, an argument our campaign has long advocated.
The letter was released to mark the launch of Economists for Britain, which under the leadership of Dr Ruth Lea, aims to provide an intellectual sounding board for the research of Business for Britain.
The text of the letter is as follows:
As economists and economic commentators we are writing to add our voices to the growing demands for a new relationship between Britain and the European Union and to express our support for an In/Out referendum.
For too long the debate over Britain’s EU membership has been characterised by half-truths and outright fabrications. The wholly misleading claim that millions of jobs would be lost if the UK were to leave the EU has been comprehensively disproven and refuted.
Research shows that British business wants and needs a substantial change in our relationship with the EU. The Prime Minister’s own Red Tape Task Force has warned that EU red tape is holding back job creation and business expansion. However, before thinking about leaving the EU, we must see if the British Government can first secure better terms of membership. But if the negotiations do not deliver, there is nothing to fear from leaving.
The UK’s future prosperity increasingly depends on its ability to trade with the whole world, not just its European neighbours. In 1980 the EU accounted for over 30 per cent of world GDP, today that figure is less than 19 per cent. The share of UK exports to the rest of the EU has fallen by 10 per cent in the last ten years alone. We need to move beyond a 20th Century economic mind set and be free to develop our links with the rising economies outside Europe.
Just as “little Englanders” are wrong to argue for protectionism, so too are “little Europeans” who only focus on Britain’s trade with its next-door neighbours. We need a global vision, a vision that looks beyond the limits of Europe and sees the opportunities that the wider world offers.
Dr. Ruth Lea, Chairman, Economists for Britain & Economic Adviser, Arbuthnot Banking Group. Professor Philip Booth, Editorial and Programme Director, IEA & Professor of Insurance and Risk Management at Cass Business School
Roger Bootle, Managing Director, Capital Economics
Ryan Bourne, Head of Public Policy, Institute of Economic Affairs
Keith Boyfield, Executive Director, Keith Boyfield Associates
Dr. Eamonn Butler, Director, Adam Smith Institute
Mike Denham, Research Fellow, The TaxPayers’ Alliance
Bryan Gould, Former Labour Shadow Cabinet member & former Vice-Chancellor, University of Waikato
Dr David Green, Chief Executive, CIVITAS
John Greenwood OBE, Chief Economist, Invesco Ltd
Dr. Oliver Hartwich, Executive Director, The New Zealand Initiative
David Lascelles, Senior fellow and joint founder of the Centre for the Study of Financial Innovation
Damon de Laszlo, Chairman, Economic Research Council
Neil MacKinnon, Global Macro Strategist, VTB Capital
Professor Kent Matthews, Associate Dean for Engagement & Professor of Money and Banking, Cardiff University
John Mills, Chairman and Founder of JML
Iain Murray, Vice President for Strategy, Competitive Enterprise Institute (Washington DC)
David Myddleton, Professor D.R. Myddelton, Emeritus Professor of Finance and Accounting, Cranfield School of Management.
Brian Reading, former economics adviser to Edward Heath
Professor Colin Robinson, Advisory Council Institute of Economic Affairs & Emeritus Professor, Surrey University
David B. Smith, Beacon Economic Forecasting
Professor Phil Whyman, Professor of Economics, Business, Economics and International Business, University of Central Lancashire
Business for Britain will publish its latest document entitled ’Change, Or Go’ this week. The publication sets out the facts and figures regarding Britain’s position within the EU, makes the case for substantial EU reform, and examines the consequences for the UK should reforms not be secured. It will be sent out to thousands of business leaders across the UK as part of a campaign to increase Business for Britain’s wide supporter base.
With business and political opinion finally beginning to recognise the economic benefits of leaving the EU, Get Britain Out is redoubling its efforts to present our case to the Great British Public. I will be attending the UKIP conference in Doncaster later this month. In addition, Luke Stanley will be present at the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham. We look forward to seeing you there.
Alan Murad, Acting Campaign Manager, Get Britain Out