Briton drafts ‘Brexit’ blueprint: UK can join EFTA

Britain’s economy could grow by 1.3 billion pounds if it left the European Union due to less regulation and more trade with emerging economies, acccording to a British diplomat who dreamt up a blueprint for the country’s EU exit.

Britain’s free market Institute of Economic Affairs on Tuesday awarded a 100,000-euro prize to Iain Mansfield, a British diplomat based in the Philippines, who it decided had come up with the best proposal for a ‘Brexit,’ a British departure from the EU.

Amid widespread public disenchantment in Britain about the EU’s perceived over-bearing role in everyday life, Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron has promised to give Britons a referendum on leaving the EU in 2017 if he is re-elected next year.

Mansfield said Britain could join the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) to avoid bureaucratic burdens on business linked to Britain’s membership of the EU, saying it could position itself as somewhere between Switzerland and Turkey, neither of which are EU member states.

If Britain, one of the EU’s net budget contributors, left the bloc, it could reallocate the money it saved on contributions to pay down its deficit to enjoy a 10-billion pound surplus, he said.

“I take no position on whether a Brexit is desirable, but in the event of such a decision by the people of Britain, my paper sets out a course of action that would maximise the potential for an open, prosperous and globally engaged UK,” Mansfield said after his win.

Full article: Briton drafts ‘Brexit’ blueprint: UK can join EFTA (EurActiv)

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