The British economy could save up to £450 million a week by leaving the EU single market and customs union, claims the pro-Brexit pressure group ‘Change Britain’.
The group says that the UK economy could be boosted by around £24 billion a year in the event of what it describes as a “clean Brexit” – a complete break with the EU.
According to the group’s research, a clean Brexit could potentially result in annual savings of £10.4 billion from contributions to the EU budget, a further £1.2 billion from scrapping “burdensome” regulations, and pave the way to create new trade deals worth £12.3 billion.
Change Britain noted that 59 of the 100 most burdensome regulations on business could be eliminated if the country leaves the single market, which could save more than £4 billion – in the highest estimate.
— Change Britain (@Change_Britain) December 26, 2016
There are divisions within the UK government about how to approach Brexit. Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond has said contributing to the EU budget could be worth doing to retain trade ties and he has pushed for a transitional deal with the EU, while Liam Fox, the trade secretary, appears to be keen to leave the customs union.
Former deputy prime minister Nick Clegg and the former Labour leader Ed Miliband, are both strongly in favour of remaining in the single market, stressing that a “hard Brexit” would hurt trade and damage the economy.
However, Conservative MP for Dover & Deal and Change Britain supporter Charlie Elphicke was quoted by The Independent as saying:
“This report makes it clear that there are huge opportunities to be had from making a success of Brexit. Leaving the EU fully means we won’t have to pay billions to bloated Brussels bureaucrats. It means we will be able to take back control of our borders and end uncontrolled EU immigration.
“What’s more, we’ll be able to spend money on the things that matter to the British people. We can build a modern Britain that puts the hard-working classes first and makes it easier for British businesses to trade in the world and succeed.
“This is what people voted for in the referendum. Now everyone, Remainer or Leaver, has a duty to get on with the job of delivering a brighter future for our land.”
The research made public by Change Britain follows comments made by Mervyn King, the former governor of the Bank of England, highlighting the “real opportunities” associated with leaving the EU regarding trading ties.
Speaking on the BBC Radio 4’s Today program, King said: “I think the challenges we face mean it’s not a bed of roses, no one should pretend that, but equally it is not the end of the world and there are some real opportunities that arise from the fact of Brexit we might take.”
“There are many opportunities and I think we should look at it in a much more self-confident way than either side is approaching it at present.
“Being out of what is a pretty unsuccessful European Union – particularly in the economic sense – gives us opportunities as well as obviously great political difficulties.”