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Briefing Notes

No 72 How EU Law is made
EU lawmaking is a secretive process which neither the UK nor any other member-state is able to influence decisively.
No 71 “Keeping the Peace” in Western Europe
Since 1945, no Western European nation has gone to war with another. This has nothing to do with the European Union.
No 70 EU Customs Duties
The EU Customs Union is a relic from the 1950s. It is redundant. The world beyond the EU, where there are no significant customs unions, has moved on.
No 69 Coming EU Demographic Winter
Between 2010 and 2050, while the USA gains 36 million in working-age population, EU-27 loses 54 million.
No 68 The non-existent “benefits” of belonging to the EU Single Market
Over the last ten years, British trade with the world outside the EU has grown significantly faster than British trade with the EU. What “benefit” is the UK deriving from membership of the EU’s Single Market?
No 67 Less than ten per cent of the British economy is involved in exporting to the EU
Yet EU regulation is imposed on the more than ninety per cent of the economy which is NOT involved in exporting to the EU.
No 66 Exports of Germany, France & the UK in 2009
Analysis by type & by countries-of-destination shows that the structure of UK exports is markedly different from that of Germany & France.
No 65 The Economic Cost of EU Membership
Estimates of the ongoing Net Cost to the UK of its membership of the EU range upwards from four per cent of GDP per year.
No 64 The Rotterdam-Antwerp Effect & the Netherlands Distortion
After taking account of both these distortions, the “real” proportion of worldwide UK exports going to EU-26 is likely to be closer to 40% than to 50%.
No 63 The Proper Definition of “Trade”
The word “trade” is often used, carelessly and wrongly, to mean “trade-in-goods” only. The proper definition encompasses trade in Goods, Services, Income & Transfers.
No 62 A country doesn’t need to belong to the EU to trade with it
The EU will soon have Free Trade Agreements with 80 per cent of all the non-EU countries in the world. Several non-EU countries already export more to the EU than does the UK.
No 61 The EU has to negotiate Free Trade Agreements with Third-Parties – and it does
The Lisbon Treaty obliges the EU to negotiate Free Trade Agreements (“FTAs”) with a member-state that wishes to withdraw, as well as with states that are not EU members. The EU will soon have FTAs with 80 per cent of all non-EU countries.
No 1 Britain & the Single Currency
The Single Currency is a political project. In joining it, a nation hands over control of its interest rate, exchange rate gold & currency reserves, &, sooner or later, tax & spending, to Frankfurt & Brussels.
No 60 88% of the UK Trade Deficit over the last five years was with EU-26
In 2009 the UK traded in deficit with sixteen of its twenty-six EU partners. The UK Gross Contribution to EU Institutions continued its inexorable upward march, costing British taxpayers £48 million a day in 2009.
No 59 European Union 2009 Prosperity Rankings
Italy's GDP per capita is now almost identical to that of the UK, though its economy is still slightly smaller (3%) than that of the UK. German GDP is now 54% bigger than the UK's; French GDP is 22% bigger than the UK's.
No 58 The Commonwealth & British Export Growth 2010 - 2050
In the next 40 years, by a (fortunate) accident of history, the Commonwealth will be where much of global GDP growth (and hence of growth in propensity to import) will occur.
No 57 How Much Should UK Public Spending Shrink?
By at least fifteen per cent, or £ 101 billion per year
No 56 The “Middle East”: Demography & Geography
The “West” seems likely to be heavily involved in the “Middle East” for years to come. This Briefing Note brings together in one place that region’s basic demographic & geographic data.
No 54 UK Trade Deficit: 93% of UK current account deficit over last 5 years was with EU-26 4.9.09
No 52 UK plc's export growth is coming from outside the EU 17.11.08
No 43 France Assesses Costs & benefits of EU Membership 13.10.06
No 42 The Swiss Government's Cost-benefit Analysis of EU Membership 6.10.06
No 38 The Commonwealth: Neglected Colossus ? 22.7.05
No 36 Cherry-Picking: EFTA, EEA & the Swiss-EU Trading Relationship 26.11.04
No 33 Customs Duties: hardly worth collecting 17.9.04
No 32 Foreign Direct Investment: The Netherlands Distortion (Update) 4.6.04
No 21 Exposure of the UK Economy to the Dollar & Euro 20.9.02
No 19 The Mexico-EU Free Trade Agreement Points the Way 1.3.02
No 15 Switzerland, Norway & the European Union 20.4.01
No 14 Britain as an Independent Sovereign State 16.3.01
No 13 Currency of Invoicing for UK Exports 2.3.01
No 7 Inward Investment: the irrelevance of the Single Market 17.3.00
No 5 The World Trade Organisation 19.11.99
No 4 The Priceless Boons of Free Trade, by Ralph Harris 24.9.99

Please visit the "Archive" section for other Briefing Notes
published between January 1999 and now