Brexit Prize: Final shortlisted entries


Labour Market

The minimum wage has failed to target poverty and youth employment

Economic Theory

The final six shortlisted entries for the IEA Brexit Prize the Gordian knot_web.pdf
Second Place:

Cutting the Gordian knot: A road map for British exit from the European Union by Rory Broomfield and Iain Murray


The UK should withdraw from the EU not through Article 50 procedures but via a Parliamentary Act repealing the 1972 European Communities Act and creating a Royal Commission to examine the inherited legacy of EU law and regulation since that date. The exit provides opportunities for a move towards a much more free-market approach in fisheries, trade, immigration, agriculture, foreign direct investment, and energy, environment and transport. In all of these areas apart from immigration and air transport the benefits of being freed from EU controls and moving in this direction will significantly exceed the costs.

About the authors:

Rory Broomfield and Iain Murray

Rory Broomfield is Director of The Freedom Association and Director of the Better Off Out campaign. Rory has worked for a number of prominent Conservative Members of Parliament and several small businesses. He is also a former Director and Board Member of the United Nations Association in the UK (UNA-UK) and holds a First Class degree in Politics from the University of York along with Masters degrees from both City University London and Warwick Business School.

Iain Murray is Vice President for Strategy at the Competitive Enterprise Institute in Washington DC. He is the author of the best-selling books, The Really Inconvenient Truths and Stealing You Blind: How Government Fat Cats Are Getting Rich Off of You. Before joining CEI, he was Senior Analyst and then Director of Research at the Statistical Assessment Service

Third place:

Old Friends, New Deals: The Route to the UK’s global prosperity through International Networks by Tim Hewish


After an exit the UK has at its disposal the power of the Commonwealth and the wider Anglosphere. The Statute of Westminster sets a precedent for both exit and a future strategy. The UK will be able to re-engage with the world through negotiated Free Trade Agreements and bilateral investment agreements.  There should be an overhaul of the UK visa system with a restoration of the Commonwealth track and a growth of business visas. The aim is a policy that charts the UK along a path with its Commonwealth and Anglosphere partners through exchange of trade, people, ideas and culture.

About the author:

Tim Hewish is Director and Co-Founder, Commonwealth Exchange. He read for a Masters in Imperial and Commonwealth History at King’s College London. He currently works as a researcher for a Conservative Member of Parliament. He recently authored, Common-Trade, Common-Growth, Common-Wealth, an inquiry into the establishment of freer trade, growth and prosperity across Britain and the Commonwealth.

Remaining three shortlisted entries:

IEA Brexit Prize: Britain outside the European Union by Ben Clement


The UK should leave the EU following a referendum vote through (ideally but not necessarily) a negotiated agreement. There are a number of options for future trade and other relations, including membership of EFTA and the EEA but the best would be the Swiss model of EFTA membership plus bilateral Free Trade Agreements. This will open up possibilities for greater openness to the rest of the world and a significant shift in the pattern of world trade. There would be policy responses over a wide range of government policy areas, including trade, fiscal policy, employment and immigration, energy policy, environmental regulation, and taxation.

About the author:

Ben Clements is reading for a BA (hons) in Chinese and Japanese at the University of Manchester.

A Brexit Blueprint: Britain revitalised and Independence Regained By Prof Stephen Bush


Leaving the EU is a unique opportunity to revitalise Britain and escape from a persistent failure to produce enough things and thereby generate enough jobs, to pay for our way of life and a respected place in the world. There should be a clean break from the EU with a move to EFTA and the negotiation of a free trade agreement with the EU. There should be a long-term secure energy strategy and a program to rebuild British manufacturing, based on a new form of manufacturing organisation called Leopard Clusters. A new Act of Supremacy and a British Rights and Duties Act would be introduced to replace the repealed European Communities Act, Extradition Act, Human Rights Act, and Climate Change Act.

About the author:

Prof Stephen Bush is Emeritus Professor of Process Manufacture and of Polymer Engineering at the University of Manchester. He has also been a well-known campaigner on political issues over a period of some 25 years.  He has written 5 substantial pamphlets on economic, political and educational issues and been a contributor to most of the major British TV and radio current affairs programmes.

IEA Brexit Prize: The plan to leave the European Union by 2020 by Daniel. C. Pycock


Within one year a Treaty should be signed effecting a complete withdrawal of the UK from the EU. The UK should be a member of EFTA and at the same time enter into Free Trade Agreements with other trading partners and areas such as NAFTA. There will be major reforms to financial services and their regulation, monetary policy and targets, and taxation and fiscal policy to make the UK economy both more dynamic and more stable. There will also be a major shift of policy on both energy and immigration.

About the author:

Daniel Pycock recently graduated from the University of St. Andrews, having studied History and Economics. He has conducted research for a number of writers on subjects including the early life of Colonel Qaddafi, the economic histories of Hong Kong, New Zealand and Singapore, and the economy of the United Kingdom from 1918 to 1989. He has also worked at the Adam Smith Institute, where he evaluated the policies of the ECB, the NHS, DfID and the Bank of England, and undertook research on Incapacity Benefit waste prior to the 2010 general election.

As with all IEA publications, the views expressed in this paper are those of the author and not those of the Institute (which has no corporate view), its managing trustees, Academic Advisory Council or senior staff.

Due to the speed with which these printed versions were produced, some errors may well remain in the text. These will be corrected in due course and a revised edition published on the IEA website.