Over at The Washington Post, GMU law professor Ilya Somin has a great piece on Brexit that touches on similar points I made in my first post on the subject. After taking a look of political theorist Jacob Levy’s fantastic arguments against Brexit, Somin makes several important observations:
- “First, he implicitly assumes that the UK will not become significantly more pro-free market than it was before Brexit. If you think that a Conservative government led by Boris Johnson or Theresa May will adopt much more market-oriented policies than it did in David Cameron, then its possible that the leaving the EU will facilitate such reforms. So far, however, I see little evidence of any such free market revolution in the offing.”
- “Conversely, it is also possible that, even if the EU has not made British economic policy much more interventionist so far, it might have done so in the future had Britain voted for Remain.”
- “Finally, it is possible that free trade and migration will be preserved intact if Britain joins the European Economic Area – the so-called “Norway option” favored by some Brexit proponents. EEA membership requires free trade and migration for EU citizens, and would also subject the UK to many (though not all) EU economic regulations. From a libertarian standpoint, the Norway option retains most of the good features of the European Union, while freeing Britain from at least a few of the bad ones. “
there is still a lot of uncertainty over the long-term impact of Brexit. But Jacob’s analysis should at least give pause to those who expect that Brexit will lead to a more libertarian Britain, or a more free-market Europe more generally.