The Bank of England Brexit GDP scenarios show a blue area depicting a "close relationship" scenario and a "less close" relationship scenario. It is clear that when they use the label "less close" they mean still fairly close. There is also a red area depicting Brexit scenarios. Note that I am using this graph as background information because I encountered it when researching the subject of this question. Any caveats the Bank of England may have made about this graph still apply. image A "remain" scenario, which might be the same as the "close" scenario, means new international agreements in those matters where E.U. members have agreed to act as one would have to be negotiated by the E.U. After the implementation of some sort of Brexit, the U.K. and the E.U. would no longer be acting as one in certain matters. In that outcome, if it ever occurs, one of the opportunities then available to the U.K. is to have new international agreements negotiated by the U.K. which express U.K. preferences. These potential agreements seem to be absent from the scenarios depicted and it may be reasonable to have it that way if the Bank of England's goal was to consider the question of Brexit in isolation.

The Brexit outcomes not only create the opportunity for the U.K. to act alone but perhaps in these outcomes it will become more desirable for the U.K. to act in ways to increase GDP to offset the lower levels of GDP that are projected.

Do polls or some other evidence indicate popular support for post-Brexit freer trade in goods and services and freer cross-border inward and outward investment? The question is focused on the popularity of trade and investment that will be freer or can be made freer than it was before Brexit.

Whether new agreements make it possible or if existing WTO rules newly applied make it possible or if some other means makes it possible is probably not important to the question. This is not a question about anything claimed by any political figures.

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    Look at the timeframe of your graph - International trade deals take a very long time to negotiate (typically much more than 5 years) and the post Brexit priority will be with the EU so the UK probably won't have any negotiated deals other than the EU (and possibly not even that) by 2024
    – mcottle
    Commented Feb 3, 2019 at 3:37
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    Note that GDP does not help people in the country per se. In The Netherlands the fear is that companies will come, increase GDP but don't add to the economy much by adding jobs or paying taxes. If anything, that costs the Dutch because their EU contributions are based on GDP.
    – JJJ
    Commented Feb 3, 2019 at 5:01
  • @mcottle Most of the people alive are probably more than 5 years from the grave and they have an interest regardless because of children and grandchildren.
    – H2ONaCl
    Commented Feb 3, 2019 at 5:18
  • @JJJ it is generally assumed to be in the general interest to grow GDP per capita even if the income is unevenly distributed. Taxes can help redistribute. The Bank of England thinks GDP is relevant to the general public.
    – H2ONaCl
    Commented Feb 3, 2019 at 6:13
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    Freer trade was one of the selling points of Brexit, but not the main one. That was always "not being in the EU" which was far more an emotional and political issue than an economic one. I have not seen any polling about freer trade since the referendum, as a Brit who tries to keep up with the news. Commented Feb 3, 2019 at 9:41

1 Answer 1


new international agreements negotiated by the U.K. which express U.K. preferences

Like what? What are our preferences anyway?

This is not a flippant dismissal, it's the heart of the problem. Nobody from the Brexit side or the Cabinet has managed to articulate coherently what deals they would make that are feasible. Without that it's impossible to measure what the benefits might be.

For example with India, the first demand was for concessions on Indian immigration to the UK. Is that likely to happen in the current anti-immigration political climate? I don't think so.

The preferences seem to be "reduce immigration no matter what the human or economic cost", which is unlikely to end well.

  • I'm not sure what you're saying. Do you mean that until the current anti-immigration climate has passed, there will be no trade deals with the UK? Do you think that all countries of the world hoping to trade with the UK will attempt to tie immigration to trade despite the overwhelming preponderance of existing agreements that have no such connection? Are you saying the answer to the OP's question is 'no'?
    – ouflak
    Commented Feb 4, 2019 at 14:15
  • @pjc50 The pollster might ask a thousand people: "If Brexit eliminates participation in the EU customs union do you prefer it to be replaced with a policy to increase trade protectionism or to replace it with a policy to increase international trade with non-EU countries?"
    – H2ONaCl
    Commented Feb 5, 2019 at 4:15
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    @h2onacl surely this is going to be very dependent on wording - and what sort of trade? "Do you want cheaper food" vs "Do you want US chlorine washed chicken imported while British farmers go out of business"?
    – pjc50
    Commented Feb 5, 2019 at 7:33
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    This question seems to miss the point completely. The OP's question was about free trade. Your answer is about immigration. The two are not related. Your comment is more related to the question than this answer.
    – ouflak
    Commented Feb 5, 2019 at 20:32
  • Re last para, if Hungary is a good example... theatlantic.com/international/archive/2019/01/… Commented Apr 8, 2019 at 8:05

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