Can someone please tell us what we just voted on?

Ahead of the referendum, we asked: "can someone please tell us what we are voting on?" Now that the results are in, it is still not particularly clear what we just voted for. Is it to emulate Norway, Switzerland, Turkey, Canada or Australia?

In a post back in February, we discussed how there was no clarity on what a vote to 'leave' actually meant. It was fairly clear that voters for 'leave' wanted an end to the free movement of people between the UK and the rest of Europe; but did they also want to leave the single market?

 

Today, the answer to that question is still not clear. During the course of the campaign, 'Leave' advocates have talked of emulating (amongst others) Norway, Switzerland, Turkey, Canada, and Australia.

 

As the diagram above shows, these all imply different institutional arrangements with Europe. In the alphabet soup of European acronyms, it is a choice of EFTA vs EEA vs EUCU vs FTA vs WTO. For all sensible people, those distinctions are as clear as mud. However, the choice has important ramifications for single market access in goods and services, the free movement of people, the passporting of financial services etc etc.

 

The time for ambiguity is over. We now need to deal in specifics. 

 

Can someone please tell us what we just voted on?

 

For more a more detailed discussion, please refer to "Brexit: potential implications for the UK", Macro Matters piece by Hetal and I.  

 
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