23 June 2016

Referendum day: the CapX case for Leave and Remain


At CapX, we have been following the two EU referendum campaigns for months, publishing a range of articles form both sides of the debate. How would leaving the EU affect Britain’s economy, its security, its relationship with our European neighbours? Would Brexit be a reckless gamble, or has the Remain side created a climate of fear to scare voters against choosing Leave? Here are the top five articles from each side, for readers to consider as the country votes.


7 risks in voting Remain, by Daniel Hannan

The Remain campaign confuses familiarity with certainty. Having kept the pound and stayed out of the Schengen Zone, we have plenty of external options. Yes, some of them carry risk. But so does staying put. Did you know Juncker wants an EU army? Or that the little-discussed Five Presidents’ Report, official Brussels policy, sets out plans for deeper fiscal and political union, and pooling of decision-making. Don’t say you haven’t been warned.

In the name of science, Britain must leave the EU, by Matt Ridley

Britain has less than 1% of the world’s population, but 15% of the most highly cited scientific papers, and more Nobel prize winners than any other European country. Our labs are more diverse even than our premier league teams. Discovery and invention are collective processes that happen in networks, not in ivory towers. If we leave science policy to the European Parliament, where big business and big-green lobbying is rife, then we’ll kill it.

Cameron embarks on Project Lie to keep Britain In, by Julia Hartley-Brewer

According to David Cameron and the Remain Camp, Britain will fall into chaos, economic ruin, and be overrun by illegal immigrants and terrorists if we vote to leave the EU. But didn’t the Prime Minister publicly state that, if he failed to win the necessary reforms from the EU, he would campaign to leave? Either Cameron was lying then, or he is lying now with his scaremongering claims. Either way, the British people deserve the truth.

The EU is about to crucify the UK’s thriving ports, by Daniel Mahoney

The European Commission’s Ports Services Regulation poses major risks to the UK’s ports sector. While the Commission’s proposal aims to tackle inefficient State-run ports in continental Europe, the UK’s independent, market driven ports system risks getting caught in the crossfire of this regulation. A new regulator may be imposed on the UK’s ports sector, potentially damaging investor confidence in the industry. Other EU ports may also receive state-aid exemptions, which would be grossly unfair on UK ports that are subjected to the regulation.

The idea that the EU equals security is bunkum, by Iain Martin

The EU is a botched bureaucracy, built on a notionally nice idea, being rendered inoperable by history. The Remain campaign has made much of the benefits of EU cooperation, producing experts to say that security and intelligence collaboration is a central benefit of the EU. Is it? It doesn’t seem to be working particularly well. The EU open borders model and obsession with anti-democratic integration rather than trade and friendly cooperation is turning steadily into a catastrophe for European civilisation.


Don’t be fooled by the “sovereignty” delusion – the EU makes us richer, safer and freer, by Philippe Legrain

We all want a more successful Britain – and we can achieve it in the EU. Remain offers far more opportunities than Leave, for patriots who want the UK to maintain its global standing, pro-marketeers who advocate freer trade, and Anglosphere advocates who desire closer links with the US and Australia. Remember, the choice is between plausible alternatives, not between everything you dislike about modern Britain and some fantasy post-Brexit Utopia.

Brexit would be a disaster for Europe, by Declan Ganley

Some of Britain’s opponents in the EU are hoping that June 23rd will see the UK driven from the Continent. But the dissent and dissatisfaction growing across Europe remains unaddressed. Throughout history, it has been the British who have resisted and opposed the misguided instincts of continental elites. The EU needs Britain to stay in and fight – without us, the danger is that Europe will wilt, and fail, and remain just 20.6 miles away.

Positive terminal – what the “Remain” campaign is missing in the Brexit debate, by Edward Lucas

Even for those who want Britain to stay in the EU, the In campaign is pretty unappealing. Part of the problem is that the Remain camp looks too much like the British political class. We need advocates for Europe who do not reek of the magic circle of boardrooms. Britain’s size, experience and friends make us the continent’s natural leader, yet we are absent. Remain could be a call for positive change, rather than a timid vote for the status quo.

A Brexiteer reluctantly for Remain, by Shanker Singham

The EU has lost sight of its original principles, and now regulates in a statist, dirigiste way. But we must be wary of voting Leave. The world has become a dangerous place, and it is no coincidence that the illiberal Putin and Trump support Brexit for their own nationalist, populist reasons. The international community needs the UK in the EU – losing Europe as a carrier of classical liberalism would be a disaster for Europe and for the world.

Now is not the time to gamble with Europe, by Bruce Anderson

What will the Chinese economy be doing in six months‘ time? What will be happening in the Middle East? How will Putin react to an economic crisis? When and how will the refugee crisis end? At a time when the EU is already feeling weak, Brexit would tear a hole in it, and a more unstable Europe is not in Britain’s interest. A vote to leave amidst such uncertainty would be an almighty gamble, and a great irresponsibility.