Britain has nothing to lose and everything to gain from leaving the European Union. A seamless Brexit could even spark a free market “chain reaction” across the continent, driving the likes of Denmark and Sweden to take control of their own destiny.
Politicians from Switzerland and Iceland’s largest parties claim the UK would be able to stand on its own outside of the EU, successfully trading with Europe while at the same time broadening its ability to meet market demand around the world.
The Daily Telegraph reports Thomas Aeschi, of the Swiss People’s Party and a former banker at Credit Suisse, said that the UK’s exit could see the bloc move in a more protectionist direction, harming its remaining members.
“There are certainly some countries that are on the line, waiting to see how the EU develops. If the UK were to leave, it could trigger some a chain reaction,” he said, noting that Denmark and Sweden “would at least start reconsidering their relationship with the EU”.
A British departure could have a domino effect across the rest of the bloc, encouraging other nations to seek their own independence and boost economic growth.
Mr Aeschi and Guthlaugur Thor Thordarson, of Iceland’s Independence Party, invited Britain to rejoin the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), of which the UK was a founding member.
Its members – Iceland, Switzerland, Norway, and Liechtenstein – enjoy access to the EU’s common market, but are not subjected to the same political controls imposed by Brussels.
According to the Telegraph, Mr Thordarson, formerly Iceland’s minister of health, said that the EU had “lacked the drive” to liberalise trade around the world and move towards lowering trade barriers across the globe.
The EU has declined in importance as a trade destination for the UK, with just 45.3 per cent of its goods exports headed to the political union in May, down from a peak of 66 per cent in the early 2000s.
With the EU “on course to become a minority market for UK goods exports”, according to Martin Beck, of Oxford Economics, the ability to make trade arrangements with non-EU economies is of increasing importance.
UK Prime Minister David Cameron has promised a referendum on EU membership will take place before the end of 2017
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