Patrick Minford’s letter to the Financial Times: Pro-Brexit analysis figures add up perfectly, in fact


Chris Giles would have benefited from more time reading the Alternative Brexit Economic Analysis (“The latest pro-Brexit analysis has got its sums badly wrong”, Instant Insight, February 21).

EU non-tariff barriers against the US and other OECD countries are estimated at around 16 per cent; they consist of various forms of trade discrimination, and to eliminate them does not mean getting rid of standards, merely of the discriminatory element against other rich countries that also have good standards.

Total trade barriers of 20 per cent, which on average apply to both food and manufactures, are indeed five times the average tariff barrier of 4 per cent, implying that indeed the UK gains from free trade amount to 4 per cent of gross domestic product under the model the civil service is now using.

As for the costs of the border, the World Trade Organization mandates a seamless and so costless border by law; where then can the civil service find the huge costs it assumes?

Prof Patrick Minford

Chair, Economists for Free Trade

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