London: The Institute of Economic Affairs, 2001
At a time when public opposition to joining the euro is increasing and a debate is emerging about the long term costs and benefits of Britain’s membership of the EU, this paper presents a timely solution to Britain’s somewhat strained relationship with the EU. Dr John C Hulsman, a senior policy analyst at the Washington-based Heritage Foundation, presents a compelling case for the advancement of Britain’s trade interests through UK participation in a global free trade association. This would permit Britain to gain the benefits of freer trade whilst avoiding a constant battle with EU partners over ever-closer integration.
To move the debate forward, and in particular to test whether or not Dr Hulsman’s proposal is viable, the IEA asked four well-known writers on European issues to analyse the paper and write commentaries. These are followed by a response by Dr Hulsman. All the commentators are generally supportive of the Hulsman idea, though they offer a variety of critiques.
This publication is timely and highly readable, and stands out in the discussions about Britain’s relationship with the EU, not only by raising issues of real substance, but by providing positive suggestions about a way out of the confused and quarrelsome state into which that relationship appears to have lapsed.