Thursday, June 30, 2016

One Positive Result of Brexit

by Levi Russell

In the wake of the UK's referendum on its membership in the EU, there have been many positive and negative reactions. My own view is that, even with the potentially negative impact of tighter immigration restrictions, the UK will be better off without EU regulations and will likely have trade terms similar to those it had before (see Switzerland). In fact, the biggest proponents of the Leave campaign want free trade with the EU. Of course I could very well be wrong. It might have been better from a utilitarian/consequentalist point of view for the UK to remain in the EU.

I think there's one benefit of the UK's (potential) exit that is unambiguous: The UK citizenry will be better equipped to govern themselves. Specifically, the cost of monitoring their lawmakers has fallen dramatically. If and when the UK leaves the EU, Britons will only have to monitor the behavior of the 650 members of parliament (MPs). Outside of trade deals, the EU MEPs in Brussels will have no direct effect on them.

Additionally, the benefit of participating in the political process is higher as well. Each MP now controls a larger share of the laws and regulations under which Britons live. Thus, any influence Britons (whether individually or in groups) wield over MPs now carries more weight.

It's possible that, on net, the UK's (potential) exit from the EU will be very bad for the average British citizen. However, there are clear benefits from a public choice point of view.

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