What effect would a decade outside the European Union have on UK exports?
The referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU is next week, and it’s become clear – not least by the responses to the blog we published last week by Mike Excell – that this is an issue with many interrelated aspects. So the next couple of polls on our website will attempt to focus on aspects of the debate, rather than on the referendum as a whole.
As we predicted when the referendum was called, the debate has devolved into a series of claims and counter-claims from the opposing groups. We’re interested to see what engineers, who are after all better-placed than most to assess international trade, think would happen to UK exports after ten years outside the EU. Would volumes to our former partners stay the same, or decline? And would leaving the EU allow us to export more to the regions outside Europe, or might these decline as well (as, for example, might happen if leaving had an adverse effect on manufacturing capacity in the UK, as some pessimistic campaigners on the Remain side have claimed). There isn’t space within the poll to break down the regions outside Europe, but we’d be interested to hear your thoughts on this – might we increase trade with the Americas, Asia, the Middle East and Africa, or with the Commonwealth states in general, for example?
Comments on the poll are welcome. This page will display the results on the 21 June.