Policy paper Alternatives to membership: possible models for the United Kingdom outside the European Union

Policy paper Alternatives to membership: possible models for the United Kingdom outside the European Union

This paper looks at potential models for the UK’s relationship with the European Union, if the UK were to vote to leave the EU.

Detail

This paper is the first part of the report that the government will publish to meet requirements in the European Union Referendum Act 2015. The second part of this report, which will provide information about the rights and obligations of the UK’s membership of the EU, will be published at a later date.

This paper looks at a number of possible alternatives for the UK’s relationship with the EU, if there were to be a vote to leave. It provides examples of countries that are not members of the EU but have other arrangements with it, specifically Norway, Switzerland, Canada and Turkey. It also looks at a possible relationship based only on World Trade Organisation membership. It sets out the main features and implications of each of the key existing models for the relationship, and assesses their suitability for the UK.

The government believes that no existing models outside the EU can provide the same advantages and influence that we get from the UK’s current status inside the EU.

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