Brexit and the Single Market

There is an entertaining meme doing the rounds at the moment as the UK heads towards the exit door of the EU.

This is the idea that the EU will deny the UK access to the precious “Single Market” and just won’t buy our stuff any more.

Unfortunately that falls foul of the logic of the Single Market in the first place.

The whole concept is based around the idea of Comparative Advantage — the neoliberal belief that each nation can ‘specialise’ in some set of goods or services and that somehow enhances the return to each nation.

Of course if you specialise, then you don’t generalise, and that means that if the UK leaves the EU the only place to get the ‘secret sauce’ that they currently buy from the UK is … the UK. That is if you believe in Comparative Advantage.

However if you say that you can get the UK’s ‘secret sauce’ from elsewhere in Europe then you are effectively saying Comparative Advantage is bunkum (which it is), and, therefore, there is no benefit at all to a Single Market and the free trade concept in general.

So when the UK leaves the EU either the Single Market theory is true in which case the EU has to buy stuff from us, or it is false and we don’t need really need the Single Market at all. Instead we can shift to a domestic focus and implement a Job Guarantee