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On June 23, the United Kingdom will hold a referendum on whether to leave the European Union. On the economic side of the "Brexit" debate are three main questions: Do European rules impose growth-stifling regulation on the U.K.? Would leaving the EU increase opportunities for British exports? There is no sign here of the U.K. being dragged down by the EU.If anything, the U.K. might aim to be a bit more like Denmark (an EU member, ranked third in the world) on some dimensions of the business environment, including property registration, construction permits and paperwork reduction in international trade.In the CER's view, EU membership has increased U.K. trade in goods with other member states by more than 50 percent.The biggest trade agreement on the horizon that will affect the U.K. is between the United States and the European Union – the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.Britain will do well from this kind of service-sector trade liberalization.Over the longer term, the U.K. financial sector needs to be well regulated; no one wants another major financial disruption.It is difficult to see how the U.K.'s global stature and influence would increase if it left the EU – particularly given the significant adverse impact such an outcome would have on the British economy.
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