After Brexit, more like Singapore?

After Brexit, more like Singapore? By Dan Mitchell.

Brexit was a battle over whether the United Kingdom would:

  1. Be a component part of the European Union
  2. Be a self-governing democracy

Now that British voters have chosen the second option, there’s a secondary debate about what path to choose.

Many Brexit supporters hope that the United Kingdom will use its newly restored independence to chart a more laissez-faire path, including lower taxes and less red tape.

Critics fret that this approach would mean the U.K. becoming a European version of Singapore.

My former colleague Marian Tupy explains for CapX that this would be a very desirable outcome.

“Earlier this month Guy Verhofstadt, the Belgian MEP…, tweeted that…”We will never accept ‘Singapore by the North Sea’!” What exactly is wrong with being Singapore? …

“Back in 1755 Adam Smith observed that “little else is requisite to carry a state to the highest degree of opulence from the lowest barbarism, but peace, easy taxes, and a tolerable administration of justice” – that certainly holds true for Singapore, which has become one of the world’s most prosperous countries by following Smith’s formula…

“In the last few decades, Singapore’s economy grew at a faster pace than that of the UK and the EU … Life expectancy at birth is the best proximate measure of the overall health of the population. …life expectancy in Singapore trailed the EU and UK in 1960. In 2017, Singaporeans lived, on average, longer than Europeans.”

This isn’t just convergence. Singapore caught up with the U.K., then caught up to the U.S.A., and now has a comfortable advantage.

Limited government works. No bloated, overpaid burden of bureaucrats telling us what to do and getting in people’s way with too much red and green tape. Which also means taxes can be significantly lower.