Single market membership boosts GDP by 4%

Remaining a member of the EU’s single market could boost the economy by 4%, the Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS) has found.

The think tank assessed the benefits of remaining within the single market against membership of the World Trade Organization alone.

IFS research associate, Ian Mitchell, said: “From an economic point of view we still face some very big choices indeed in terms of our future relationship with the EU. There is all the difference in the world between ‘access to’ and ‘membership of’ the single market.

“Membership is likely to offer significant economic benefits particularly for trade in services. But outside the EU, single market membership also comes at the cost of accepting future regulations designed in the EU without UK input. This may be seriously problematic for some parts of the financial services sector.”

According to the IFS, the main advantage of EU membership was that its single market reduced obstacles to trade, such as the need for licences.

The report also found that new deals are unlikely to compensate for the loss of EU trade, which currently accounts for 44% of our exports and 39% of our service export.