'We're going to get rid of the EU barriers between us and the world'
by Giulia Carbonaro

Economist Patrick Minford has been one of the most vocal supporters of Brexit. For years he's been campaigning for the UK to leave the EU, claiming that the economy can only benefit from freeing itself from regulation.

"Free trade has always been – as a country, in our history - our default policy, because we (the UK) are a trading nation," said Minford. "I think therefore the position we are in is one that we are used to in our history and it's our natural position.

"We are going to get rid of all these barriers that the EU has put between us and the rest of the world, and that is such an opportunity to recreate the economy the way it really should have been all along."

Patrick Minford is professor of Economics at Cardiff University.

Patrick Minford is professor of Economics at Cardiff University.

Minford estimates that the UK will have to become more productive in the industries that are bigger in Europe – food and manufacturing – in order to compete internationally.

Questioned about Boris Johnson latest proposal to end free movement and introduce an immigration system modelled on the Australian point-based one and whether this would reduce economic growth in the UK, Minford called concerns over this plan "nonsense".

"This is a pro skilled workers immigration system that will get us the skills we need from around the world and stop the inflow of unskilled workers who have cost us a lot of money, because they claim benefits here from the taxpayers and pay very little taxes."

Minford led the group Economists for Brexit – now called Economists for Free Trade - which was a point of reference for many Brexiteers leading up to the referendum.

The group produced a study suggesting that the UK economy would have been better off leaving the EU with no trade deal, saying that by unilaterally dropping all tariff barriers on imports, the UK's GDP would have received a boost of four percent.  

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