Policy paper

Alternatives to membership: possible models for the United Kingdom outside the European Union (Archived)

This paper looks at potential models for the UK’s relationship with the European Union, if the UK were to vote to leave the EU.

Documents

Alternatives to membership: possible models for the United Kingdom outside the European Union - print version

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Details

This paper is the first part of the report that the government will publish to meet requirements in the European Union Referendum Act 2015. The second part of this report, Rights and obligations of European Union membership, was published on 14 April 2016.

This paper looks at a number of possible alternatives for the UK’s relationship with the EU, if there were to be a vote to leave. It provides examples of countries that are not members of the EU but have other arrangements with it, specifically Norway, Switzerland, Canada and Turkey. It also looks at a possible relationship based only on World Trade Organisation membership. It sets out the main features and implications of each of the key existing models for the relationship, and assesses their suitability for the UK.

The government believes that no existing models outside the EU can provide the same advantages and influence that we get from the UK’s current status inside the EU.

Published 2 March 2016
Last updated 4 March 2016 + show all updates
  1. added summary
  2. First published.