Iain Mansfield named winner of €100,000 IEA Brexit Prize

IEA Brexit PrizeWinner

The Institute of Economic Affairs is delighted to announce Iain Mansfield as the winner of the IEA Brexit Prize. The Rt. Hon Lord Lawson awarded Iain the €100,000 prize for his winning entry, which outlines a blueprint for Britain after the EU.

Iain is the Director of Trade and Investment at the UK’s embassy in the Philippines and has previously worked for the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills. He lives with his wife, Sarah, who teaches at the British School, Manila. Their first son, Edward, is seven weeks old and is presently visiting England for the first time. Iain blogs regularly on current affairs, economics and a wide range of other topics, and published his first novel in 2010. His entry is in a personal capacity and does not represent the formal position of the British Embassy Manila, Foreign and Commonwealth Office or Her Majesty's Government.

His winning entry calls for the UK to join the European Free Trade Association, as well as for the introduction of a ‘Great Repeal Bill’ to bring about a comprehensive review and, where appropriate, repeal, of EU regulations. These measures would prevent economic shocks in trade and would reduce the bureaucratic burden on British business, unshackling the wider economy.

It concludes that a Brexit must ultimately be a political rather than an economic decision, yet calculates that if it occurred, the UK economy would experience a £1.3bn increase in GDP. Significantly fewer regulations, coupled with greater trade with emerging economies, could provide an overwhelmingly positive future outlook for an independent Britain.

The submission, A Blueprint for Britain: Openness not Isolation, argues that the single highest economic priority in the event of a ‘no’ vote would be to ensure the maintenance of zero tariffs on trade between the UK and the EU in all areas apart from agriculture. It also strongly makes the case for the importance of an exit from the Single Market. Staying in would mean retaining almost all of the most onerous and controversial aspects of EU membership.

For more information on the winning entry click here. 


A referendum has resulted in an “Out” vote and Her Majesty’s Government has triggered Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. What measures does the UK need to take in the following two years, domestically (within the UK), vis-a-vis the remaining EU and internationally, in order to promote a free and prosperous economy?


An “Out” vote in a British referendum would be a major historic geo-political and economic event, perhaps even comparable with the fall of the Berlin Wall and the subsequent collapse of the Soviet Union and re-unification of Germany. It is time, therefore, that the UK explores the process of withdrawal and its economic and political consequences. This competition is designed to examine the process of withdrawal and, more importantly, how the UK might fit into the fresh geo-political and economic landscape that would follow.

Entry Requirements

Against this background, competitors are invited to compose a Blueprint for Britain outside the EU, covering the process of withdrawal from the EU and the post-exit repositioning of the UK in the global trading and governance systems, covering, inter alia:

  • The legal and constitutional process necessary for the UK to leave the EU and set up, if desired, alternative international relationships. This would include not just the process within the EU itself but the changes to UK law and regulation that would be desirable or necessary.
  • Negotiation of the UK’s post-EU-exit position to settle the UK’s relationships with the remaining EU and other interested parties and, crucially, with the rest of the world, in respect of trade, supranational governance, immigration, the environment, financial regulation, defence etc.

Submissions are invited from individuals, groups of individuals, academia and corporate bodies such as consultancy firms, law firms, accounting firms, think-tanks and investment banks. Initial submissions will be around 2,000 words. The competition’s initial judging panel will then invite the authors of around twenty of those entries to make full submissions of between 10,000 and 20,000 words within a further four months.

Judging Panel

  • Nigel Lawson (Chairman), The Rt Hon Lord Lawson of Blaby, former Chancellor of the Exchequer
  • David Starkey, British constitutional historian and a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London
  • Prof. Philip Booth (Facilitator), Institute of Economic Affairs and Cass Business School
  • Roger Bootle, founder of Capital Economics, a Specialist Adviser to the House of Commons Treasury Committee and an Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries (Advisor and non-voting member)
  • Tim Frost, a governor of the LSE and director of Markit and Cairn Capital
  • Gisela Stuart, MP for Birmingham Edgbaston and editor of The House Magazine
  • Prof. Martin Ricketts, Professor of Economic Organisation at the University of Buckingham
  • Dr. Stephen Davies, Institute of Economic Affairs
  • Robert Craig (Advisor)

Final Shortlist:

The Institute of Economic Affairs would like to congratulate each of the final six shortlisted entries. This included:

  • Rory Broomfield and Iain Murray
  • Prof Stephen Bush 
  • Ben Clements
  • Tim Hewish 
  • Iain Mansfield 
  • Daniel Pycock

For more information on the shortlisted entrants, click here.

The final seventeen entrants were announced in October. For more information on those previously shortlisted, click here. 


Cash prizes were awarded to the first, second and third best entries, as judged by the competition’s final judging panel. First prize is €100,000, second prize is €10,000 and third prize is €5,000. There was a special prize of €5,000 for the best entry from an individual aged 30 or under. The winning entries will be published by the IEA.


16th July 2013 – Brexit Prize announced

16th September 2013, 4pm – Deadline for initial submissions

End October 2013 – Selection of 20 best initial submissions announced

Midnight, 12th February 2014 – Deadline for final submissions

8th April 2014 – Winner announced

For media enquiries, please contact Stephanie Lis, IEA Head of Communications: 0207 799 8909 / 07766 221 268.

For general enquiries and to request an entry number please contact Amelia Abplanalp: [email protected] / 020 7799 8900. Please indicate if you will be in the under 31 category.

To download full information and remit, click here.

To download guidelines for entrants, click here.

To download style guide for entrants, click here.

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