Mises UK stands with Steve Baker MP

Some years ago, the Austrian School libertarian Conservative MP Steve Baker addressed a conference of the Libertarian Alliance. At this conference, Mr Baker showed himself to be a sound Austrolibertarian and a supporter of property, freedom, free trade, sound money, and peace. Mr Baker has since become a Government minister. The mainstream media [see this ridiculous article at The Independent] is now using all of its usual tactics to attempt to smear him.

The article at The Independent includes a quotation from the Shadow Brexit Secretary, Keir Starmer. Mr Starmer says that “there should be no place” for Mr Baker’s views. The Ludwig von Mises Centre disagrees; Steve Baker’s views are those which will ensure a clean Brexit is delivered.

Put succinctly at the 2010 Libertarian Alliance conference, Mr Baker believes that:

…the European Union needs to be wholly torn down.

As successor to the Libertarian Alliance, the “right-wing think tank” named in the linked article, Mises UK fully endorses the views expressed by Mr Baker in 2010. The European Union is a protectionist trade bloc with authoritarian and centralising tendencies and dangerous geopolitical ambitions; it must be wholly torn down.

Mises UK does agree, however, with one statement by Keir Starmer: “It is extraordinary that Theresa May has put such an extreme Brexiteer at the heart of the Government.” It is indeed extraordinary. And it is surely a good sign. Mises UK is proud to stand with Steve Baker.


  1. I will have to disagree. I don’t see his appointment as a positive development. I think they should be ensuring that a Remainer leads the negotiations politically, but with a clear objective that we leave the EU itself, the Single Market and the EU Customs Union by March 2019, with some sort of facilitation arrangement negotiated for continuing trade. There is an argument for delaying departure from the Customs Union until we have a full UK-EU trade agreement, but that could take years ad is probably impracticable.

    Appointing somebody as Brexit Secretary who is so virulently anti-EU might not be good for negotiations and to my mind hints at a possibility that the whole process is not being taken seriously. The outcome that most of us want – full secession – is slowly becoming less likely as each day passes and the incompetence of this government becomes more and more apparent, but I think the root of this is that Britain has never had a serious Leave movement. Nigel Farage is not a serious figure. We don’t have any substantial political figures on the nativist/nationalist side and we are now paying the price.

    We should have begun gradual disengagement via EFTA in around 2007 when the Lisbon Treaty was being negotiated. That could have been done without a referendum, but that ship has sailed and we are now in an emergency situation. You can’t separate the economic from the political. If we stay in the Single Market, we will be sucked into political integration. The protections against this are flimsy. The Establishment are playing games with us. They will reassure us that we need not have freedom of movement and an exception will be negotiated, but it will be business as usual at the first opportunity. “We need more immigration for the economy…”, etc.

    Please don’t reply to this comment if you’re just going to say, ‘We won’t leave’. It’s not that I think leaving the European Union is a certainty – nothing is guaranteed at this point – rather it’s that I don’t believe such views are based on facts or an understanding of how the process works. The problems here are more subtle. If it turns out that we aren’t to leave the European Union in March 2019, then that will be its own issue to discuss, but we haven’t yet arrived at a point that we know that to be the case.

  2. The UK would have done better to leave last year with no deal till later. That would have ended the uncertainty over it.

    A Remain vote would have been one for the euro, of course.

    Politics is uneconomic, Tom, that is why we need to roll the state back. The distinction is there in reality, though it took Alfred Marshall in 1890 to sort it out from anti-social politics.

    • The difficulty with that, David, is that without some sort of ‘deal’ (which needn’t be a formal trade agreement, and practically-speaking, couldn’t be anyway) we would have no arrangements in place to facilitate trade. All these ‘third countries’, like China and Mexico, that some Brexiters go on about, that trade under MFN status, have formal trade agreements in place, even if only of a secondary nature. I’m not suggesting that the UK’s position is comparable: we do have a successful record of gold-plated conformity, which should enable a quick transitional agreement, but some sort of ‘deal’ is needed. Without one, we are resting entirely on goodwill and informality, a situation that is less than ideal.

      I think there are two realistic approaches – a gradual disengagement in which we remain within the Single Market at least; or, a complete disengagement, in which we negotiate terms for access to the Single Market.

  3. Who is this Keir Starmer, to say that there is “no place” for Mr. Baker’s views? That is merely an underhanded attempt to suppress the views of someone Mr. Starmer disagrees with.

    I was in the audience on that occasion back in 2010; and I was among those heartily applauding what Mr. Baker said. Though I think it’s more likely that the EU will eventually fall apart of its own accord for economic reasons, rather than be torn down for political ones.

    I wish Mr. Baker the best of luck in his post – though I fear he may need it.

  4. We won’t leave. There, I’ve said it. The EU cannot survive without us, and, more to the point, if we are allowed to leave on less than punitive terms, the other 27 will begin a stampede for the exit, and the EU’s dream of half a century and more will be over.
    “… Nigel Farage is not a serious figure. We don’t have any substantial political figures on the nativist/nationalist side and we are now paying the price….”. Well, it’s true that Nigel is not a “nativist/nationalist”. he believes, as do I, that the argument is about democracy.
    And yes, Neil, that struck me as an odd ruling from the self-appointed custodian of which views are acceptable and which are not, Keir Starmer.
    If he had listened to the rest of Mr Baker’s speech, he would have heard him call for friendship, free trade and peace. Clearly these are unacceptable to the pot-smoking Mr Starmer.

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