Free-market think tank the Institute of Economic Affairs has launched a competition to identify the best way for the UK to exit the European Union.
The Brexit Prize will award €100,000 (£86,500) to whoever comes up with the best plan for the UK to leave the EU, including exactly how the country will withdraw from the union and how it will re-position itself after the exit.
Former Chancellor Nigel Lawson will act as chairman on the judging panel, which also includes members such as Capital Economics founder Roger Bootle, British constitutional historian David Starkey and Birmingham Edgbaston MP Gisela Stuart.
IEA director general Mark Littlewood says: “It is time for the EU debate to be dominated by serious thought rather than bluster. There is an urgent need to consider the alternatives for Britain’s economic and constitutional position if we were to choose to leave the EU.
“Exit from the European Union now has to be considered to be a serious possibility. The task of mapping out a successful future on the outside requires serious thought and requires it now. “
Lawson adds: “Now that we have been promised an in-out referendum on Britain and the EU in 2017, it is essential that this momentous decision is preceded by a well-informed debate. The winning entries in this competition will be an important contribution to that process.”
The think tank is seeking submissions from individuals, groups of individuals, academia and corporate bodies such as investment banks, consultancy firms, law practices, accounting firms and other think-tanks.
Initial submissions will be around 2,000 words in length and need to be entered by 16 September 2013. The prize will be awarded in March 2014.