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Brexit and state aid: Britain will soon rediscover that it is disastrous to back lame ducks

History shows that state bribery and coercion are no substitute for the free market

Rootes, maker of the Hillman Imp, couldn’t be saved by state bribery. Photo: © Magic Car Pics/Shutterstock

Last year, a couple of economists from the International Monetary Fund published a book called The Return of the Policy That Shall Not Be Named. What was this daring breach of economic taste? 

Industrial policy. For economists of a certain age, the very words are an uncomfortable reminder of wasted taxpayers’ millions. Some studies have indeed reviewed policies in countries like South Korea, Taiwan, and above all China, and suggested that…

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