A view of Singapore, February 2016.
EDGAR SU / REUTERS

The United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union will set the countries of the United Kingdom (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales) and Ireland on new economic paths. England and Wales will need to navigate the shocks of the Brexit process and seek new opportunities for trade around the world. Scotland, which may pursue a second independence referendum in the coming years, will have to strengthen its economic base and the institutions to support it. Northern Ireland, whose relationship with Ireland may be transformed by Brexit, must wean itself off its state-supported economy and streamline its political system. And although Ireland is an independent state, its fortunes, too, will be profoundly affected by Brexit.

As these countries chart their courses into their post-Brexit futures, there is a model they can follow. Over the past 30 years, small, developed states—from Sweden to New Zealand—have tended to outstrip their larger

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