Brexiteers tell us that we can leave the EU and go back to trade with the rest of the world. Wasn’t is great back in the 1930s and 1940s? Let’s go back to the Commonwealth!
Just this last weekend the UK put its clocks forward by one hour for Summer Time… it seems the Brexiteers need to put theirs forward by 60 years!
The fact is that thanks to our EU membership, 27 of our nearest neighbours buy 45% of the UKs good and services that are exported. It has been nearly 60 years since we enjoyed that level of exports to the Commonwealth.
As a result of the phenomenal cooperation within the largest trading bloc on the planet right on our doorstep, the average GDP per capita is in the region of $35,000 per person. That is one of the things that makes the Single Market the most attractive in the world, not just for the UK but for non-EU members as well. On the other hand, according to this excellent piece about ‘BREXICONOMICS‘ (<–Click for the full article) the Commonwealth has an average GDP per capita of one tenth of that at $3,500…. And if you take out Canada and Australia it is even lower.
As it stands, the UK has the best of both worlds, we can trade anywhere we want to around the globe – just last year, George Osborne signed up over £40 billion of trade deals with China, and he didn’t even need to ask anyones permission to do it! While at the same time we have unlimited trade free of duties, tariffs, and quota with the EU.
What IS the alternative?
When Australia say that we should stay in the EU because “The Commonwealth cannot be a replacement for the European Union. Turning the Commonwealth into a free trade area with harmonised regulations and a common trade policy is not on the agenda.”
And Malta say about a post-EU United Kingdom “such a process would be very ugly, very painful and very costly”
The UKs second largest trade partner in the world (the USA) say: “We have no FTA with the U.K. so they would be subject to the same tariffs – and other trade-related measures – as China, or Brazil or India,”
Rafał Trzaskowski, Polands secretary of state for European affairs: “Leave the union and you will see how much control you will have over your own destiny,” …. “It is an illusion that Great Britain can be as important as it is now, standing alone on the global stage.”
Laurent Fabius, the French foreign minister, has also said his country will block any “special status” for the UK.
Former German foreign minister Joschka Fischer has warned the UK not to lose himself in “wishful thinking” and that Angela Merkel, would do nothing to “endanger the basic principles of the common market, of the EU”
Why would anyone in their right mind think that it is a good idea to give up the best trade deal that it is possible to get in favour of something that is guaranteed to be worse than it already is?
Wouldn’t it just be great if the UK could have the best of both worlds, and trade free of tariffs, duties, and quota with the largest market on the planet while at the same time as being able to sign new bi-lateral agreements around the world anywhere we want to?
We could even do £40 billion of new trade agreements with countries like China without having to ask permission… oh WAIT! https://www.gov.uk/government/news/chinese-state-visit-up-to-40-billion-deals-agreed
Highly recommend a read of this article on Economics of a Brexit, while not endorsed directly it has some very good research points.