Why, you might ask, are the Brexitiers, who are supposedly seeking more free trade deals, proposing to do so by first tearing up trade deals with not just the EU 27 but also 70 other countries and why are they proposing to undermine future trade negotiations by unilaterally removing barriers to good and services entering the UK when the UK quits the EU?
The foolish Fox talking on the Today Programme this morning admitted that, having promised tariff-free entry for most Canadian goods to the UK after Brexit, the Canadians had rejected doing the same for British goods entering Canada. According to the foolish Fox, “they [the Canadians] not unreasonably said, ‘Why should we…when we can get access to your market for nothing?’” The foolish Fox’s response was that they should do so in case the UK later changes its mind. Unconvincing? Idiotic? Of course…but it is another indication of what many Brexitiers really have in mind for the future of the UK.
Their aim is not more free trade deals but tearing up all trade deals, an aspiration that they can achieve in a single stroke by leaving the EU and ceasing to benefit from all the trade deals into which, as a member of the EU, the UK is currently tied.
Patrick Minford, the economic brains behind the Brexit adventure, has been going around the country for three years explaining that the UK will flourish after Brexit, not because it will do trade deals, but because it will unilaterally remove barriers to goods and services entering the UK market. In buying everything, from food through manufactures to health and other professional services, at the best (lowest) global price, the UK would have a huge competitive advantage over most of the rest of the world. However, he has been up front in saying that that would result in the end of most manufacturing industries in the UK and be the death knell of UK agriculture. When your blogger heard him speak, he added that, if the UK wanted to maintain a manufacturing base and an agricultural industry, it should stay in the EU.
A mystery no longer.