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On free trade after the UK leaves the EU’s customs union

I liked this statement by Julian Jessop, chief economist (recently appointed) of the Institute of Economic Affairs, the classical liberal think tank in the UK:

“It’s disappointing that the decision to convert existing EU laws is again being justified in terms of continuity and certainty. Instead, Brexit should provide an opportunity to reduce the burden of regulation on UK households and firms alike.

“It’s also disappointing that the default option in the event of no agreement is being framed in terms of the most pessimistic WTO scenario, ignoring any benefits that might come from unilateral free trade. The UK will have the opportunity to lower barriers that prevent our consumers and businesses from accessing the best and cheapest goods and services, wherever they come from. What’s more, we should consider doing so even if other countries – including the rest of the EU – continue to embrace protectionism.

“However, it’s welcome the commitment to a quick agreement on reciprocal rights for people from the rest of the EU already living and working here and for UK citizens on the continent. Now that Article 50 has been triggered there is no longer any excuse for either side to delay. Indeed, this will be an early test of the willingness of politicians in the rest of the EU to put the interests of ordinary people above their own narrow political projects.”

 

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8 comments to On free trade after the UK leaves the EU’s customs union

  • Rob Thorpe

    “It’s also disappointing that the default option in the event of no agreement is being framed in terms of the most pessimistic WTO scenario”

    Something everyone should remember is that this is a starting point for negotiation. Reciprocal free trade is the best. One way free trade is a second best.

    They need to start by saying that they will tariff everyone. That way, perhaps some nations can be lured into a reciprocal free trade agreement to prevent that from happening.

  • The Jannie

    “this will be an early test of the willingness of politicians in the rest of the EU to put the interests of ordinary people above their own narrow political projects”

    Predictions on a five pound note, please.

  • Michael Gillespie

    “this will be an early test of the willingness of politicians in the rest of the EU to put the interests of ordinary people above their own narrow political projects”.

    This must be an example of that dry British humo(u)r I keep hearing about.

  • CaptDMO

    And just like the US, NOW we can watch and see who’s decided to continue to try to sabotage EACH and EVERY (actually progressive)bit of motion, at EVERY step of the way, now that employers have “corrected” the previous willful delusions of their job description.
    Prepare for lengthy tirades of indefensible bunk,from second and third stringers that SOMEHOW self-describe as “important”.
    Because: It hasn’t been done RIGHT yet. I’m SURE it’ll be different THIS time!!!!!

  • RRS

    “this will be an early test of the willingness of politicians in the rest of the EU to put the interests of ordinary people above their own narrow political projects”

    Why should they be expected to do so?

  • Paul Marks

    As the Daily Telegraph said on Tuesday – the government has got things the wrong way round on European Union regulations.

    The position should be that all E.U. regulations on our domestic (internal) life are void when we leave the E.U. – unless it can be shown that a specific regulation serves a useful purpose (I would be very hard to convince on that point).

    Sadly the government is saying “we will incorporate all the regulations into British law – and then decide which regulations we want to repeal later”.

    That is the wrong way round – the burden of proof should be the other way round.