Imagine a supranational project that is set up by a group of member states to serve its members by acting as an international trade facilitator. Imagine also that, as time goes by, this trade facilitator adds a massive political overcoat through the accumulated effect of many small steps. Despite no clear democratic mandate.

Now imagine that one of the member states is met with derision when asking for clear limits to further expansion. Imagine, moreover, that the majority of the people in this member state, subsequently, vote to leave. And then ask for a free trade agreement. Meaning that this country, in practice, asks to be treated similarly to most other non-member countries. Imagine next that the supranationalists respond as follows:

“Leaving is close to impossible while it will lead to aeroplane chaos, lorry chaos, medicine chaos, economic chaos and, yes, possibly war at your north-western border. By the way, we cannot start discussing a trade agreement until that border issue has been sorted. As well as the money issue. Fees way beyond the membership fee need to be discussed, meaning extra negotiation time is necessary. During the transition period you will have no say over rules since you have, sort of, left. But you will still need to continue to pay up because you have, sort of, not left. And if no agreement can be concluded during the transition period, well, then you need to stay in our customs union indefinitely. Meaning you will continue to be prohibited from signing independent trade deals. Now, since leaving is so hard, costly, time-consuming and restraining – is it not time to conclude, once and for all, that only ‘ill-informed hardliners’ would even try? And that it is better to stay?”

Imagine, moreover, that this response is produced by supranationalists consistently apt at moving forward quickly and creatively when ever closer union is negotiated; just not when going the other way.

As an objective observer, which side would you conclude was really representing ”hardline excess”? Which side would you say was representing “excess backtracking”?

A key problem during every important transition period relates to perceptions. Every political camp, when having dominated the political scene for a long time, will unknowingly enter excess terrain. Why? Because the tremendous nomination and budgets powers (that comes with the territory) will ensure – often unconsciously – that people with the same mindset will eventually dominate in just about every position of authority, meaning that expert consultation rounds will usually end in the same way: “Anyone ‘serious’ against our proposal to [yet again] advance a bit further in the same direction as before? No? Since most of us would prefer moving forward through great leaps, this is the moderate way to go, right?”

A century ago it was ”the socialist radicals”, while then more firmly attached to the ground than the Conservatives, who brought common sense and realism into a Parliament dominated by dated but lingering perceptions. The institutionalised right-wing “experts” responded with never-ending prophecies of instability and doom. Yet, the Labour Party – while offering counterweight and balance – paved the way towards greater both stability and prosperity.

With roles reversed, history is now repeating itself since – surprise, surprise – the scenario imagined above is based on a true story titled “The Brexit hotchpotch” which, had it been submitted as a work of political fiction only a few years ago, probably would have been rejected by most publishers because the plot would have been considered too unlikely.

If stepping back and looking at the big picture it is arguably, today, only the “rebel faction” of the Conservative Party which offers a path towards regained political stability; since excess backtracking is always the best remedy if truly seeking political stability. Whereas it is the Conservative Party “establishment faction” that can be seen as the sole faction in UK politics which is likely to end up on the wrong side of history during both democratic junctures mentioned.

The Brexit story involves numerous ironies but the perhaps greatest of them all is that despite the animosity most people on both sides really want the same thing: international trade, an intact democracy and certainly not excess of any sort. Today, just as a hundred years ago, a small minority of movers and shakers, institutionalised on top of the political power pyramid, is holding the overwhelming majority to ransom through its moralist defence of excess dressed up as moderation.

However, even when exercising tremendous powers of interpretation the moralists can only halt real progress, not stop it. After all, if genuinely comfortable about the truth neither moralism nor scare-stories are needed to make a case. In the 1920s, as time passed, the tactic of the status quo apologists backfired. Meaning that the moralism-and-scare-story-phase proved to be their last hurrah. We are presently going through a similar cycle. Which is why today’s status quo apologists are bound to come across as just as obsolete as their equivalents a hundred years ago. Not without reason.

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A true economic miracle is happening. An extraordinary leap in the UK’s global export trade has occurred – a complete reverse of the ‘Doomsday’ predictions of the Treasury, Bank of England and Department for Business in London both before after the Brexit vote.

According to figures published by the UK Office of National Statistics in November – in the second calendar year following the EU referendum – exports to non-EU countries were £342 billion while exports to EU countries were £274 billion.

In the same period, the growth in exports continued to outstrip the growth in imports, almost halving the UK’s trade deficit from £23.4 billion to £15.8 billion. Most exceptionally, since the referendum, exports have increased by £111 billion to £610 billion.

Doubters will say it is a temporary blip caused by the falling pound. Not true. The boom is in new markets, and largely in new products and services, too. UK exports not just increased but doubled in hitherto obscure countries such as Oman and Macedonia. Exports to distant Kazakhstan climbed to $2 billion, only slightly less than the UK’s exports to Austria, worth $2.43 billion in 2017, which like many EU nations buys very little from the UK.

In the 12 months to September, the value of UK exports grew by some 4.4%, including strong growth in the manufacturing sector. Indeed, HMRC stated that exports of goods had shown “robust growth in every single region of the UK”. The number of Welsh SMEs which export doubled during the last two years to 52%.

Curiously, none of this has been spotted by any of the UK’s headline media – the BBC, Sky News or the FT. Not a peep from the new editor of the Daily Mail. Even The Economist was asleep on the job. Meanwhile, various government departments are spending much of their time issuing ‘Death in Brexit’ forecasts in a co-ordinated campaign with the Bank of England and other allies – and rarely champion our achievements.

Four years ago I was interviewed by Richard Cockett, The Economist’s UK business editor. I told him the UK was experiencing an unparalleled SME boom. How did I know, he asked? Since leaving the FT as a technology correspondent and columnist in 2003, my small team in central London has maintained a uniquely comprehensive database of more than 70,000 UK smaller companies.

As a result, daily we receive an avalanche of success stories. In the food and drink sector alone, if you want whisky marmalade or beetroot ketchup, or 500 new gin varieties or more than 1,000 new craft beers launched since 2011, our very brave, risk-adoring micro-SMEs will deliver.

If a New York cathedral needs a new, hand-made organ that £3 million contract comes to Britain. We sell sand to Saudi Arabia, china to China, and Turkish delight to Turkey. In the ultra-competitive auto components sector, UK exports are up 20%. Luxury goods, consumer goods, clever instrumentation for NASA and crucial cerebral input into US defence projects are all avidly listed in our dataset.

And yet, in our view the true importance of the export boom is as much political as economic. It proves that a No-Deal exit from the EU – or what I much prefer to call ‘Our Own Deal’ – is by far the best option, and far less damaging and disruptive than the ‘experts’ at the Bank of England, IoD, CBI, OECD and World Bank have forecast.

Far from being the ‘poverty and isolation’ scenario predicted by the chin tremblers who endlessly appear on Radio 4, the UK will be far much dependent on the EU in as little as five years.

Fears about UK-made cars from Japanese firms such as Nissan and Toyota being cut off from Europe are groundless. First, the UK could retaliate against BMW and VW – something no post-Merkel German politician would tolerate. Any anti-Japanese actions by the French would result in the rapid diminution of the £4 billion annual exports of French cosmetics to Japan. And the French know it, no matter what Macron might bluster.

But the export explosion is not the only piece of recent great news for the UK – there is more. First, in October 2018 Japan’s Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, invited the UK to become part of the Pacific free trade pact – although this is dependent on the UK leaving the EU’s Customs Union. It would make the UK the sole geographically-distant member of the grouping, helping the country to rebuild trading links around the Pacific Ocean that stretch back more than two centuries.

Next, BP’s huge Claire Ridge oilfield, west of the Shetlands, just came on stream, providing no less than £42 billion in revenues over the next 25 years. It is a development much envied across energy-starved Europe – and there are more oilfields to come.

At this critical moment in the Brexit saga, it is vital the UK now wakes up to the much brighter future it has outside of the EU, and vital that Mrs May copies the bravery of our SME exporters. The so-called ‘No-Deal’, a term that needlessly frightens ordinary citizens, should indeed be re-named ‘Our Own Deal’, in which we invite all nations to trade with us on fair trade, low or no tariff, basis.

The UK economy will soon be in a solidly secure position to refuse any damaging ‘deal’ from the European Commission. Perhaps it was always the height of imbecility to think we could ever get a good deal from the Commission.

Finally, the tide of history is in our favour, even in Europe. The current, sub-optimal generation of European politicians – Cameron, Merkel, Juncker – will soon ‘be history’. Merkel goes next year – and every EU Commissioner will be replaced, too.

As Brexit talks limp from one embarrassment to the next, a No-Deal option will not be the doomsday Theresa May, the financial and property elites, and the heads of the UK’s top organisations and PLCs have long predicted. In fact the UK should never have negotiated with the Commission – from whom no fair deal was ever possible. The UK should introduce its own deal, ‘Our Deal Now’, in which we offer all nations fair trade agreements with no or low tariffs.
For hundreds of thousands of small UK companies, a complete split from the EU can’t come soon enough.

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Plaid Cymru recently elected Adam Price (pictured above) as its new leader. The Welsh Assembly Member for the 53% Leave-voting Carmarthen East and Dinefwr constituency evicted Plaid’s hapless former leader Leanne Wood and fended off Rhun ap Iorwerth to lead Wales’ pro-Brussels separatists in Cardiff Bay.

Shortly after taking office, Price claimed to espy the “dying days of the British state” with its “shackles” of post-imperialism and called Brexit “a cataclysm”. He said Wales’ heritage and culture “must be protected” from the “Brexit catastrophe” and “every opportunity should be taken to “stop this madness” rather than respecting Wales’ Brexit vote.

In a similar vein, the Cardiff University academic and former Plaid candidate Laura McAllister OBE opined on WalesOnline that Brexit means Wales will be “stuck on the Western fringe of a shaky, outdated union of four increasingly different nations” and “won’t survive outside the EU as we stare at a future without natural allies.”

This is an odd thing to say about Wales’ neighbours on the British archipelago. Wales has been in a union with England since 1536, with Scotland since 1707 and with Northern Ireland since 1800. Alongside the English, Scots and Irish, the Welsh enjoined in the progress of British parliamentary democracy, fought two World Wars and established a modern welfare state.

The roadblock to the Plaid’s separatist project is not Britain. Rather it is the people of Wales through their Brexit vote and their Unionism.

Price won Plaid’s leadership election with 2,863 votes. Yet 854,572 Welsh voters backed Leave, more than those voting for devolution in the Welsh referendums of 1979, 1997 and 2011. Indeed, the House of Commons Library’s EU Referendum constituency estimates show that even in Plaid’s Senedd seats an average of 49% of voters voted Leave, as did 45% of voters in their parliamentary constituencies.

At Plaid’s annual conference in Cardigan, Price claimed that Brexit means Welsh independence “must be on the table” and achieved by 2030. But Cardiff and Edinburgh universities’ recent YouGov ‘Future of England Survey’ found only 19% of Welsh respondents backing separatism. The same survey found that when Welsh respondents were asked which term best described them 47% said Welsh, 34% said British but only 4% said European.

Neither is Welsh politics becoming “increasingly different” from politics in England. In the European Referendum of 2016, the Brexit vote was 52.5% in Wales and 53.4% in England. And at the 2017 General Election, 90% of Welsh voters supported Unionist parties. Welsh turnout in this General Election to the UK Westminster Parliament was 69% compared to 45% in the 2016 elections to the Welsh Assembly (barely more than those voting in the 2017 Welsh local authority elections).

The vast majority of people in Wales are rightly patriotically Welsh and British, but unlike Plaid’s elitist ideologues they don’t want Wales run by the EU. Plaid’s problem is that the popular conception of sovereignty in Wales is that of a people who overwhelmingly self-identify as Welsh and British, most of whom also voted for their United Kingdom’s departure from the EU.

Simultaneously trying to overthrow the Welsh electorate while demanding independence by 2030 shows a lack of respect for the wishes of the people Plaid wants to govern. It is therefore unsurprising that at the 2017 ‘Brexit General Election’ Plaid candidates lost their deposits in over a third of Welsh seats and polled only 10% of the Welsh popular vote.

The nationalist paradox of supporting national independence and European integration comes from Plaid Cymru and the SNP’s attachment to the federalist ‘Europe of the Regions’ agenda through which the EU has sought to undermine nation state sovereignty from below by fostering separatist movements while stripping powers away from the United Kingdom Parliament in Westminster.

One of Price’s first acts as leader of Plaid Cymru was to pledge fealty to the Remainist SNP at their Glasgow conference where he told SNP activists to ‘Let old Britain die’ in the wake of Brexit. Price also travelled up to meet Nicola Sturgeon in Remain-voting London to promise that Plaid’s MPs would be lined behind the SNP in a league of losers calling for a ‘People’s Vote’ to overturn the Welsh people’s historic Brexit vote.

Wales appears to be incidental to Plaid Cymru’s EU nationalism. What looms larger in the rhetoric of Plaid politicians often seems to be first and foremost a negative anti-British nationalism similar to the anti-imperialist left-wing ideology espoused by Jeremy Corbyn.

George Orwell wrote about negative nationalism in his Notes on Nationalism, observing that “intellectuals follow the principle that any faction backed by Britain must be in the wrong. ‘Enlightened’ opinion is quite largely a mirror-image of Conservative policy.”

Plaid’s left-wing pro-Brussels elitism has little resonance outside of the CF10 postcode bubble. Adam Price’s neo-Corbynista politics might go down well with voters in the London Borough of Islington and London-based Guardian journalists. But neither have a vote in Welsh elections.

Plaid’s SNP fanzine is enthralled with all things Scottish. Yet they seem less interested in the experience of Wales’ Celtic neighbour to the west which, after all, is both independent and in the EU. The inconvenient truth is that Brussels doesn’t have a good track record of looking after small countries like Ireland where Euroscepticism is on the rise.

Now that it is a net contributor to the EU budget, the terms of Ireland’s EU membership are changing. The European Commission has played fast and loose with Ireland’s land border and its trade with the UK disregarding the Republic’s economic interests.

Brussels has treated Irish democracy with contempt. When 54% of Irish voters rejected ratification of the EU’s Nice Treaty in its 2001 referendum, the EU pressured Ireland into a second referendum in 2002 to reconsider. Then in 2008 53% of Irish voters rejected ratification of the Lisbon Treaty before being told by Brussels to vote again in 2009.

The Irish Republic will soon become the only Atlanticist, economically liberal and English-speaking EU member state, in an increasingly dirigiste, anti-American bloc, which is already hungrily eyeing up the Ireland’s corporation tax regime with Emmanuel Macron’s proposals for a single European Union corporate tax remittable to Brussels.

Plaid Cymru would leave Wales languishing in the stifling embrace of a European Union that by 2030 will either be well on the way to becoming a fully-fledged Bundesrepublik Europa or it will be in the process of unravelling through its omnicrises.

And since we have never been good Europeans, Wales would be saddled with Carthaginian, not Cambrian, terms of membership. Wales would be made to sit on the naughty step all the better to punish Welsh voters for voting to Leave in 2016 and for being less enthusiastic than the English in the European Community Referendum of 1975.

Wales would end up with at best four out of 751 Members of the European Parliament, no Commissioners and possibly one seat on the Council of Ministers. Plaid would give control over Wales to the remote and unaccountable Brussels apparat in which we have no “natural allies”.

Plaid’s new leader claims Brexit is a “disaster” for Wales. Yet Brexit is only really a disaster for the left-wing state-building ambitions of Plaid’s delusional would-be governing class. Their soft nationalist left-wing elites in Cardiff Bay seem to be undergoing an existential crisis as their worldview implodes. They want Wales to be more ‘progressive’ and ‘supranationalist’ than England. But Wales’ Brexit vote denies their SNP allies the charge that Eurosceptic England is pulling the Celtic nations out of Brussels’ orbit.

Wales voted to Leave the bad union of the EU, not the good Union of the United Kingdom. In seeking to repudiate Brexit and Welsh Unionism, Plaid Cymru repudiates the people of Wales.

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Theresa May kicked off proceedings on the Meaningful Vote Debate…

…and she took plenty of interventions

Theresa May suggested Hilary Benn’s amendment would put the UK on course for No Deal

Jeremy Corbyn said the deal would “make us worse off”

He called the Prime Minister’s claim that this plan means we take control of our laws, money and borders as utterly far-fetched

Boris Johnson claimed the deal united Leavers and Remainers – against the agreement

Owen Paterson said Leave meant leaving the Customs Union, Single Market and ECJ

Ben Bradley argued that the agreement wasn’t the best deal

The post Highlights from the Meaningful Vote Debate – Day One appeared first on BrexitCentral.

The company I founded exports to over 120 countries – including every country in the European Union. You may therefore have expected me to be agitating to scupper Brexit. However, when one runs a family business, one’s vision tends to be long-term rather than short-term.

I strongly back Brexit because it is in the best long-term interests of my country, my company, my employees and myself that we disengage from the structures of the EU. As I said throughout the referendum campaign, there will be bumps in the road – but the fundamental fact is that the EU continues to travel in a direction that is contrary to our best interests and that has only been magnified over the last two and a half years.

Having now studied the Prime Minister’s Withdrawal Agreement, I am extremely disappointed by its complete lack of ambition and the naivety of the approach taken by the her and UK negotiators. It gives far too many hostages to fortune and while ministers interpret it and give assurances this way and that, the passage of time and pressures on future ministers will mean that those assurances stand for naught. The Political Declaration too, lacking any legal force, is not worth the paper it is written on.

The lack of ambition has meant that what could have been a mutually successful agreement building on some of what has been developed over the last 40-odd years has been lost. There have also been a number of fundamental misunderstandings, perhaps deliberate, by the Prime Minister and others at the top of the Government.

The first of those is that we voted Leave just to control immigration, as they seek to tell us. We did not: we voted Leave to take back control of our country and from that control of immigration, fishing, trade etc.

The second is the fixation with frictionless trade – an unattainable fiction. Trade within the EU is not frictionless at the moment, though the points of friction are more regulatory than tariff. The perception amongst politicians is that all trade with countries outside the EU is full of points of friction and that anything other than being in the EU Single Market will lead to long queues of trucks and delays with airfreight etc.

As someone who has spent the last thirty years trading goods with the world, I can say that for an exporter there is little difference in the way we handle freight going to the EU compared to the rest of the world. The United States is our biggest market and we compete directly against US companies in their own market, in part, because we deliver next day to anywhere in the United States by 1pm their time, customs cleared. That, to me, is frictionless trade and it is at a cost that is not dissimilar to the same service to customers in the EU. It is frictionless because the industry has made it so and the same can be done for future trade with the EU, requiring no complex customs unions or being in the Single Market.

Great attention is rightly given to the value of trade to the UK economy but it is vital to remember than only 8 per cent of UK businesses actually trade with the EU – accounting for only 13% of UK GDP. That means that 92% of businesses are having to obey all the Single Market regulations and yet aren’t gaining any benefit from it. The very fact that regulation can be tailored to UK requirements when we Leave the Single Market ought to give a massive boost to the productivity of the 92%. The 8% will still have to meet the regulations pursuant to doing business in the EU in the same way as we have to meet US, Russian or other countries’ regulations when doing business overseas.

Whilst an amicable Withdrawal Agreement would have been my preference, we are where we are. The Prime Minister said many times that no deal – again a misnomer as it would be a WTO deal – would be better than a bad deal. Her deal is a very bad deal and the prospect of a clean Brexit on 29th March 2019 with no hostages to fortune, bringing an end to all the hand wringing and rerunning of the referendum has become a very tantalising prospect.

What is the big deal about No Deal? It gives certainty to business, ends division and brings real purpose to the country. There will be some disruption, but I am sure that within a few weeks – if not days – we would wonder, like with the brouhaha over the Millennium Bug, what all the fuss had been about. Within months the Chancellor’s dour predictions would, like after the referendum, prove to have been pure scaremongering.

Come on, it’s time to roll up our sleeves and go for it.

The post The myth of frictionless trade: there is little difference between handling EU-bound freight and that heading elsewhere appeared first on BrexitCentral.

The City for Britain represents the views of practitioners from across the financial services industry. Our members have direct hands-on experience in the sector and many are currently involved in Brexit implementation projects for institutions in the City. We initially came together before the referendum to campaign for Vote Leave, and our sole concern is the future prosperity of UK financial services – unlike so many (often conflicted) multinational groups whose voices are loud but whose bases and shareholders are largely overseas.

Below I set out, on behalf of The City for Britain, key points which we hope will be considered with respect to the upcoming “meaningful vote” on the Prime Minister’s proposed Withdrawal Agreement (WA), which we are urging MPs to oppose – for the future prosperity and protection of Britain’s largest and highest employing and exporting industry.

1. Most financial firms have already implemented the changes they will need for a WTO-based deal

During the referendum, much was made of the impact to the City in the event of a “Leave” vote. Since then, however, the noise has been conspicuous by its absence.

There are good reasons for this.

Financial institutions have been reviewing their operating models and by now most have already implemented the changes they will need in the event of “no-deal”. Estimates of job losses have been drastically revised down as banks have dealt with the realities. The focus has been on establishing EU27 legal entities. Job relocations have been few as EU employment laws and lack of local talent motivated firms to make minimal operational changes.

Furthermore, conversations between UK and EU regulators to minimise systemic risks have sensibly made good progress. For example, on 13th November 2018 the European Commission released a paper setting out how EU firms will be able to continue to access UK clearing houses, which stated:

“Should no agreement be in place, the Commission will adopt temporary and conditional equivalence decisions in order to ensure that there will be no disruption in central clearing and in depositaries services. These decisions will be complemented by recognition of UK-based infrastructures which are therefore encouraged to pre-apply to the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) for recognition.”

The Bank of England has issued similar advice on how it will recognise non-UK CCPs, subject to reciprocity.

We can expect further agreements in the coming months, as there is now insufficient time for the EU to prepare the necessary legal framework or build the required capacity to support the moves that had been feared. Smaller financial firms (both in the UK and in the EU) are more likely to have deferred changes and will benefit most from such agreements. These agreements will be both with the EU and with individual member states. For example, the French Government is currently implementing legislation that will allow UK financial firms to continue their activities in France and also ensure French firms may work with UK firms as a third-country entity.

2. The current Withdrawal Agreement poses major risks for UK financial services

Conversely, there would be costs to the UK financial services industry should Parliament accept the WA.

It is widely recognised that the WA has the effect of giving the EU a veto over the UK’s departure from the Single Market. The WA negotiations have shown that the EU would have no incentive to ever waive that veto, since the UK is unlikely to propose a deal that the EU would prefer over the new status quo that would arise.

The UK’s financial institutions would, then, be forced to adhere to EU regulations – both now and in the future – but without any input or veto into their formulation. Whilst this plight would be shared by all UK businesses, it poses a particular threat to the financial services industry due to the EU’s history of continually increasing and centralising regulatory oversight. Moreover, due to the size of the financial sector as a proportion of the overall UK economy, the UK is particularly exposed to financial risk but would have no control over the EU policy-makers.

The Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II) is a good example. Intended to enhance transparency, the increased regulatory burden led to ICE moving 245 futures and options contracts from London to the US. Thus it had the perverse double whammy of driving business overseas and reducing oversight within the EU. While the relocation of business from the UK to the US is unlikely to be of concern to the US investment banks, it should be a concern to Her Majesty’s Government.

Another example of regulation-gone-wrong is the bonus caps. These were ostensibly introduced to curb excessive risk-taking and encourage bankers to take a long-term view. Instead they drove talent overseas and increased fixed salaries for the firms, increasing costs and reducing any future “claw back” for misdemeanours. Under a WTO deal the UK would be free to scrap this regulation and instead place more emphasis upon the Senior Manager Regime, something supported by Mark Carney.

The biggest threat to the City, however, would be the EU’s proposal for a Financial Transaction Tax (FTT), first put forward in 2013 by the European Commission. The idea was revived in December 2017 as a pet project of French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire and raised yet again by French President Emmanuel Macron in July 2018. More recently Olaf Scholz, German Finance Minister, called for a FTT in a speech in November 2018 (the same speech in which he is reported to have called for France to relinquish its UN seat to the EU, a Eurozone budget and an EU army).

Although there has been a lack of consensus between the EU27 on the matter so far, under the WA the UK would be powerless to object to it. The tax would increase costs (ultimately born by pension funds) and have the effect of driving business offshore, with the US again being the likely beneficiary.

3. The emphasis on “equivalence” for financial services in the Political Declaration will be drastically undermined by prospective EU measures currently in train

The Political Declaration contains encouraging words about the prospect of equivalence between the UK and the EU, which would enable financial institutions of one jurisdiction to provide certain services in the other. What it doesn’t mention is that, even if the UK were ever able to escape the WA, a French proposal to reduce the scope of equivalence is now working its way through the European Parliament. These changes would render equivalence virtually worthless.

4. The balance of advantage for the City is now firmly in favour of a WTO-based deal, or similar

The story hasn’t really moved much since 2016, and where it has, it is in the favour of leaving. The most dangerous part of the WA for financial services is the damage that would be caused by a Financial Transaction Tax that the UK would be powerless to prevent. The forecasts of a mass exodus from the City have been revised down considerably as the institutions and regulators have got down to the business of actually working out what is necessary to manage the change. Meanwhile the potential prize from a more competitively-focused regulatory framework is still very much there for the taking.

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During discussions on the timetable motion for the five-day debate on the Brexit deal yesterday, the Government suffered a defeat when an amendment tabled by anti-Brexit former Attorney General Dominic Grieve was passed by 321 to 299 – a majority of 22.

The Grieve amendment will allow future Commons motions after a Government defeat on its deal to be amendable, which its supporters say will enhance Parliament’s role in the Brexit process and give MPs more of a say over what happens next. Rather than merely noting what the Government says, Grieve said MPs should be able to make amendments to any motion laid down by the Government in order to try and influence events.

What was interesting about the voting on the Grieve amendment was that 25 Tory MPs rebelled against the Government to vote for it, including some who are usually hyper-loyal to the Government like Damian Green, Sir Michael Fallon and Sir Nicholas Soames. The word circulating around Parliament last night was that the Government Whips’ Office had given licence to the rebels – even encouraged them to vote the way they did – in order to put the frighteners on Brexiteers opposed to May’s deal: the logic being that it demonstrated that the numbers are there to oppose a no-deal Brexit, which means that opposing May’s deal heightens the possibility of no Brexit at all. Certainly there are Remainers holding out hope that the passing of this amendment is a means by which they will be able to fatally scupper Brexit altogether.

Two former Government whips I put this to last night agreed that such tactics were eminently plausible. However, Brexiteers continue to point out that any motions amended under the Grieve procedure would not be legally binding or change the law of the land. After all, the exit date of 29th March 2019 is set in stone – written into the European Union (Withdrawal) Act in black and white – and it would require new primary legislation to overturn that rather than a mere motion expressing a point of view. As David Davis’s former Chief of Staff Stewart Jackson wrote here on BrexitCentral recently, Parliament cannot simply block ‘No Deal’ as it is the default option. This position was also reiterated in terms by the Leader of the House of Commons, Andrea Leadsom, on Radio 4’s Today programme this morning.

The position was also stated very clearly by Sir David Natzler, the Clerk of the House of Commons, in evidence to the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Select Committee on 23rd October when he said “a mere resolution cannot change the law. The only way we can change the law is by law”.

He was then asked by the Committee Chair, Sir Bernard Jenkin: “Is there any motion that the House can bring forward and approve that could compel the Government to legislate in some way? I am thinking in particular of section 24 of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act, which would require a Minister of the Crown to lay a regulation to delay the date. Is there any way in which a Humble Address could compel a Minister to do that?” Sir David’s replied: “No.”

HOW MPs VOTED ON THE AMENDMENT

320 MPs are recorded as voting for the amendment (322 if you include the two tellers), including 25 Conservative rebels, 239 Labour MPs, 34 SNP MPs and 12 Lib Dem MPs, along with MPs from Plaid Cymru, the Green Party and 5 Independents (one of whom also voted in the other lobby). The result was announced as 321 MPs voting for it, which suggests the tellers miscounted by one.

Meanwhile, 299 MPs voted against the amendment (301 including two tellers), including 282 Conservatives, 4 Labour rebels, 9 DUP MPs and 4 Independents (one of whom also voted in the other lobby).

Aside from the Speaker and his three deputies, who by convention do not vote – and the 7 Sinn Fein MPs who have not taken their seats – 17 MPs did not participate in the division.

N.B. Independent MP Kelvin Hopkins is listed as having voted in each lobby – effectively a deliberate abstention where his votes cancel each other out.

Below are the full lists of which MPs voted for the amendment, those who did not vote at all (although NB it is impossible to know whether they deliberately abstained, were away from Westminster on parliamentary business elsewhere or were ill etc.) and of course the full list of those who voted against the amendment.

THE 322 MPs RECORDED AS BACKING THE AMENDMENT

 

Conservative

  1. Heidi Allen
  2. Guto Bebb
  3. Richard Benyon
  4. Nick Boles
  5. Kenneth Clarke
  6. Jonathan Djanogly
  7. Michael Fallon
  8. George Freeman
  9. Richard Graham
  10. Damian Green
  11. Justine Greening
  12. Dominic Grieve
  13. Oliver Heald
  14. Jo Johnson
  15. Phillip Lee
  16. Jeremy Lefroy
  17. Oliver Letwin
  18. Nicky Morgan
  19. Bob Neill
  20. Antoinette Sandbach
  21. Nicholas Soames
  22. Anna Soubry
  23. John Stevenson
  24. Edward Vaizey
  25. Sarah Wollaston

Green

  1. Caroline Lucas

Independent

  1. Sylvia Hermon
  2. Kelvin Hopkins (voted in both lobbies)
  3. Ivan Lewis
  4. Jared O’Mara
  5. John Woodcock

Labour

  1. Diane Abbott
  2. Debbie Abrahams
  3. Rushanara Ali
  4. Rosena Allin-Khan
  5. Mike Amesbury
  6. Tonia Antoniazzi
  7. Jonathan Ashworth
  8. Ian Austin
  9. Adrian Bailey
  10. Kevin Barron
  11. Margaret Beckett
  12. Hilary Benn
  13. Luciana Berger
  14. Clive Betts
  15. Roberta Blackman-Woods
  16. Paul Blomfield
  17. Tracy Brabin
  18. Ben Bradshaw
  19. Kevin Brennan
  20. Lyn Brown
  21. Nick Brown
  22. Chris Bryant
  23. Karen Buck
  24. Richard Burden
  25. Richard Burgon
  26. Dawn Butler
  27. Liam Byrne
  28. Ruth Cadbury
  29. Alan Campbell
  30. Dan Carden
  31. Sarah Champion
  32. Jenny Chapman
  33. Bambos Charalambous
  34. Ann Clwyd
  35. Vernon Coaker
  36. Ann Coffey
  37. Julie Cooper
  38. Rosie Cooper
  39. Yvette Cooper
  40. Jeremy Corbyn
  41. Neil Coyle
  42. David Crausby
  43. Mary Creagh
  44. Stella Creasy
  45. Jon Cruddas
  46. John Cryer
  47. Judith Cummings
  48. Alex Cunningham
  49. Jim Cunningham
  50. Janet Daby
  51. Nic Dakin
  52. Wayne David
  53. Geraint Davies
  54. Marsha De Cordova
  55. Gloria de Piero
  56. Thangam Debbonaire
  57. Emma Dent Coad
  58. Tan Dhesi
  59. Annaliese Dodds
  60. Stephen Doughty (Teller)
  61. Peter Dowd
  62. David Drew
  63. Jack Dromey
  64. Rosie Duffield
  65. Angela Eagle
  66. Maria Eagle
  67. Clive Efford
  68. Julie Elliott
  69. Louise Ellman
  70. Chris Elmore
  71. Bill Esterson
  72. Christopher Evans
  73. Paul Farrelly
  74. Jim Fitzpatrick
  75. Colleen Fletcher
  76. Caroline Flint
  77. Yvonne Fovargue
  78. Vicky Foxcroft
  79. James Frith
  80. Gill Furniss
  81. Hugh Gaffney
  82. Mike Gapes
  83. Barry Gardiner
  84. Ruth George
  85. Preet Gill
  86. Mary Glindon
  87. Roger Godsiff
  88. Helen Goodman
  89. Kate Green
  90. Lilian Greenwood
  91. Margaret Greenwood
  92. Nia Griffith
  93. John Grogan
  94. Andrew Gwynne
  95. Louise Haigh
  96. Fabian Hamilton
  97. David Hanson
  98. Emma Hardy
  99. Harriet Harman
  100. Carolyn Harris
  101. Helen Hayes
  102. Sue Hayman
  103. John Healey
  104. Mark Hendrick
  105. Stephen Hepburn
  106. Mike Hill
  107. Meg Hillier
  108. Margaret Hodge
  109. Sharon Hodgson
  110. Kate Hollern
  111. George Howarth
  112. Rupa Huq
  113. Imran Hussain
  114. Dan Jarvis
  115. Diana Johnson
  116. Darren Jones
  117. Gerald Jones
  118. Graham Jones
  119. Helen Jones
  120. Kevan Jones
  121. Sarah Jones
  122. Susan Elan Jones
  123. Michael Kane
  124. Barbara Keeley
  125. Elizabeth Kendall
  126. Afzal Khan
  127. Gerard Killen
  128. Stephen Kinnock
  129. Peter Kyle
  130. Lesley Laird
  131. David Lammy
  132. Ian Lavery
  133. Karen Lee
  134. Christopher Leslie
  135. Emma Lewell-Buck
  136. Clive Lewis
  137. Tony Lloyd
  138. Rebecca Long-Bailey
  139. Ian Lucas
  140. Justin Madders
  141. Shabana Mahmood
  142. Seema Malhotra
  143. John Mann
  144. Gordon Marsden
  145. Sandy Martin
  146. Rachael Maskell
  147. Chris Matheson
  148. Steve McCabe
  149. Kerry McCarthy
  150. Siobhain McDonagh
  151. Andy McDonald
  152. John McDonnell
  153. Pat McFadden
  154. Conor McGinn
  155. Alison McGovern
  156. Liz McInnes
  157. Catherine McKinnell
  158. Jim McMahon
  159. Anna McMorrin
  160. Ian Mearns
  161. Ed Miliband
  162. Jessica Morden
  163. Stephen Morgan
  164. Grahame Morris
  165. Ian Murray
  166. Lisa Nandy
  167. Alex Norris
  168. Fiona Onasanya
  169. Melanie Onn
  170. Chi Onwurah
  171. Kate Osamor
  172. Albert Owen
  173. Stephanie Peacock
  174. Teresa Pearce
  175. Matthew Pennycook
  176. Toby Perkins
  177. Jess Phillips
  178. Bridget Phillipson (Teller)
  179. Jo Platt
  180. Luke Pollard
  181. Stephen Pound
  182. Lucy Powell
  183. Yasmin Qureshi
  184. Faisal Rashid
  185. Angela Rayner
  186. Steve Reed
  187. Christina Rees
  188. Ellie Reeves
  189. Rachel Reeves
  190. Emma Reynolds
  191. Jonathan Reynolds
  192. Marie Rimmer
  193. Matt Rodda
  194. Danielle Rowley
  195. Chris Ruane
  196. Lloyd Russell-Moyle
  197. Joan Ryan
  198. Naz Shah
  199. Virendra Sharma
  200. Barry Sheerman
  201. Paula Sherriff
  202. Gavin Shuker
  203. Tulip Siddiq
  204. Andy Slaughter
  205. Ruth Smeeth
  206. Angela Smith
  207. Eleanor Smith
  208. Jeff Smith
  209. Nick Smith
  210. Owen Smith
  211. Karin Smyth
  212. Gareth Snell
  213. Alex Sobel
  214. Keir Starmer
  215. Jo Stevens
  216. Wes Streeting
  217. Paul Sweeney
  218. Mark Tami
  219. Gareth Thomas
  220. Nick Thomas-Symonds
  221. Emily Thornberry
  222. Stephen Timms
  223. Jon Trickett
  224. Anna Turley
  225. Karl Turner
  226. Stephen Twigg
  227. Liz Twist
  228. Chuka Umunna
  229. Keith Vaz
  230. Valerie Vaz
  231. Thelma Walker
  232. Tom Watson
  233. Catherine West
  234. Matt Western
  235. Alan Whitehead
  236. Martin Whitfield
  237. Paul Williams
  238. Chris Williamson
  239. Phil Wilson
  240. Mohammad Yasin
  241. Daniel Zeichner

Liberal Democrat

  1. Tom Brake
  2. Vince Cable
  3. Alistair Carmichael
  4. Ed Davey
  5. Tim Farron
  6. Wera Hobhouse
  7. Christine Jardine
  8. Norman Lamb
  9. Stephen Lloyd
  10. Layla Moran
  11. Jamie Stone
  12. Jo Swinson

Plaid Cymru

  1. Jonathan Edwards
  2. Ben Lake
  3. Liz Saville Roberts
  4. Hywel Williams

SNP

  1. Hannah Bardell
  2. Mhairi Black
  3. Ian Blackford
  4. Kirsty Blackman
  5. Deidre Brock
  6. Alan Brown
  7. Lisa Cameron
  8. Doug Chapman
  9. Joanna Cherry
  10. Ronnie Cowan
  11. Angela Crawley
  12. Martyn Day
  13. Martin Docherty-Hughes
  14. Marion Fellows
  15. Stephen Gethins
  16. Patricia Gibson
  17. Patrick Grady
  18. Peter Grant
  19. Drew Hendry
  20. Stewart Hosie
  21. Chris Law
  22. David Linden
  23. Angus MacNeil
  24. Stewart McDonald
  25. Stuart McDonald
  26. John McNally
  27. Carol Monaghan
  28. Gavin Newlands
  29. Brendan O’Hara
  30. Tommy Sheppard
  31. Chris Stephens
  32. Alison Thewliss
  33. Philippa Whitford
  34. Pete Wishart

THE 17 MPs WHO DID NOT VOTE ON THE AMENDMENT*

 

Conservative

  1. Stephen Crabb
  2. Stephen McPartland
  3. Andrew Mitchell
  4. Priti Patel
  5. Andrew Stephenson

DUP

  1. Jeffrey Donaldson

Labour

  1. Paul Flynn
  2. Holly Lynch
  3. Khalid Mahmood
  4. Madeleine Moon
  5. Laura Pidcock
  6. Geoffrey Robinson
  7. Cat Smith
  8. Laura Smith
  9. John Spellar
  10. Derek Twigg

SNP

  1. Neil Gray

*Not including the Speaker, John Bercow, and his three deputies (Lindsay Hoyle, Eleanor Laing and Rosie Winterton) who, by convention, do not vote in Commons divisions and the Sinn Fein MPs who have not taken their seats. NB: Absence from the division may be for a number of reasons, such as being ill, on maternity leave or on parliamentary business elsewhere, as well as a deliberate abstention.

THE 301 MPs WHO OPPOSED THE AMENDMENT

 

Conservative

  1. Nigel Adams
  2. Bim Afolami
  3. Adam Afriyie
  4. Peter Aldous
  5. Lucy Allan
  6. David Amess
  7. Stuart Andrew
  8. Edward Argar
  9. Victoria Atkins
  10. Richard Bacon
  11. Kemi Badenoch
  12. Steve Baker
  13. Harriett Baldwin
  14. Steve Barclay
  15. John Baron
  16. Henry Bellingham
  17. Paul Beresford
  18. Jake Berry
  19. Bob Blackman
  20. Crispin Blunt
  21. Peter Bone
  22. Peter Bottomley
  23. Andrew Bowie
  24. Ben Bradley
  25. Karen Bradley
  26. Graham Brady
  27. Suella Braverman
  28. Jack Brereton
  29. Andrew Bridgen
  30. Steve Brine
  31. James Brokenshire
  32. Fiona Bruce
  33. Robert Buckland
  34. Alex Burghart
  35. Conor Burns
  36. Alistair Burt
  37. Alun Cairns
  38. James Cartlidge
  39. William Cash
  40. Maria Caulfield
  41. Alex Chalk
  42. Rehman Chishti
  43. Christopher Chope
  44. Jo Churchill
  45. Greg Clark
  46. Colin Clark
  47. Simon Clarke
  48. James Cleverly
  49. Geoffrey Clifton-Brown
  50. Thérèse Coffey
  51. Damian Collins
  52. Alberto Costa
  53. Robert Courts
  54. Geoffrey Cox
  55. Tracey Crouch
  56. Chris Davies
  57. David Davies
  58. Glyn Davies
  59. Mims Davies
  60. Philip Davies
  61. David Davis
  62. Caroline Dinenage
  63. Leo Docherty
  64. Michelle Donelan
  65. Nadine Dorries
  66. Steve Double
  67. Oliver Dowden
  68. Jackie Doyle-Price
  69. Richard Drax
  70. James Duddridge
  71. David Duguid
  72. Alan Duncan
  73. Iain Duncan Smith
  74. Philip Dunne
  75. Michael Ellis
  76. Tobias Ellwood
  77. George Eustice
  78. Nigel Evans
  79. David Evennett
  80. Michael Fabricant
  81. Mark Field
  82. Vicky Ford
  83. Kevin Foster
  84. Liam Fox
  85. Mark Francois
  86. Lucy Frazer
  87. Mike Freer
  88. Marcus Fysh
  89. Roger Gale
  90. Mark Garnier
  91. David Gauke
  92. Nusrat Ghani
  93. Nick Gibb
  94. Cheryl Gillan
  95. John Glen
  96. Zac Goldsmith
  97. Robert Goodwill
  98. Michael Gove
  99. Luke Graham
  100. Bill Grant
  101. Helen Grant
  102. James Gray
  103. Chris Grayling
  104. Chris Green
  105. Sam Gyimah
  106. Kirstene Hair
  107. Robert Halfon
  108. Luke Hall
  109. Philip Hammond
  110. Stephen Hammond
  111. Matt Hancock
  112. Greg Hands
  113. Mark Harper
  114. Richard Harrington
  115. Rebecca Harris
  116. Trudy Harrison
  117. Simon Hart
  118. John Hayes
  119. James Heappey
  120. Chris Heaton-Harris
  121. Peter Heaton-Jones
  122. Gordon Henderson
  123. Nick Herbert
  124. Damian Hinds
  125. Simon Hoare
  126. George Hollingbery
  127. Kevin Hollinrake
  128. Philip Hollobone
  129. Adam Holloway
  130. John Howell
  131. Nigel Huddleston
  132. Eddie Hughes
  133. Jeremy Hunt
  134. Nick Hurd
  135. Alister Jack
  136. Margot James
  137. Sajid Javid
  138. Ranil Jayawardena
  139. Bernard Jenkin
  140. Andrea Jenkyns
  141. Robert Jenrick
  142. Boris Johnson
  143. Caroline Johnson
  144. Gareth Johnson
  145. Andrew Jones
  146. David Jones
  147. Marcus Jones
  148. Daniel Kawczynski
  149. Gillian Keegan
  150. Seema Kennedy
  151. Stephen Kerr
  152. Julian Knight
  153. Sir Greg Knight
  154. Kwasi Kwarteng
  155. John Lamont
  156. Mark Lancaster
  157. Pauline Latham
  158. Andrea Leadsom
  159. Edward Leigh
  160. Andrew Lewer
  161. Brandon Lewis
  162. Julian Lewis
  163. Ian Liddell-Grainger
  164. David Lidington
  165. Julia Lopez
  166. Jack Lopresti
  167. Jonathan Lord
  168. Tim Loughton
  169. Craig Mackinlay
  170. Rachel Maclean
  171. Anne Main
  172. Alan Mak
  173. Kit Malthouse
  174. Scott Mann
  175. Paul Masterson
  176. Theresa May
  177. Paul Maynard
  178. Patrick McLoughlin
  179. Esther McVey
  180. Mark Menzies
  181. Johnny Mercer
  182. Huw Merriman
  183. Stephen Metcalfe
  184. Maria Miller
  185. Amanda Milling
  186. Nigel Mills
  187. Anne Milton
  188. Damien Moore
  189. Penny Mordaunt
  190. Anne Marie Morris
  191. David Morris
  192. James Morris
  193. Wendy Morton (Teller)
  194. David Mundell
  195. Sheryll Murray
  196. Andrew Murrison
  197. Sarah Newton
  198. Caroline Nokes
  199. Jesse Norman
  200. Neil O’Brien
  201. Matthew Offord
  202. Guy Opperman
  203. Neil Parish
  204. Owen Paterson
  205. Mark Pawsey
  206. Mike Penning
  207. John Penrose
  208. Andrew Percy
  209. Claire Perry
  210. Chris Philp
  211. Christopher Pincher
  212. Daniel Poulter
  213. Rebecca Pow
  214. Victoria Prentis
  215. Mark Prisk
  216. Mark Pritchard
  217. Tom Pursglove
  218. Jeremy Quin
  219. Will Quince
  220. Dominic Raab
  221. John Redwood
  222. Jacob Rees-Mogg
  223. Laurence Robertson
  224. Mary Robinson
  225. Andrew Rosindell
  226. Douglas Ross
  227. Lee Rowley
  228. Amber Rudd
  229. David Rutley
  230. Paul Scully
  231. Bob Seely
  232. Andrew Selous
  233. Grant Shapps
  234. Alok Sharma
  235. Alec Shelbrooke
  236. Keith Simpson
  237. Chris Skidmore
  238. Chloe Smith
  239. Henry Smith
  240. Julian Smith
  241. Royston Smith
  242. Caroline Spelman
  243. Mark Spencer
  244. Bob Stewart
  245. Iain Stewart (Teller)
  246. Rory Stewart
  247. Gary Streeter
  248. Mel Stride
  249. Graham Stuart
  250. Julian Sturdy
  251. Rishi Sunak
  252. Desmond Swayne
  253. Hugo Swire
  254. Robert Syms
  255. Derek Thomas
  256. Ross Thomson
  257. Maggie Throup
  258. Kelly Tolhurst
  259. Justin Tomlinson
  260. Michael Tomlinson
  261. Craig Tracey
  262. David Tredinnick
  263. Anne-Marie Trevelyan
  264. Elizabeth Truss
  265. Thomas Tugendhat
  266. Shailesh Vara
  267. Martin Vickers
  268. Theresa Villiers
  269. Charles Walker
  270. Robin Walker
  271. Ben Wallace
  272. David Warburton
  273. Matt Warman
  274. Giles Watling
  275. Helen Whately
  276. Heather Wheeler
  277. Craig Whittaker
  278. John Whittingdale
  279. Bill Wiggin
  280. Gavin Williamson
  281. Mike Wood
  282. William Wragg
  283. Jeremy Wright
  284. Nadhim Zahawi

DUP

  1. Gregory Campbell
  2. Nigel Dodds
  3. Paul Girvan
  4. Emma Little Pengelly
  5. Ian Paisley
  6. Gavin Robinson
  7. Jim Shannon
  8. David Simpson
  9. Sammy Wilson

Independent 

  1. Charlie Elphicke
  2. Frank Field
  3. Andrew Griffiths
  4. Kelvin Hopkins (voted in both lobbies)

Labour

  1. Ronnie Campbell
  2. Kate Hoey
  3. Dennis Skinner
  4. Graham Stringer

The post What the Grieve Amendment means and how MPs voted on it appeared first on BrexitCentral.

There is no cliff edge when we leave the EU. There will be no economic cataclysm as Remain forecast. How many more absurd scare stories are they going to run? They have suggested Airbus will be selling planes without wings as they will not be able use the ones we supply; that planes will be grounded on the continent without permits to fly to the UK; and that all factories requiring imported components from the continent will suffer from some unspecified blockade which will stop the parts getting through.

All of these are based on some foolish misunderstandings of how trade functions and how modern factories operate. UK suppliers of Airbus wings are locked in by contract to carry on supplying, and every plane Airbus delivers after March 2019 will need those same UK wings, already certified as good to fly. It was particularly odd to read that they might switch to Chinese ones, as China still has not become a member of the EU – even though they say we have to be in order to sell such products. Continental airlines are busy selling tickets to fly to the UK after March in the knowledge that arrangements will be made to allow them to continue to use UK airspace and to land at UK airports. Their wish to do this ensures the continental countries will make reciprocal arrangements for UK airlines going to France or Germany.

Just-in-time supply chains currently use both EU and non-EU components without special problems if they come from outside the EU. I do not expect the UK authorities to create extra delays at our ports for such imports, but if they did the factory ordering the parts would just require the supplier to send the parts by an earlier truck or train to combat the longer transit time.

It is time the Treasury and the wider government swept aside its stupid gloom about Brexit, and set out just how it will use the new freedoms and the extra money it will have to spend as soon as we leave the EU. If we leave next March without signing the penal Withdrawal Agreement we could give a welcome boost to UK factories. Why not announce zero tariffs on all imported components for assembly, cutting the cost of non-EU items currently taxed? Why not take control of our fish, and more fish in UK ports and build a bigger fish processing industry at home? Why not promote more home-grown food, imposing some tariffs on the continental competition where they pay no such tax at the moment? We could at the same time cut tariffs on non-EU food to limit price rises.

Stopping large contributions to the EU budget will immediately improve our balance of payments account, as all that money has to be sent abroad as if we were paying for imports, though we get nothing for it. It would also release large sums to spend at home. Let’s have tax cuts to boost home ownership, help the car industry, and encourage work and enterprise. Let’s also boost the economy by hiring more teachers, doctors and nurses, and improving our transport systems with new investment.

The overall impact would be to boost national income and output by 1% next year and 1% the year after if we spent the £39 billion over the time period.

Could they blockade our exports? Under WTO rules, as they are and we will be, they are not allowed to charge tariffs on us which they do not impose on others, or impose new non-tariff barriers to trade. I don’t believe the stories that Calais will go slow to damage our exports, as our trade through Calais is crucial to that port’s jobs and success. Were they to do so, Rotterdam, Antwerp and other Dutch and Belgian ports would love to take the business off them.

It is time the Government moved on from seeing Brexit as some problem to be managed, to seeing it as full of opportunity for more jobs, more growth and more prosperity. That is why many of us voted Leave. The Treasury should back us and go for growth based on new freedoms we will win on departure.

John Redwood’s How to Take Back Control: Trading Globally Through the WTO is published today by Politeia

The post Those scare-mongering about trading with the EU on WTO terms misunderstand how modern factories operate appeared first on BrexitCentral.




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