Getting out of the EU can be quick and easy – the UK holds most of the cards in any negotiation

John Redwood’s Diary

I want the full English Brexit. More accurately, without the word play, I want the full  UK  Brexit.

Too many people in government and the professions seem to think the UK is a weak petitioner which has to be very careful in case we are expelled from the single market. They talk of bartering free movement and payments in against some kind of maintained membership of the so called single market. This bedevilled the Referendum debate and still pops up in much of the mainstream media as if true.

The facts are very different. Getting our contributions back, deciding our own laws  and having our own migration policy were the three biggest points of the Leave campaign. These are all non negotiable. We should just get on and do them.

There then remains the issue of what access we have to their market, and what access they have to ours. We do not wish to be members of the single market, as that does mean accepting their future control over things we wish to control for ourselves.

We should offer no new tariffs or barriers on their exports to us. We should  accept we will comply with all their rules and regulations when selling things to them, as they are in those cases the customer. In turn they should offer us no new tariffs and barriers on our exports to them.

If they perversely want to place barriers and tariffs they are limited to an average tariff of around 3.5% by WTO rules. We should retaliate within the framework of WTO rules. Fortunately we can place a 10% tariff on cars and high tariffs on agricultural products, two areas where they are big suppliers to us. That should make it very unlikely they will in practice want to place barriers on our exports, to avoid such a response. Half of WTO trade is tariff free. Business and farmers on the continent will be lobbying strenuously against any such stupid action.

Some then say we cannot simply pull out owing to the law of Treaties! This is absurd. If they read Article 50 they would find it expressly says we can withdraw using our own constitutional procedures, which means in our case an Act of Parliament. They seem to be saying the EU is so ghastly that they will force us to remain in a Treaty we have voted down. I thought the EU was about democracy and human rights !



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