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Express: ‘Our economy would boom’ business chief says Brexit no deal CHEAPER than divorce bill

Date: 30 11 2017

‘Our economy would boom’ business chief says Brexit no deal CHEAPER than divorce bill

LEAVING the EU with no deal could be better than an expensive Brexit bill, according former Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce.

John Longworth, who is chairman of Leave Means Leave, says Britain should adopt World Trade Organisation rules and boost the economy and living standards of the British people.

Mr Longworth believes the UK adopted “flawed measure of success” from the outset of Brexit talks – saying access to the Single Market and Customs Union is not the Holy Grail some think it is.

He thinks instead the only “meaningful measure” of Brexit is what Leavers proposed before the referendum; taking back control of borders, laws and money. 

Writing for Brexit Central, Mr Longworth also blasted Theresa May for becoming “a hostage of the ‘nay sayers’” because her instincts were that of a Remainer.

He hits out at the two year transitional period, asking “who in their right minds” would negotiate to leave and then have to spend two more years under their rules and paying for the privilege.

He added: “If we were to simply adopt WTO rules of trade and gradually remove external tariffs, starting with food, clothing, footwear and industrial components, our economy would boom.”

World Trade Organisation (WTO) terms for Britain would mean the UK doesn’t have access to the single market so exports to the EU would be subject to the EU’s Common Tariffs including high tariffs on food.

He says the purported £55billion divorce bill “demonstrates the profligacy of the EU and how right we are to leave”.

Instead Britain should use the money for boosting the economy, investing in infrastructure and housing, instead of paying off the EU.

Mr Longworth’s suggestion is that Britain walks away and adopt WTO rules so it can take control of the timescale and not give up its newly found freedom in what would be “an act of national betrayal” and reap the benefits of Brexit.

Last month, Brexiteer Richard Tice claimed there will not be a Brexit cliff edge if Britain is prepared to trade solely under WTO rules, despite Remoaner claims.

Mr Tice, the co-chair of Leave Means Leave told BBC Daily Politics there is a difference between trading under WTO rules and a “no deal” Brexit.

He said: “The different deal, the WTO deal, let’s be very clear. You know, the mischief makers on the other side are saying no deal means you crash out. You don’t. If you prepare for it you go to a different type of deal, which is WTO based. 

“And that’s absolutely fine, as a base case. 

“To confirm the clarity that we can’t reach agreement in time we need to prepare, we need to go to WTO.” 

The UK has been a founding member of the WTO since 1995 but it currently negotiates trade deals through the EU.

November 30th, 2017: Express