One year to go: A Brexit supporter on what’s going wrong with Brexit
by John Longworth
In the face of trenchant self-interest and mean spirited punishment beatings from our so-called friends in the EU, the government has struggled to achieve a satisfactory Brexit deal for the UK.
This is in large part a consequence of their negotiating position being undermined by a “fifth column” of recalcitrant Remainers at home, not just in Parliament but the likes of the CBI, something which can only damage Britain as we leave.
Nonetheless, the government could have done better. A strong leader would have correctly defined success as taking control of our borders, laws and money, the constant mantra of the leave campaign during the referendum run up and in fact what people voted for. The post-referendum naysayers should have been challenged to dare overturn the democratic will of the electorate as defined above.
We handed the EU the power
Instead the government confused the process of leaving by defining success as a trade deal with the EU, thus putting significant power and negotiating leverage in its hands. Ironically in doing this they reduced the economic benefits we will reap upon leaving and thrust us into the position of a vassal state during the transition.
The transition is effectively a delay in leaving until 2020, during which we will have no say in the EU but will be able to start trade negotiations with third countries, while paying the equivalent of our World War Two debt, some €40 billion, for the privilege. Think how many nurses, hospitals, doctors we could have for that amount , ten times what Jeremy Hunt has suggested.
We’re still saving cash
But despair not. The money represents under four years worth of what we would anyway have paid to the EU (showing just how expensive our membership is), and we will be free of this in perpetuity cost, to do with as we please, for ever. Hurrah.
We can even avoid the transition if we are prepared to quickly sign up to a Canada style deal which the EU are keen on, covering at least 92 per cent of agriculture and 98 per cent of goods. In any event, as long as our government adopts the right policies given our post-Brexit freedoms, on investment, tax, regulation, tariffs, trade and agriculture, our economy will boom, the tax take will rise and the cost of living for hard working people will fall.
John Longworth is an entrepreneur, Co Chairman of Leave means Leave, Advisory Board Member of Economists for Free Trade and the IEA. He was formerly Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce
March 28th, 2018: iNews