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Telegraph: No Brexit deal is not just better than a bad deal — it could be the best deal

Date: 11 10 2017

No Brexit deal is not just better than a bad deal — it could be the best deal

Giving evidence to the House of Lords Committee on the European Union reminded me of an early media outing when I was director general of the British Chambers of Commerce some years ago. Having stepped out of an entrepreneurial business environment into the world of politics, it struck me that our political leaders were pygmies by comparison with their historical predecessors. And so it seems they continue to be, not only in their inability to stick up for Britain, but their incapacity to grasp the game they are in and the opportunities that lie within their reach.

Contrary to the mis-guided “group think” of many of our superannuated (often via civil service or EU pensions) Lordships, the EU are not our friends in the matter of leaving the Union. They are, at the most charitable, our competitors.

More than that, the European Commission and key member states are determined to see Britain worse off out,  in order to encourage the rest not to follow suit and thus spoil the “project”. In this, they are backed by their business federations, particularly in Germany, which is a stark contrast to the fifth column at the rear of our negotiators! 

The Treasury position on Brexit is to salvageas much as possible of what we have now (but less,  naturally), pay a high price to do so, while accepting that we will have no say, in exchange for continuing to be trapped in the regulatory regimes if the EU. Thus we will continue to be prevented from implementing those economic policies that will make us richer as a nation.  

Instead, by definition of having less and paying more, we can only be worse off. The ideal outcome for the Treasury and senior mandarins is that as a consequence we re-join, after all they only need to kick the can down the road sufficient for a change of government.

As I will argue in front of their Lordships this afternoon, we must reject this self-fulfilling recipe of self-harm and instead adopt a new model economy based on lower tax and lower regulation, which will benefit the poorest, proportionately the most and rebalance the economy. An economy based on “no deal” will liberate the UK to;  free up money to cut business taxes, incentivise investment and R&D, reform the CAP, re-patriate Fisheries, remove external tariffs and cut new trade deals, all of which are prevented currently by our membership of the Single Market and Customs Union. 

The continued bullying of the EU and their unwillingness to talk will push us toward a “no deal” option. The sooner our politicians and the vested interests grasp this and embrace the fact that “no deal” can be made to be the best deal, the better, and the sooner business will have absolute certainty as to the bright future that lies before them. We should not delay a moment longer. 

 

John Longworth is Co Chairman of Leave means Leave and a member of the Advisory Board of Economists for Free Trade. He used to be director general of the British Chambers of Commerce

October 10th, 2017: Telegraph