by John Redwood MP
So today, just for a change, the Cabinet discusses our possible future relationship with the EU.
If they agree what they would like the EU will probably turn it down, as they have turned down most of the positive proposals the government has put forward so far. I have been urging the government to table a comprehensive free trade agreement with the EU and ask them to respond, as that offers a way through if the EU wants any deal.
If we just leave in March 2019 life will go on much as it did before. Planes will still fly into Heathrow from the continent. Just in time deliveries will still pass through our ports with electronic manifests and off site supervision as they do from non EU sources today. Germany will still be selling us plenty of cars, the Netherlands plenty of salads and vegetables, France plenty of cheese and wine. Most UK exports to the continent will flow tariff free under WTO tariff schedules, as there are no tariffs on services or goods like aerospace, and low ones on everything else apart from agriculture and cars. We and the EU will trade under the WTO’s Facilitation of Trade Agreement, which deals with non tariff barriers. Where tariffs go on the UK will expand domestic production to meet more of the home market demand and will have the opportunity to import more cheaply from outside the EU as it wishes. As we have a large trade deficit in cars and food with the EU they will lose more from tariffs, so it is in their interest to agree tariff free as we propose.
The UK economy will get an immediate boost from spending an extra £12 billion a year on public services or through tax cuts as we will save the money as soon as we leave. We can rebuild our fishing industry once we control our own waters and fish stocks. We can put in place our own immigration policy.
Above all the UK will be a self-governing democracy again. So will the Cabinet rise to the challenge? Wouldn’t it be good if they came out from their meeting with a range of plans to use the new freedoms, rights and cash leaving will bring. Brexit offers considerable scope to improve our lives and services here at home and to grow our economy faster.