Free trade is fine for the trading partner who has the competitive advantage, not so good for the one who lacks it, in any particular sector. The EU doesn’t even allow free trade within its so-called single market, because services, which make up the bulk of the UK economy, are excluded.
Britain cannot rely exclusively on the export of services, such as banking and insurance, to the rest of the world, important though these sectors are to the economy. We need to develop, strengthen and expand our manufacturing sector in order to pay our way in the world. This can best be achieved by giving this sector the opportunity to grow to strength and maturity behind the shelter of temporary and selective import controls, including WTO approved tariffs.
Once we have left the EU we will have our own, very powerful, voice at the WTO and can begin to shape that body’s agenda in ways that we have been unable to do during the period in which the EU has formally represented our interests there, while in reality it has worked against them.