Tuesday, 5 April 2016

We’ll be alright outside the EU says the supporters of Project Fantasy - we can trade with our friends in the Commonwealth!

But those days are long gone. By today UK's imports/exports with the Commonwealth countries amounts to about 10% of our trade!
The fact is that thanks to our EU membership, 27 of our nearest neighbours' buy 45% of the UK's good and services that are exported.  It has been nearly 60 years since we enjoyed that level of exports to the Commonwealth.
As a result of the phenomenal cooperation within the largest trading bloc on the planet right on our doorstep, the average GDP per head is in the region of $35,000. That is one of the key reasons that makes the Single Market the most attractive in the world, not just for the UK by the way but for non-EU countries as well.

On the other hand, according to this excellent piece about BREXICONOMICSthe Commonwealth has an average GDP per capita of one tenth of that at $3,500. If youexclude the figures for Canada and Australia from that figure then it is much lower.

Over the last 40 or so years the UK has had the best of both worlds, we can trade anywhere we want to around the globe – just last year, George Osborne signed up over £40 billion of trade deals with China, and he didn’t even need to ask the EU’s permission to do so.  
While at the same time we have unlimited trade free of duties, tariffs, and quota with the EU.
It’s not that we have not been warned of the problems facing the UK if we listen to the supporters of Project Fantasy and vote to Leave the EU.   

The UK's second largest trading partner in the world (the USA) say that since they don’t have a 

’’FTA with the U.K. so they would be subject to the same tariffs – and other trade-related measures – as China, or Brazil or India,”

Then Australia advises theUK that we should stay in the EU because

“The Commonwealth cannot be a replacement for the European Union. Turning the Commonwealth into a free trade area with harmonised regulations and a common trade policy is not on the agenda.”

Rafał Trzaskowski, Poland’s Secretary of State for European Affairs:
“Leave the union and you will see how much control you will have over your own destiny,” ….  “It is an illusion that Great Britain can be as important as it is now, standing alone on the global stage.”
Laurent Fabius, the French Foreign Minister, has also said his country will block any “special status” for the UK.
Former German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer has warned the UK not to lose itself in “wishful thinking” and that Angela Merkel, would do nothing to “endanger the basic principles of the common market, of the EU”
So the question for all of us and especially Project Fantasy supporters is:
Why would anyone in their right mind think that it is a good idea to give up the best trade deal that it is possible to get in favour of something that is guaranteed to be worse than it already is?

A gamble much too far to even contemplate let alone vote for it.