Saturday, 23 April 2016

Europe: stay or leave? Focus on fact - 4

People complain there are not enough facts in the Brexit debate, so here are a couple:-

1. The anti-Europeans have not got the faintest idea what will happen if we leave Europe.

2. If we walk out of Europe, we tear up more than 50 trade agreements with countries across the world. Freeing up trade increases prosperity. That is why nations and organisations like the EU go to the considerable effort of making these deals. Conversely, losing free trade agreements reduces prosperity.

Some of the anti-Europeans have been claiming that everyone will be queuing up to sign a trade deal with us. Even if this is true, and it may well not be, these deals take a long time to agree. Canada and the EU have been negotiating for 7 years. Even if we could reach new deals to replace the 50 or so we tear up, this would take us years, perhaps decades.

The anti-Europeans have been plotting Brexit for years, so how many countries have they managed to sign up to give us new trade deals if we leave Europe? None, so far as I am aware. And managing to insult the United States and the Commonwealth in one sentence as Boris Johnson did yesterday, is probably not a great way to go about it.

As with so many things, the anti-Europeans have been flip-flopping on this issue too. Having had their claims that all and sundry will be queuing up to do trade deals with us blown out of the water, they are now saying we do not really need these agreements. As I said, if that were true, countries and organisations would not make so much effort trying to negotiate them.

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