Samir’s Selection 06/05/2017 (a.m.)
Britain is being led to an epic act of national self-harm over Brexit | Will Hutton >>>
The World Bank believes that if Britain switches from single market membership to trading with the EU on World Trade Organisation terms – the “no deal” option – then British trade in goods with the EU will halve and trade in services will fall by 60% as these effects work through…
Yet that is only the beginning of the disaster. To keep exports of goods and services flowing to the rest of the world on the same terms as now, even before negotiating new deals, Britain will have to renegotiate 759 agreements with 168 countries that are now held by the EU, as the Financial Times disclosed last week. That is 759 opportunities for other countries, knowing our plight, to try to negotiate something better.
The clock is ticking. Decisions on where companies place exports and source imports in 2019 have to be taken in 2018. In reality, Britain has to find solutions to all these issues in less than 12 months.
It simply can’t be done within the time, nor is any network of replacement deals going to be superior to the ones we already have. Britain’s growth rate is at the bottom of the G7 and investment is falling. The Conservative manifesto commitment to leave the single market and customs union and seek a trade relationship outside any of the EU’s frameworks – not the EEA or even Efta – is a declaration of economic war upon ourselves. We are heading towards a first-order economic debacle. In Whitehall, morale is at rock bottom. Any civil servant who dares brief the prime minister or her inner circle on these realities is frozen out…
Britain is about to embark upon a national act of self-harm on an epic scale. The country, as it makes its decision on who it wants to lead the most important negotiations since the war, deserves to be warned. Instead, silence reigns.
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