You can find good information about Brexit
Also check out
Britain's Decision which is a pdf
file issued to cover the main points on whether to remain or leave.
John Redwood's Diary in which he counters
a lot of arguments against Brexit.
There is no “soft
differences between customs unions, internal markets and external trade
agreements are highly technical matters to explain to the general
public. But the British public are a great deal more intelligent than
some politicians give them credit for.
The Government reached
the decision not to seek to remain in either the EU customs union or the
internal market before the Prime Minister’s Lancaster House speech in
January 2017, but little attempt was made to explain to the media or the
public the reasons for this decision.
It is a crying shame that
no serious attempt was made to explain and expose the massive
consequences for this country if it were to stay inside the customs
union or the single market, either before or during the General Election
It is a crying a shame
because the vacuum has allowed a total myth to be propagated. That myth
is that it would be economically better for the UK to stay inside the
customs union and/or the single market, and that it is only pointless
ideology or an obsession with curbing immigration at all costs which
accounts for the Government’s rejection of these options.
In addition, an
ill-thought out notion is gaining ground that post-Brexit membership of
the customs union and/or single market in some way represents a “soft”
Brexit which is a concession to the wishes of those who voted Remain, as
compared with a supposedly damaging “hard” Brexit.
It is a crying shame
because none of these arguments withstands a moment’s serious scrutiny
and analysis. Post-exit membership of the EU internal market and of the
customs union would put us in a limbo-land where we would be
rule-takers, bound by huge restrictions on our economic and political
freedom of action according to rules on which we would no longer have a
vote, and which could be altered seriously to our disadvantage in
Since we would no longer
have a vote on the internal market rules on financial services, we would
be powerless to prevent them being changed even further to the
disadvantage of our financial services industry in the City and in other
major centres such as Edinburgh in furtherance of a misguided
protectionist attempt to bolster Eurozone financial services. And we
would be totally prevented from undertaking supply-side reforms of the
regulatory burdens imposed on our domestic economy and international
trade by the EU internal market rules.
We would be required to
submit to our laws to being automatically overturned by rulings of the
EFTA court which simply shadows the ECJ, Customs union membership would
oblige us to continue to charge high tariffs on types of goods where we
have no UK industry to protect, for the sole advantage of producers in
EU states. British consumers would pay the cost of the tariffs through
higher prices, but we would have to continue to hand over to Brussels
75% of the tariffs borne by our consumers.
catastrophically, customs union membership would totally prevent us from
entering into trade agreements with non-EU countries who now represent
over 55% (and growing) of our export markets. On the other side of the
ledger, the supposed economic advantages of customs union and internal
market membership are grossly oversold.
Tariff-free trade between
the UK and the EU can continue after Brexit under a free trade agreement
which preserves our ability to decide on our own levels of external
tariffs and to reach trade agreements with non-EU countries. Modern
“friction-free” and “virtual border” customs arrangements can ease the
flow of goods at the Channel ports and avoid the need for physical
customs posts on the Northern Ireland land border.
And mutual recognition of
standards based on a starting point where we are in line with the EU
internal market rules can ease the flow of goods and services between us
and the EU after Brexit. The idea that single market membership would
somehow be easier to negotiate than a free trade agreement is another
If the UK wanted to
belong to the single market after EU exit, we would need to apply to
join the European Economic Area Agreement as a non-EC member. In order
to join the EEA we would need the consent of 30 states (the EU members
plus Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein), all of whom would need to
ratify the necessary treaty changes in accordance with their respective
national constitutional requirements. This is actually a bigger barrier
than what is need to secure agreement to a free trade agreement with the
The reality is that there
is no “soft Brexit”. It does not exist as a serious or credible option.
Half-way house arrangements in which we are subject to EU rules but have
no say in setting them are the worst of all worlds, which would continue
to subject us to all the disadvantages of EU membership but not give us
the freedom and opportunities of leaving the EU in shaping our laws,
controlling our borders and taking advantage of global trading
The only softness is in
the heads of the people who advocate such half-baked and ill-thought out
notions. When fully examined, the overwhelming economic and
constitutional drawbacks of the limbo-lands of post-Brexit customs union
and internal market membership are glaringly apparent. In these fluid
times when the Prime Minister’s electoral miscalculation and failure to
explain her Brexit policies has once more thrown open the door to these
notions, it is vital that the real consequences of these choices should
be fully understood, in order to prevent this needless election disaster
turning into a catastrophe for our country.
194 countries and
territories trade in the EU's single market without being a member of
It turns out that the
USA, surprisingly, sells more in services to the EU than we do and that
China sells more in goods. Not bad for countries that are not even
members and it demonstrates yet again that the importance of single
market membership has been blown totally out of proportion.
What are the essential ingredients for Brexit?
Brexit was always going to mean a bit of
give and take. The process of negotiating our departure from the
European Union needs flexibility on both sides.
So where should the UK be willing to make concessions, and where does
Brexit mean sticking to our guns?
Plainly some of the hard-line Remainers’ suggestions about what needs to
happen are incompatible with Brexit – which, one rather suspects, is
exactly the reason the Remaniacs keep making them.
It would be impossible to claim to have left the European Union and
still remain a member of either the Single Market or Customs Union. As
long as you are in either, you cannot pursue your own independent trade
policy. Indeed, if we remained a member of the Single Market, vast
swathes of economic life – and much else – in our country would continue
to be subject to rules made in Brussels. Leave the Single Market and you
only need to comply with Single Market rules if selling into the Single
It would be dishonest and deceitful to claim to have left the EU, but
remain in the Single Market or Customs Union. And millions of voters
would, quite rightly, see it as a political sleight of hand, a
three-card trick played on them by the political establishment.
Nor can the UK credibly remain within Euratom. That’s not because there
isn’t something eminently sensible about cooperating with our neighbours
over nuclear issues. There is – and we need to find post-Brexit ways of
doing so. But the reality is that Euratom is not just another one of
those EU agencies. It happens to be a founding pillar on which the
architecture of the EU is built. If you leave the EU, you have to leave
It’s a similar situation with the European Court of Justice. Leaving the
EU means that the ECJ can no longer hold jurisdiction in the UK. This
isn’t really a matter of interpretation or opinion, but a straight
forward legal fact.
If the UK accepts that the ECJ holds jurisdiction over us, we are not a
self-governing state. Which is perhaps why those who tell us ECJ
adjudication is essential insist on it being so. They understand the
implications and are setting out to deceive.
If they were honest, they would accept that it is perfectly possible to
have in place all manner of agreements with the EU, without being
subject to the ECJ. But they don’t.
What about EFTA, the European Free Trade Area? Personally, I’d be
delighted if the UK, after Brexit, was to be a member of EFTA. And to
remain in EFTA for the foreseeable future. Let’s cheerfully concede
that. Why? For the same reason I would like to see Britain joining
NAFTA, the North American Free Trade group. EFTA and NAFTA allow free
trade. They are not about imposing common standards.
And that is precisely why I doubt that post-Brexit Britain can credibly
be a member of the European Economic Area. The EEA, unlike EFTA, is all
about imposing common standards.
Leave the EU, but join the EEA, and the UK’s relationship with the EU
would be like Norway’s. Still vastly preferable to what we have today,
it would mean having to comply with rules and regulations we had no part
Those who suggest that we should have a Norway-type relationship with
the EU on a transitional basis ought to remember: Norway was only
supposed to have the relationship it has with the EU on a temporary
basis. Two decades later, it is still in a sort of Euro-limbo.
There is nothing wrong with transitional arrangements, so long as there
is a clear time limit in place at the outset.
What about immigration and the free movement
of people? Or the so-called Brexit bill? If you listen to the pundits,
these are areas of great contention, where the two sides are supposed to
be at loggerheads.
Nonsense. It is already possible to see the outline of an agreement;
free movement of people – the automatic right that every EU national has
to settle – will end. But that does not mean that we cannot have the
free movement of labour.
As for the Brexit bill, there will be some residual costs that the other
EU member states might try to recoup. We are, of course, under no
obligation to pay the EU anything after we are out. But we could act in
good faith if such good faith was reciprocated. Rather than put us in a
weak position, the issue of money gives us a strong negotiating hand.
If you stop to think about it, there are all sorts of agreements that we
could strike with the EU on all sorts of areas; there are deals to be
done on intelligence sharing and security. And the environment. Our
universities benefit from the Erasmus programme and Horizon 2020.If the
Remainiac rump was really interested in ensuring the maximum amount of
continued cooperation with the EU after we have left, you might expect
them to be making these sort of points. But they aren’t. Nick Clegg and
Tony Blair are in the business of advocating ideas that would render
But then again, the real negotiations are not between the likes of Nick
Clegg and the rest of us. Any agreement will be brokered between the UK
government and the EU. Our own Remainiac fringe might advocate positions
intended to try to try to make a mess of Brexit. But the government
isn’t negotiating with them. Which is precisely why I’m optimistic that
we will strike a good deal.
Brexit means leaving the single market and the customs union. Here’s why
By Barry Gardiner, Labour MP, 24th July 2017 in The Guardian Newspaper
James Dyson: If Brexit talks fail with
the EU it's 'no big deal'
The tech entrepreneur – and Britain's biggest farmer – says we will
almost certainly have to walk away from talks with Europe and rely on
Sir James Dyson would make a good therapist for anxious Brexiteers.
Everything about him is comfortingly precise — his manner and way of
speaking, his owlish round glasses and blow-dried white hair. He exudes
a Zen-like calm.
What he has to say is reassuring, too. He is as sunnily optimistic about
leaving the EU as he was before the referendum last year.
‘I am very confident,’ he says, ‘in our ability to negotiate trade deals
outside Europe — with Japan, Australia, China, America and so on —
because it’s very easy. It’s just us negotiating with them. It’s very,
very straightforward and you don’t have to satisfy 27 other people.’
The implication is that a deal with the EU will be harder. He confirms:
‘My view is we almost certainly won’t get a deal. We’ll have to walk
But Dyson doesn’t think that matters. Falling back on World Trade
Organisation rules would be ‘no big deal’, he says, because for him it
would just lead to a 3 per cent tariff. ‘Frankly,’ he says, ‘lowering
corporation tax a few percentage points would pay for that.’
In another interview he said that the EU represented just 15% of global
trade and declining and so trade with the rest of the world should be
our main objective. He also thought that India looked to be the global
leader in the future and was excitined about the prospects. He was also
very upbeat about growing trade with Commonwealth countries.
Listen to his interview at:
ProjectCheer2 for some good news.
Also see Boris Johnson's upbeat views on
Remaining in the EU Customs Union after
Brexit would be a political and economic disaster
Martin Howe QC, the Chairman of Lawyers for Britain, has written a
detailed explanation for us on the BrexitCentral website
Free Trade outside the EU Customs Union
Professor Patrick Minford, the Chairman of Economists for Free Trade
follows up on his piece from last week with news that he thinks there’s
a good chance he and his colleagues have identified the source of the
Treasury’s new economic modelling which stated Britain would not do well
after leaving the EU.