Brexit on Theresa May’s terms would be the worst of all worlds

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I am quoting Daniel Hannan an MEP writing in the Telegraph (on-line) a few days ago. Daniel is a Conservative MEP and someone who has been very critical of the EU’s systemic hypocrisy, inefficiency and financial incompetence for many years, as have I.

Daniel Hannan – Our next PM?

Whether or not you are or were a remainer or leaver, this current policy direction is beyond daft; it is criminal incompetence from Theresa May who is either so confused by what she thinks she ought to be doing or has gone bonkers!

I’ll just give you two paragraphs from his article, the rest you can read for yourself on-line here.

“Allow me 60 seconds to explain why staying inside the EU’s customs union would be catastrophic for a trading nation like Britain. It’s not just that the customs union uniquely penalises us as the only EU state that trades more outside than within the bloc. Nor is it that just that the customs union would give Brussels 100 per cent control of our trade policy with zero per cent input from us. No, it’s something worse than that. 

Under international trade rules, if Britain joined a customs union with the EU, it would be obliged to match any concessions made by the EU in trade agreements with third countries. But, critically, those third countries would not be obliged to reciprocate vis-à-vis Britain.

Suppose, for example, that the EU struck a trade deal with India. Britain would have to copy every consequent change that the EU made in its procurement rules,  technical standards and so on. But India’s equivalent concessions would apply only to the EU 27, not to Britain. The UK’s home market – the fifth largest in the world – would become a bargaining counter for Brussels negotiators to exchange for benefits to their own countries.

If you voted Leave and now object that staying in the customs union “would be Brexit in name only,” then I have bad news for you: the reality is far worse than that. Staying in the customs union as a non-member would place us in a new and uniquely powerless position. Labour spokesmen used to oppose such an outcome precisely because of the asymmetric position in which it would place Britain, obliged to do whatever the Brussels decided, but excluded from the EU’s trading partners’ matching concessions. Labour’s sudden volte-face in February was the most cynical thing I have seen in my 20 years in politics.

Yes, this has become a complex issue to resolve, but it never needed to be. Both the Labour and Tory parties have let down the United Kingdom of Great Britain by their pathetic “party” political infighting.

Jeremy Corbyn has been a Euro sceptic for the last 30 years, until he found power. The same is true of Tony Blair; but just writing his name makes me feel sick!

Theresa May was always for staying in the EU so why are we surprised? She has not grasped what Daniel has so elegantly explained.

Parliament, and all party political leaders have failed our nation.