Brexit: 30 truths about leaving the EU on WTO terms

On Monday 7th January, Global Britain & Labour Leave are publishing “30 Truths About Leaving On WTO Terms”

The report rebuts – with documented evidence – Project Fear’s scare stories and argues that the best Brexit endpoint would be the Canada style free trade deal offered by Donald Tusk, covering the whole UK. To achieve that, the publication says we need to embrace leaving the EU on WTO terms which provide a “safe haven”.

Download Brexit 30 truths about leaving on WTO terms PDF

The report has been authored by Lord Lilley, who was Trade & Industry Secretary under Thatcher and Major, and Councillor Brendan Chilton, who is the General Secretary of Labour Leave. Lord Lilley helped negotiate setting up WTO as well as implementing the Single Market programme.

The publication describes the WTO as a “safe haven” for businesses and consumers and points out that “our exports to countries with whom we trade on WTO terms have grown 3 times as fast as exports to the Single market since it was established”.

Six out of the EU’s top ten trading partners trade under WTO rules, including our biggest national export market – the USA – with which we have a surplus, unlike the huge deficit in our trade with the EU. Others are China, USA, India and Japan.

The publication:

  • says that a “no deal” scenario has been “demonised” by “the Brexit-opposing media”. It should be called “WTO+++”.

The report details what these pluses are:

  • keep our £39bn, “we will be cashing in, not crashing out”, boosting GDP by up to 2% over the next couple of years, improving our balance of payments significantly and allowing us to spend it on domestic priorities;
  • end the “corrosive economic and political uncertainty” that would continue for at least two years under the draft Withdrawal Agreement;
  • resolve the Irish border issue with administrative measures as Ireland, the EU and UK have promised to do if there is no Withdrawal Agreement; and thereby
  • we can continue to trade with the EU on zero tariffs during negotiations as permitted by Article 24 of the WTO treaty. This will make it easier to take up Tusk’s offer of a Canada+++ style free trade deal for the whole UK.
  • likens “apocalyptic fears about leaving the EU without a Withdrawal Agreement” to previous fears about the Millennium Bug;
  • emphasises that the government itself is tacitly exaggerating fears of “no deal” and downplaying its preparations to scare MPs into voting for the draft Withdrawal Agreement;
  • says that scares about import delays are “particularly ludicrous since Britain will control its own borders.”
    cites HMRC that: “There will be roughly the same number of physical checks of vehicles arriving at Dover as at present because checks are based on an assessment of risk” and that HMRC will “prioritise flow over compliance”;
  • dismisses fears that the PM will not get her insulin since: “Insulin is supplied by a Danish company – Novo Nordisk. They will not withhold it. The EU will not ban its export. The UK will not impede its import. The company is
  • keeping four month’s supply in the UK”;
  • reports the French authorities’ comments that: “The sole objective is to guarantee the free flow of cross channel trade and to preserve the competitiveness of the ports of the region against competition from the ports of Rotterdam, Antwerp and Zeebrugge”

Download Brexit 30 truths about leaving on WTO terms PDF

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