The Prime Minister and Remainer politicians in the Cabinet and beyond, along with journalists and civil servants, constantly assert that Brexiteers have not presented an alternative to the discredited White Paper put forward at Chequers. Yet nothing could be further from the truth.
It is now clear that DExEU produced a comprehensive White Paper based on a Canada-style deal which was simply ignored by the Prime Minister, egged on by the Chancellor, Greg Clark and Olly Robbins, representing the narrow vested interests of multinationals, often foreign-owned.
Not only that however, this weekend Economists for Free Trade have published a paper setting out why the Chequers White Paper is flawed and how we will enjoy a much more prosperous future by adopting global free trade under WTO rules and a Canada-style deal with the EU. They estimate a benefit to the UK economy equivalent to a present value of £651 billion.
This paper reminds us of the detailed reports produced, on a number of occasions since the referendum, by Leave means Leave and Economists for Free Trade, setting out the story of our post-Brexit economic and policy future.
Why then the accusation that Brexiteers have no alternative vision? Could it be wilful ignorance? Remainers may have been listening, but they have failed to hear. Given the difficult place in which the UK now finds itself, this amounts to wilful negligence on the part of Whitehall and the Government.
There may come a day of reckoning. The House of Lords will be called to account for its actions and there will be far fewer defenders of it when the calls come for its abolition.
The civil service will face a review regarding its impartiality. Perhaps we should adopt the US system and replace the top two tiers as each new government comes to office, appointing instead officials who believe in delivering the programme of the elected administration. After all, it must surely be more important for democracy to enthusiastically deliver what people voted for rather than maintain the so-called neutrality of civil servants. What value is neutrality if it is a drag anchor on delivery, or indeed subverts the democratic will?
Some of the responsibility also lies with Brexit politicians in government, particularly those who now remain in the Cabinet, who exemplify those who failed to properly engage with the business and economic debate during the referendum campaign – another example of wilful ignorance that has now come back to bite.
Of course, this is not just about economics but it is the economic arguments touted by HM Treasury, flawed as they are, that have prevailed.
The White Paper proposal for our future put forward by Theresa May at Chequers breaks all of her promises to the British people: our Prime Minister has lied and is not to be trusted.
She is proposing to the EU a very weak negotiating position, which Brussels, backed by Mutti Merkel, will chip away at. Even the proposal unaltered will see Britain permanently trapped in the European regulatory system, taking their laws without any say, as if we had dived off the Titanic to find our foot caught in the anchor.
The British people and British business will be forever trapped with burdensome and costly laws and we will be forced to take on new laws forevermore.
Not only that, the European Court of Justice will still hold sway over our courts for everything from products that we buy, food that we eat right through to environmental and social issues. We will have no say.
The fact that we cannot adapt our laws or recognise that the laws of other countries like the US, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and Switzerland are just as good, will mean that we will not be able to make good trade deals and probably not any. The US has already said so, which is madness since it alone has a bigger economy than the EU and 90% of global economic growth will be outside the EU.
The Prime Minister’s proposal also makes it likely we will see mass migration continue. Every migrant into a low-skill job costs UK taxpayers £3,500 per year in subsidies and we have nearly 900,000 unemployed under 25-year-olds. The PM has broken her promises to take control of our borders, our money (trade and economy) and our laws. We will also pay the EU at least £39 billion, which is £2,600 for every family in Britain.
This is a scandal. We should just leave and pay the EU nothing. But Remainers claim there is no alternative plan. This is not true.
Although Remainers in government like the Chancellor and civil servants have tried to stop it, preparations have been made for no deal in March next year.
In fact, “no deal” is a good deal for the UK. The EU and Remainers are terrified that Britain will be the successful country it will be outside the EU and are trying to keep us tied down.
The alternative to Theresa May’s plan is to announce now that we will adopt World Trade Organisation, global trade rules in March 2019 when we leave the EU. This will enable us to cut the cost of food and consume goods like trainers and flat screen TVs from the moment we leave by removing the taxes on imported goods the EU makes us collect for them called tariffs. We will also be able to make trade deals with countries around the world. The US, Canada and Australia have already said we can do that quickly.
Remainers say this will cause problems in Northern Ireland because of the border as Ireland will still be in the EU. But this is nonsense. We will not apply a border. Ireland checks people coming in and we will rely on that as we do now and on intelligence to catch criminals. Goods can be authorised at despatch and arrival, not at the border, as they are for most of our trade with the world. Remainer worries are scare stories and a proxy for their real objective, which is continued economic protectionism.
Getting away from the EU will free up our UK economy and trade with the rest of world which is already 87% of our economy, with only 13% going to the EU. Trade with the EU will continue anyway as they sell £67 billion more goods and food to us than we do to them and our goods will be more competitive.
Project Fear has started again, but the companies leading the moaning – Jaguar, BMW and Airbus – all have German bosses, so they would say that wouldn’t they?
It is shameful that our Prime Minister went to see Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, before she revealed her plan to her own Cabinet. She even told the Cabinet they could not change things because she had agreed it with Merkel!
Moving to World Trade rules would mean we can take back the money we pay to the EU every year. We would also have a £39 billion war chest to ease the transition, spent in the UK rather than giving it to the EU.
Alongside this we should offer the EU a free trade deal like the one they have with Canada, covering at least 98% of products and 92% of agriculture. What’s not to like about that? If they don’t want it then so be it, after all, the majority of trade with the EU takes place without any trade deals whatsoever.
By going to this plan we would also be able to take control of our farms, our fisheries and we will be completely independent of the arrogant and bullying European Commission.
Britain is a great country full of inventors and innovators, entrepreneurs who embrace change and opportunity and people who believe in their country. We have been dragged back by the EU; and dragged back by multinationals which complain loudly and want to keep things as they are so they can make more money out of us than they deserve and by politicians who do not believe in Britain but want to make a career in Europe.
Free of all this, Britain will prosper like never before, taking its rightful place on the world stage, a force for good and a beacon of light for the downtrodden peoples of Europe.
The Remainers are wrong, we do have a Brexit plan for Britain.
To read EFT Adviser John Longworth’s piece for BrexitCentral in full, click here