Daily Express: Brexit no-brainer: Theresa May has only ONE option today and it is THIS

THE Cabinet meets today at last to decide what “deal” it will propose to the EU for negotiation. It should be a no brainer: the only deal that achieves free trade with the EU and is compatible with leaving is an improved version of the one just signed with Canada known as “Canada+”.

If the Government takes the so-called Norway option it effectively means we do not leave but lose all EU voting powers. This is clearly beyond the pale.

The true “third way” is the World Trade Organisation rules option or ‘no deal’ which means we have tariff barriers between us and the EU: not a problem for us.

It saves us a transition period and the £40 billion we have offered to pay the EU for a deal and is expensive for the EU. They also pay a lot more in tariffs to us.

So what is all the argument about? It seems Cabinet ministers simply cannot understand how it works to be a ‘third country’ like so many around the world not in the EU.

They and ‘Big Business’ are terrified that it is a lawless world out there beyond the EU’s remit: the EU can suddenly erect borders that do not work properly and create new standards with which our exports are incompatible.

And so the Cabinet ministers want a ‘Fourth Way’ whereby we continue to be ‘in’ the EU for purposes of avoiding such barriers and yet also ‘out of’ the EU, so as to achieve Brexit.

Even to write this down sounds like Alice Through the Looking Glass.

The EU has, rightly, dismissed this Fourth Way as incomprehensible and inconsistent with any known legal status.

But leave that on one side and consider the economics.

Firstly, these ‘barriers’ the EU could erect simply do not exist because they are illegal under international rules.

So there is no need for a Fourth Way to avoid fictitious threats.

Second, part of this Fourth Way is a complex ‘New Customs Partnership’ which fatally undermines our ability to strike Free Trade Agreements with non-EU countries.

Being unable to adjust EU standards that act as trade barriers and constitute three quarters of the EUprotectionism destroys the incentives to deal with us.

Bang go our lucrative free trade agreements!

Third, there would be an EU price to pay: supervision by the European Court of Justice, payments for ‘access’, and continued freedom of movement.

If any of my students were to propose such nonsense, they would get an instant Fail.

To read Patrick Minford’s piece for the Daily Express in full, click here.

sign up to our Newsletter