A “no deal” will save us money and let us reboot trading relationships with developing countries.
The Treasury and its allies have spent the summer trying to persuade everyone that leaving the EU without a formal trade agreement will lead to economic Armageddon.
Thankfully, the British public is somewhat inoculated against Project Fear Mark Two, thanks to the failed predictions of immediate economic doom from the referendum.
That said, the prospect of a no-deal Brexit raises practical issues that need careful planning. Many can be dealt with by agreements, transitional or otherwise, between the EU and UK even in the absence of a formal trade agreement.
We have heard very little about the benefits of leaving without a deal.
From much of the media and the BBC you could be forgiven for thinking that “no deal” has only economic downsides. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Leaving the EU means that we can set our own economic policy, devising regulations to the benefit of the UK rather than the undemocratic European Commission. It also allows us to operate an independent trade policy, lowering tariffs on many of our imported goods from non-EU countries (and thus cutting prices) while helping our exporters improve ties with fast-growing economies.
Many of these benefits would be hard to achieve under Theresa May’s Chequers’ proposals and would be delayed by at least two years due to the transition arrangement.
But if the EU and the UK don’t come up with a deal, then all bets are off and we can start to pursue the upside of Brexit even earlier than planned. We can also save the £39billion payment to be paid by the UK as part of a formal deal.
Instead, this could be directed to easing the transition for businesses and boosting the NHS and schools.
It is right that we plan for the short term disruption that would result. But let’s also embrace the world of opportunity which would then be possible. And let’s start one minute after midnight on the 30th March, 2019.
To read Professor David Paton’s piece in full, click here.