Christopher Booker scaring himself to death !!!!

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Offline the leveller

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Christopher Booker scaring himself to death !!!!
« on: November 01, 2016, 09:54:49 AM »
Christopher Booker’s current “clever” argument in his Sunday Telegraph column is that Britain has to stay in the EEA – i.e. Single Market, because it is too difficult and too damaging to get out. This would of course rule out Britain negotiating lucrative new trade deals of its own with the US, Australia, India etc. and would effectively mean no meaningful exit from the EU. Booker of course is historically an arch anti-EU man by reputation, which makes this argument very puzzling.


His main argument now appears to be that the EU would, presumably vindictively, use so called “non-tariff barriers” , which are outside the WTO rules, to keep out British goods and services. We know from Prof Patrick Minford that these little-discussed regulatory barriers are used by the EU against , typically, cheap electrical goods and clothes from Asia, in order to protect EU based electrical and clothing businesses , e.g. Philips TVs .Prof Minford estimates that the cost of these non-tariff barriers to the British consumer currently inside the EU runs at around £40 billion a year by way of additional cost of living.


As far as tariffs are concerned, the WTO fall-back position would impose annoying but  relatively low tariffs , but even these would be in neither side’s interest, and are very likely to be negotiated down or away in the Article 50 process. But in extremis, we would give as good as we get , so there would be no net cost.


Regarding non-tarriff barriers, as we have said many times, we import far more from them than they export to us, and if they used non-tariff barriers to “punish” British exporters, we could retaliate very effectively by imposing similar non-tariff regulatory barriers on BMWs, champagne etc,. Would the EU want this? Of course not. It will not happen.


If our trade with the EU was heavily in the black, Britain would have more to fear. But it is heavily in the red, around £80 billion a year I believe.


EVEN IF there was an all out UK-EU trade war, which will NOT happen, British exports to the EU only account for around 15% of our total output. Meanwhile the remaining 85% will beneit from the £40 billion p.a. mentioned above, and the repeal of all the other expensive regulation such as the working time rules which would gradually disappear from our statute book and our new ability to more easily access the booming markets of Asia.


Booker really has made himself “Scared to Death” ( the title of one of his books)

Peter Lindsey

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