We were told by the Brexiteers that negotiating new arrangements with the World Trade Organisation would be a piece of cake (part of Boris’s ‘cake and eat’ it no doubt).
But what do we see now?
A letter has come to light from the ambassadors to the WTO of Argentina, Brazil, Canada, New Zealand, Thailand, the United States and Uruguay over the adjustment of tariff quotas for agricultural produce in a post Brexit world. Please note the alleged ‘friends of the UK’ in the post Brexit world in this list – the US, Canada and New Zealand.
The UK and European Commission had apparently agreed on how to divide up these quotas.
The ambassadors of these seven major agricultural exporting nations are saying first, there can be no agreement at the WTO on these matters unless everyone agrees and second, further concessions on access to the UK market are needed.
The UK’s place in the WTO was supposed to be the key to secure the easiest of the whole range of external trade policy issues to be resolved, since the UK is and remains a member state of the WTO.
So much for an easy trading deal within the WTO in a post-Brexit world.
To which has to be added the little matter of Bombardier with its large factory in Belfast: the protectionist Donald Trump wants to impose huge (over 200 per cent) tariffs on imports of Bombardier’s new range of aircraft to protect that struggling US megacorp, Boeing.
So Mrs May immediately phoned Trump, to which the only response was an increase of the punitive tariffs up to 300 per cent! So much for a trading deal with the US in a post-Brexit world.
Again read what the German Federation of Industry has just said – it has advised its members to prepare for a “very hard Brexit”.
So much for a easy trading deal with German car manufacturers in a post-Brexit world.
And this is just the news in the last two weeks, and I have omitted that the UK is now the slowest growing economy in the G7 group of leading nations.
So are we going to join Boris, roaring like lions, or more like mute lemmings, leaping off that cliff edge?