Be not afraid
10:54am Friday 3rd January 2014 in Letters
IN response to Derek Vaughan MEP’s letter on December 12, I am stunned at the laziness of his argument, peddling the same scaremongering tripe we have been hearing since we were conned into joining the EU 40 years ago.
Mr Vaughan, as an MEP, should be aware that the EU 27 sell us a lot more than we sell them.
If he picked up the Treaty of Lisbon, he might note: TEU Article 21, para 2 states: “The Union shall define and pursue common policies and actions, and shall work for a high degree of cooperation in all fields of international relations, encourage the integration of all countries into the world economy, including through the progressive abolition of restrictions on international trade.”
TFEU Article 206 also lays down: “...the Union shall contribute …to the harmonious development of world trade, the progressive abolition of restrictions on international trade and on Foreign Direct Investment, and the lowering of customs and other barriers.” For neighbouring countries (i.e. us after we’d left!), he would also find that the Treaty legally commits the EU to the freest possible trade, free movement of capital and peaceful co-operation.
All of the ‘EU28’ are members of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), where the EU has group representation.
Within 24 hours of Britain leaving the EU, we will have free trade agreements with each of the EU27 Nations.
BMW, Mercedes, Renault etc would demand of their governments that they stick to the above articles. No one wants or can afford a trade war.
The European Commission policy was expressed in “Trade, Growth and World Affairs: Trade policy is a Core Component of the EU’s 2020 Strategy”, (COM(2010)612).
This confirms the intention to dismantle barriers and promote balanced free trade as far as possible. It is committed to work via the WTO, and is not against ‘bilateral’ agreements - so it would not deter EFTA countries like Norway from trading with us.
The WTO noted in 2011 that, apart from the EFTA countries (Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein), the EU had extended free trade agreements to Albania, Algeria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, CARIFORUM states, Chile, Croatia (now in the EU), Egypt, Faroe Islands, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Mexico, Montenegro, Morocco, Palestinian Authority, Serbia, South Africa, South Korea, Tunisia, and certain overseas countries and territories.
This also bodes well for extending trade with us in areas not yet covered by the somewhat hyped ‘Single Market’.
As for our trade deals already cut by the EU, international treaty law points towards them remaining in place by default if we left.
We do not need to fear standing on our own two feet, but should relish the opportunity to trade freely with the rest of the world as we choose. We will reclaim our borders, and decide which laws we want to make for ourselves.
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