Letter: A good Brexit deal is just a fantasy

Letter writer John Islip writes to rubbish Wellingborough MP Peter Bone’s idea of commissioning a statue of Prime Minister Theresa May as a fantasy as big as the idea of a good Brexit deal...

Thursday, 17th January 2019, 11:42 am
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 4:34 pm
Peter Bone, MP for Wellingborough

This newspaper recently reported that the Conservative MP for Wellingborough, Peter Bone, would not be going ahead with a statue to Theresa May. The reason? Mrs May “has not delivered the Brexit people voted for”.

The big problem is this; what kind of Brexit did people vote for? There are lots of different opinions on this, so there is no way of knowing.

One person who is sure what people voted for is your correspondent Ray Tiller. He thinks we voted for a no-deal Brexit.

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He urges us to write to our MP “and demand the no-deal Brexit that they voted for”.

Really? I thought most people voted for a Brexit where we got a good deal, not a no deal.

The kind of good deal that David Davis said would be the easiest negotiation in history, just before giving up and resigning as Brexit Secretary.

The kind of good deal that Boris Johnson said was easily attainable, before resigning as Foreign Secretary; frictionless single market access, just like being a member, but with no membership bill to pay.

Control of the rules that govern our trade with the EU and no independent court to enforce them.

Some £350 million a week back from Brussels, acknowledged to be a total fiction by Nigel Farage.

No change to the Irish border, without explaining how.

In other words, just a bunch of Brexit fantasies.

Mr Tiller further proposes that we can simply walk away from the EU with no agreement, and trade with whoever we like under WTO rules. He should consider these points.

First, there are only five countries in the entire world who are not members of a regional trade agreement and trade solely on WTO rules.

These countries are East Timor, South Sudan, Somalia, Mauretania and Sao Tome & Principe.

These five countries are among the poorest in the world and are, economically, totally insignificant.

But Mr Tiller thinks it would be a good thing for the UK to be ranked in their company. So much for the new “Global Britain” promised by Brexiteers.

Claiming we can easily trade on WTO rules is just another Brexit fantasy.

Second, there are three large trading blocks in the world; the USA, China and the EU. The EU is the wealthiest and is right on our doorstep. A country without close ties to any of these blocks will be at a huge trading disadvantage, and will be a rule-taker.

That means the UK being bullied into trade deals involving the acceptance of chlorinated chicken and GM crops from the USA. That means the UK having to give better visa deals for Indians and Australians before these countries progress any post-Brexit trade agreement. These kinds of demands are not likely to appeal to many Brexit supporters, to put it mildly.

Mr Tiller goes on to claim that “...EU member states will be lining up to sign bilateral trading agreements with the UK” and “these agreements will render the EU redundant as an organisation and signal its end”.

But two years of diplomatic pressure by Mrs May on individual EU members to do just this has resulted in absolutely nothing.

Individual EU member states cannot do deals of this kind; it is a condition of membership that they will not.

The EU is far more resilient than he supposes and can easily withstand the disruption of a no-deal Brexit. It is the UK who will suffer the most.

The basic fact is that, as a member of the EU, we already have far and away the best trading deal we can ever get. Anything else will mean worse trading terms, and British people losing their livelihoods and in many cases their homes too.

No-one voted for that.

John Islip, Kettering