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What's wrong with a customs union. There is a supposed take down of this letter by an expert but the first thing the expert said was that we have more to offer than just trade eg India wanted more visas for its people to travel to the UK. That's not a very big lever in negotiations and does the 'expert' not know why Brexit happened in the first place?

Apr 26, 2019 at 3:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

"Is there a list of these nations and what their WTO tariffs are? How many and what nations trade WTO only?

Maybe only North Korea has no trade deals. Most countries have some deals with their neighbours. You are at liberty to Google for a list list.

"Why has any nation entered a customs union if one with the EU is such a terrible idea?" Are you confusing customs unions with trade deals?

Apr 26, 2019 at 2:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

Thanks for Wikipedia extract and opinion on WTO situation.

Still leaves unanswered questions, nations in free trade areas and custom unions have free trade internally and tariffs externally. Is there a list of these nations and what their WTO tariffs are? How many and what nations trade WTO only?

Has the UK negotiated any more deals ready to be signed on a NDB? Why has any nation entered a customs union if one with the EU is such a terrible idea?

Having made such a pig's ear of Brexit, making a pig's ear of post brexit would be the cherry on top for the UK and its political class.

Apr 26, 2019 at 2:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterStill In The Dark
Apr 26, 2019 at 11:54 AM | Unregistered CommenterIt doesn't add up...

Air pollution could be contributing to lung cancer deaths in those who’ve never smoked
- today #YouandYours @BBCRadio4 hears from campaigners @MumsForLungs & environmental journalist @TimSmedley

Apr 26, 2019 at 11:27 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

In the long run I agree with you but the money and share traders are skittish creatures. One of the reasons why the post Brexit money fall wasn't as calamatous as predicted was because the pound was impacted the moment the referendum was promised the markets started accounting for it. Some of the fall was due to a late rise in the pound when it looked unlikely that Brexit would win.

There will be pain, but in many ways it's a measure of how deeply the EU had eroded our ability to manage our own country.

Apr 26, 2019 at 11:22 AM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2


There will be no new currency to deal with should we leave the EU. Companies who expand their international trade may have no exposure to different currencies, depending on the terms of contract. Almost all international oil trade is in dollars. Chemicals have inherited the Euro from the DM. The risks between the major trade currencies and small local currencies usually fall to the local customer/supplier to manage. This system also underlies why so much international lending is denominated in major trade currencies.

I would not be too sure that the pound will fall if we manage to get to a proper Brexit, although it probably should fall if we sign up to the WA, as that allows the EU to bleed us dry in perpetuity or at least until we rebel or they collapse. The pound has already endured significant pressure from those moving assets outside the UK. Any non WA resolution is likely to see money pouring back in again, and therefore a strengthening pound.

Apr 26, 2019 at 10:15 AM | Unregistered CommenterIt doesn't add up...


I think you are slightly confused. Farage's claim was that 80% of companies are administratively ready to handle trade outside the Single Market. There are probably some who only trade with Europe who haven't organised themselves to deal with the different interaction with HMRC and the different documentation needs. Where tariffs are applied to EU trade, some companies will find it advantageous to find suppliers outside the EU who previously were uncompetitive under EU tariffs. They may also need to develop other markets for exports. Those who rely on transshipment at Rotterdam to minimise freight costs may need bonded warehouse space there, or to reroute their trade onto vessels calling at UK ports.

Many countries negotiate their own trade deals even when they are part of trade blocs. The EU is perhaps unique in doing all the negotiations for its members. Here is the WTO's list of registered agreements, many of which involve individual countries on one or both sides.

Apr 26, 2019 at 10:00 AM | Unregistered CommenterIt doesn't add up...

This from Wiki may answer the issues you raise.
World Trade Organization
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Principles of the trading system
The WTO establishes a framework for trade policies; it does not define or specify outcomes. That is, it is concerned with setting the rules of the trade policy games.[55] Five principles are of particular importance in understanding both the pre-1994 GATT and the WTO:

Non-discrimination. It has two major components: the most favoured nation (MFN) rule, and the national treatment policy. Both are embedded in the main WTO rules on goods, services, and intellectual property, but their precise scope and nature differ across these areas. The MFN rule requires that a WTO member must apply the same conditions on all trade with other WTO members, i.e. a WTO member has to grant the most favourable conditions under which it allows trade in a certain product type to all other WTO members.[55] "Grant someone a special favour and you have to do the same for all other WTO members."[35] National treatment means that imported goods should be treated no less favourably than domestically produced goods (at least after the foreign goods have entered the market) and was introduced to tackle non-tariff barriers to trade (e.g. technical standards, security standards et al. discriminating against imported goods).[55]
Reciprocity. It reflects both a desire to limit the scope of free-riding that may arise because of the MFN rule, and a desire to obtain better access to foreign markets. A related point is that for a nation to negotiate, it is necessary that the gain from doing so be greater than the gain available from unilateral liberalization; reciprocal concessions intend to ensure that such gains will materialise.[56]
Binding and enforceable commitments. The tariff commitments made by WTO members in a multilateral trade negotiation and on accession are enumerated in a schedule (list) of concessions. These schedules establish "ceiling bindings": a country can change its bindings, but only after negotiating with its trading partners, which could mean compensating them for loss of trade. If satisfaction is not obtained, the complaining country may invoke the WTO dispute settlement procedures.[35][56]
Transparency. The WTO members are required to publish their trade regulations, to maintain institutions allowing for the review of administrative decisions affecting trade, to respond to requests for information by other members, and to notify changes in trade policies to the WTO. These internal transparency requirements are supplemented and facilitated by periodic country-specific reports (trade policy reviews) through the Trade Policy Review Mechanism (TPRM).[57] The WTO system tries also to improve predictability and stability, discouraging the use of quotas and other measures used to set limits on quantities of imports.[35]
Safety values. In specific circumstances, governments are able to restrict trade. The WTO's agreements permit members to take measures to protect not only the environment but also public health, animal health and plant health.[58]
There are three types of provision in this direction:

articles allowing for the use of trade measures to attain non-economic objectives;
articles aimed at ensuring "fair competition"; members must not use environmental protection measures as a means of disguising protectionist policies.[58][59]
provisions permitting intervention in trade for economic reasons.[57]
Exceptions to the MFN principle also allow for preferential treatment of developing countries, regional free trade areas and customs unions.[7]:fol.93

Apr 26, 2019 at 9:50 AM | Unregistered CommenterDouglas

One of the reason a lot of companies are 'ready' is because they don't trade internationally. Some trade internationally outside the EU and so are able to absorb the extra difficulties of a new border (give or take the currency fluctuations). Some will be ready but uncertain and reply 'no' because they want to ensure government help. Others will say they're ready because they don't want investors to panic. Some will say that they're not ready to kick Brexiteers. Some genuinely still haven't achieved readiness. Some can't achieve readiness. Some will not know. If Brexit even happen, a lot of what was feared won't be a problem. Currency will drop, French strikes, border bloody mindedness will happen and every business failure will be blamed on Brexit but every success will be purely down to the companies involved, or so they'll claim. A few unexpected problems will arise, but by and large after 3/4 years people would wonder what the fuss was all about.

Apr 26, 2019 at 9:47 AM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

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