LETTER: A recipe for disaster

The UK is home to two of the richest ten regions in Northern Europe and six of its ten poorest regions.

Such massive disparity of wealth and advantage is entirely the fault of our inept, party-politically-obsessed political system in Westminster.

Disparity and disadvantage in the UK has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with UK membership of the EU.

Indeed, if you look at developmental projects undertaken in the poorest areas of our country, you’ll see that more funding has come from EU development funds than from UK funds.

Frankly, this situation is scandalous, and Westminster politicians should be hanging their heads in shame.

However, if we leave the EU with ‘No Deal’ on October 31 things can only get far worse for three, key reasons: (1) our economy will be massively adversely affected, leaving less money for our government to start reversing the consequences of Tory Austerity and decades of disproportional investment in the richest areas of our country; (2) just as Brexit has totally consumed attention in Westminster for over three years – at the expense of everything else – a No Deal Brexit outcome will continue doing so for probably another 15 years or more, as we seek to re-negotiate 129 international trade agreements and over 750 other international agreements from which we currently benefit by virtue of EU membership; and (3) “Global Britain” will be left behind by the trade deals the EU is currently doing around the world.

For instance, recently, the EU has agreed trade agreements with Canada, Japan (the world’s third largest economy), South Korea, Vietnam, Singapore (hence allowing James Dyson to move his firm’s production from the UK for his added personal profit), and, most significantly, the EU’s agreement with whole ‘Mercosur’ free trade area (encompassing Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay, with Bolivia and six other states about to join).

The market created by the EU-Mercosur deal now constitutes the largest in the world, and will bring down tariffs on many goods for more than 700 million people.

In contrast, there’s no chance the UK can even begin keeping up with the EU’s trade negotiators, widely seen as the best in the world. Nor can the UK afford to compete in this space, as we currently share the cost of EU trade negotiations with our 27 other EU nations, whereas, in future, we’ll have to fund future trade negotiations at our own expense (at 27-times the cost and with no trade negotiators capable of matching the EU).

As a recipe for disaster, you couldn’t make this up.

Alan Meekings
by email

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