Remainers have tried to portray leaving the EU under World Trade Organization rules as a disaster. While there will be some need to adjust, the scare stories are either deluded or dishonest. What is rarely brought into the public and political debate are the major economic benefits that we can obtain under WTO rules if we so choose.
- Big price reductions in food and consumer goods such as clothing and footwear: EU tariffs and other trade barriers raise clothing prices by up to 8%, and food prices by around 5%.
- The ability to reorient our future trade towards the most dynamic areas of growth, e.g. Asia, South America and Africa. The EU’s own analysis suggests a network of such deals could add 2% to UK GDP in the long term (see below – ‘further information’)
- Large competitive advantages in reducing damaging and unnecessary restrictions, which the EU itself estimates costs 4-6% of UK GDP (see below – ‘further information’)
- No longer paying £10bn a year to the EU in membership fees – which are equivalent to a ‘tariff’ of 6% on our exports to the EU
- Taking full control of fishing grounds – worth up to £3bn a year in the medium term
- Having a tailored, skills-based immigration policy without EU preferences, which could cut the benefit bill by £1.6bn per year
- This would constitute in total a major spending boost: tariff cults alone could boost consumer incomes by £15 billion – around £800 per family per year
For further information on these points, see:
A summary of the benefits of removing trade barriers for consumers:
A demonstration that British trade will shift outside the EU – an advantage in itself given the EU’s alarming financial instability:
An overall view of the benefits of Brexit
On the other hand, the worst of both worlds would be to stay in the EU’s customs union