Andrea Jenkyns on the WTO

Dmitry Grozoubinski tweets:

1/ This is obviously awful, but I’m not sure everyone realizes why. She asks: “Why is everyone focused on the EU, why not the rest of the world?” I think she thinks a WORLD Trade Organisation Brexit makes exporting to the rest of the WORLD easier. In 2019. Fuck.

2/ Let me be absolutely unequivocal: a WTO Brexit itself does NOTHING for the UK’s ability to export anything to anyone (except temporarily tank the pound).


Not. One. Thing.

3/ A WTO Brexit pulls the UK out of the most advanced trade agreement in history and dozens of other trade agreements.

The UK was trading with the EU and others on one set of rules, it will now be trading on another, far shittier set. That is fact. Not in dispute.

4/ In exchange (on trade), the UK gets the promise of unspecified improvements in unspecified conditions under which it trades unspecified wares with unspecified ‘world’ partners which it will achieve in unspecified trade negotiations in exchange for unspecified concessions.

5/ As soon as you push any of these ‘World Trade’ proponents to get specific you discover their ideas are:

  1. a) Daydreams (services access to the US)
  2. b) Unpopular (let US health providers sell into the NHS)
  3. c) Unpopular Daydreams (full bilateral tariff elimination with China)

6/ People keep asking, “does anyone trade with the EU on WTO terms?” which is a bit like asking the woman smashing her Ferrari with a sledgehammer if she knows of anyone who walks to work.

Who cares if someone trades with the EU on WTO terms alone?

The UK sure doesn’t.

7/ These people are able to consistently bamboozle the public by juxtaposing trade with the EU with the new and exciting prospect of trading with the world as if:

  1. a) Brexit does anything for the latter;
  2. b) The UK isn’t trading globally now;
  3. c) One can compensate for the other.

8/ If anything, a WTO Brexit degrades the UK’s competitiveness globally by making it harder and more expensive for UK businesses to:

  1. a) Source parts from the EU;
  2. b) Attract EU human resources;
  3. c) Serve as a beachhead into the EU for 3rd countries.

9/ It’s almost June 2019.

The country has been discussing these issues for almost two years.

How is the conversation so fundamentally lacking in seriousness?

I’m just really tired you guys.