Business For Britain, claims that it is run by businesspeople for businesspeople: a select and powerful group looking to make a change. As an independent campaign, they are calling for a vote leave in the forthcoming referendum to create a more prosperous United Kingdom. John Longworth, Chairman of the Vote Leave Business Council, has given his campaign’s response to how they think a Brexit will affect Britain’s future in trade. Regardless of the side you stand, or whether you have made your decision or not, understanding both sides of the story is critical when it comes to something as significant as the referendum. So take the time to have a read of what Business For Britain has to say on Britain’s trade and its relationship with the EU.
- Enter John Longworth
The European Union is failing Britain’s businesses and our economy. It has been hugely oversold by politicians and those who have vested interests in it, but has vastly under-delivered for everyone else. When we joined the Common Market in 1973, it was a trading area which helped oil the wheels of the economy, and propped up what was then a failed political class. But the ‘single market’ which has come to replace it has only been of detriment to Britain.
The much vaunted single market is meant to be the main economic return on Britain’s £10bn a year net payment to Brussels. In reality, it is a protectionist customs union, which has seen Germany profit from an artificially low currency and beggar its neighbours in the Eurozone, with massive unemployment, particularly amongst the young in countries like Spain and Greece. Thank goodness we did not scrap the pound and join the Euro, as many who support Remain wanted us to and still do.
Nonetheless, mass, unstoppable migration from the EU has pushed us towards a low-pay, low-skill, low-productivity economy, driving down wages when they should be rising. Meanwhile, the single market has disincentivised investment in training for skills, particularly amongst multinationals, and as a consequence it has contributed to the national scandal of over half a million unemployed under 25s in Britain. Ironically, at the same time, we are prevented from accessing the skills we need from outside the EU, from the Commonwealth and elsewhere.
The single market is designed for French agriculture and German manufactured goods and so, although our economy is predominantly services, there is no single market in services to speak of. The market in manufacturing is unravelling with more and more barriers being introduced by other countries, and the EU elite profiting from corporate tax havens and our contribution to the EU budget.
The EU has damaged our fishing industry and caused food to be far more expensive for working people than it need be. Leaving the EU will mean we can support British farmers, while lowering the tariffs Brussels imposes on imported food we cannot grow here, cutting shopping bills for consumers.
When we leave the EU we will be able to embrace the globe again, and make our own trade deals with other countries, which the EU prevent us from doing. Australia achieved trade deals with the biggest markets in the world in just over a year. It takes forever for the EU to negotiate deals on behalf of 28 very different economies, it is like trying to "boil the ocean". But the most important thing is that most trade in the world takes place without any arrangements at all. The U.K. Has a trade surplus with the USA which is almost twice the size of that which we have with the single market and yet we have no trade arrangement with the USA. So much for the power of the single market!
The average external tariff in the single market for goods is just over 3%, a rounding error in a currency movement, but according to the UK Treasury, the cost of regulations to business is £125 billion per year. If we save just 10% of this figure, it would boost the economy by 1.1% when combined with the money we will get back from our Brussels contribution that funds the high life of the European establishment. The only area where tariffs are higher relates to cars at 10%. The Germans of course will not damage their industry by blocking their number one export market: us. But even if they did, what is the worst that can happen? German cars become marginally more expensive and we buy a few more British manufactured cars instead. What is not to like?
We will also be able to help local businesses to grow and prosper. Only 13.3% of the economy is linked to the EU, but the whole economy bears the costs. We now know that the majority of business who export around the world, and those who do business in the UK want to leave the EU. This represents 87% of the economy and 94% of businesses.
If Brexit goes ahead, we will be able to give more aid to our traditional and foundational industries such as steel, metals, timber, basic chemicals, and high energy use industries like ceramics to help them survive and prosper. All are at risk because they face unfair competition from outside and within the EU, and the single market prevents us from tackling this. We cannot erect tariffs to stop dumping, we cannot provide low cost loans like the Germans and others do to their industries, because it would be state aid. We cannot use public procurement to source steel and other materials because the EU would prosecute us. It is a crazy situation that the EU thinks it preferable to abandon working people, pay to support the unemployed, and to prop up broken communities, rather than support these proud industries and and the people who work within them.
The sooner we leave the EU and its single market the better. Vote Leave on the 23rd June. Visit Business For Britain’s website for more information of their campaign and their views on what a Brexit could do for Britain’s businesses.