From Sky News:
British exporters are at risk of paying up to £5.6bn in duties if the UK votes Out, the head of the World Trade Organisation says.
Although director-general Roberto Azevedo believes Brexit would not stop the UK from trading with international partners, during a speech in London he warned "it could be on worse terms".
The WTO chief also said "it is impossible to tell how long it may take" for the UK to re-establish terms of trade within the EU - and said negotiations in the past had been known to take 10 years or more.
We've done this one. The UK would have no problems getting the same tariff-free terms as Iceland or Turkey, that is EU policy; or the UK could remain in the EEA/rejoin EFTA. As to third countries, there is the basic principle in international treaties that we would continue on the same terms. For example when Czechoslovakia split into two, each new country entered into a double tax treaty with the UK on identical terms to the old UK-Czechoslovakian one.
More to the point, this is the head of the WTO talking. His organisation is there to try and remove trade barriers and tariffs, and has been doing a reasonably good job over the decades, albeit at a slow pace. So it's like the police warning people to stay away from certain streets instead of policing them properly.
If he were taking his job seriously, he would be issuing a stern reminder to the EU that Brexit is not an excuse for stupid retaliatory mercantilist meaures.
As I've said before, I'm as cautious as the next man, if TPTB could come up with a couple of really good arguments for Bremain, then I might chicken out of voting for Brexit, but so far it's just been complete crap.
Wednesday, 8 June 2016
From Sky News: