Does any MEP know how many beans make five?

Name: Tom Rogers, Bridlington, East Riding, UK Date/Time: 23 July 2018, 2.38pm

Message: Thank you for your work and thank you to Mr Bannerman. This is a useful and informative piece, I do mean that.

However, no disrespect intended to him, but I don’t think he ‘gets it’. I understand why. I think it is difficult for all of us to take this to its logical conclusion, but once you grasp it, you quickly see that not only is there no reason for us to negotiate agreements with the EU (beyond routine facilitation), it would also be deeply undesirable to do so – for a host of reasons that have been discussed at length and I need not reiterate here. We’ve been over this, yet men like Mr Bannerman and even John Redwood are still stuck in this outdated approach of wanting to negotiate these sweeping monolithic agreements. Why?

Please, forget about FTAs. Trade is moving in a multilateral direction now and we as a country have a unique opportunity to get ahead of the curve and become more competitive than our peers. Just leave, and declare unilateral free trade, with subsidies to protect manufacturing jobs. Everything we want can be achieved under the WTO umbrella. If competing countries decide to take countervailing measures, we can deal with this and adjust. Yes, a Clean Brexit has its pitfalls – there will be problems – but a national government can tackle these.

Name: Pops, In the Real World, UK Date/Time: 23 July 2018, 11.03am

Message: “A: With possible forms of trade deals it’s not just what’s acceptable to the UK, it’s what is acceptable to the EU27, the remaining nations of the EU.”

This is where David Campbell Bannerman (and every other phoney Brexiteer) is wrong. It does not matter one jot what anyone in the EU finds “acceptable”; it matters only what the people of the UK, who voted overwhelmingly for Brexit, find acceptable. The UK should tell the EU to get lost. UK manufacturers must be completely free to make and sell what they want where they want. If the EU overlords don’t want to import our products, we will find other markets. The UK should immediately approach every viable market in the world and start talking trade – preferably, tariff-free trade. Oh, and Treasonous May and her Europhile advisors should be thrown out on their ears.

Name: Mike Donnan, UK Date/Time: 23 July 2018, 08.57am

Message: I am not sure the following comment is relevant to the article on the “SuperCanada” proposals but I thought I would get it off my chest.

I read yesterday (Sunday 22/7/18) that our new Brexit minister, Dominic Raab, has said that the UK would refuse payment of the so-called “divorce bill” to the EU if the latter fails to agree a trade deal. On the assumption that our europhile Prime Minister would never countenance doing anything remotely illegal, we may take Mr Raab’s statement as confirming that the EU’s demand for payment has no legal basis whatsoever.

Mr Raab’s statement also shows that Philip Hammond’s statement – to the effect that the UK’s “walking away from an obligation…would not make us a credible partner in future international agreements” – is nonsense. One cannot walk away from a legal obligation that does not exist. And nobody could credibly argue that the UK has a “moral obligation” to pay a divorce bill, given (a) that it has been one of the highest net contributors to the EU budget, and (b) that decisions about the EU budget are made by EU institutions, not by member states acting in partnership.

If the above analysis is correct, one may reasonably ask why the offer to pay the “divorce bill” was made in the first place. The only possible answer surely is that it was an inducement to the EU to conclude a trade agreement with the UK. Accordingly, the next question for Mr Raab to answer would be: how much of a monetary inducement did Canada and Japan pay the EU in order to secure their respective trade agreements?

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