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Wednesday, 11 October 2017

No cheap food or goods from Brexit? WTO deal revealed ...

I'll post the memorandum images below as I have them today from the European Commission. I'll leave it to those wiser than I in these things for definitive comments, but from my first reading it seems:-
  • We'll keep our separate 1995 membership of the WTO
  • On Brexit, we'll apportion EU import goods tariffs and quotas - so the end result for the 27 + 1 is as now for the 28
  • Same for agricultural subsidies
Does this mean that all the talk of Brexit freeing us from EU restrictive import barriers and enabling cheaper food and goods is just twaddle? And how long will we keep in lockstep with the Empire?   

Ah, pretty much as thought - Guardian has the detail
Guardian's take is that we & the EU have played a flanker in preventing the US dumping its unwanted ag surpluses on us both - but that it's not yet a done deal. I guess there's a difference between choosing to raise quotas and being dumped upon.


Ed P said...

The EU does not believe in free trade - it is protectionist and unfair.

One example is coffee from Kenya, which is tariff-free when unprocessed beans are exported (mainly to Germany), but "attracts" a massive surcharge if processed. This prevents economic development in Kenya and cushions German coffee processors from competition.

Just saying no deal to the EU's attempts at extortion during the Brexit talks, and by using the WTO, will get us out of this anti-democratic and self-serving thuggery.

Raedwald said...

Aah, that's the point - the top para on the 2nd page suggests we'll maintain all these restrictive conditions as they are now - so HM Treasury will benefit, UK coffee processors will benefit but consumers won't and Kenyan added-value processors won't.

I just need someone to confirm this is what the memo actually says ..

Tim Worstall said...

I think the importance is "tariff rate quotas."

This isn't tariffs. It's more like "some amount of something can come in at this low tariff, more pays a higher one."

A quota at a specific tariff. In the EU Canadian deal there were loads of these. 25 k tonnes of shellfish enter tariff free, over that the tariff is this and so on.

I think that's what is being referred to although obviously, like you, I'd prefer clarification.

Budgie said...

Raedwald, I believe Tim Worstall is correct. An example is the current tariff free access of New Zealand lamb into the EU of 228254 tonnes annually. That will be apportioned on the quantitative basis of trade flows, after Brexit, between the UK and the EU27.

Frankly this is not an example of UK-EU co-operation but an acknowledgement that both must comply with the WTO, to remain members of the WTO. Primarily, the letter is meant to reassure exporters from the rest of the world that they won't lose out in terms of their current tariff free quotas. It is an example of the WTO doing its job.

Separately, as an independent nation outside the EU, the UK will set what tariff levels it deems suitable, whilst complying with our WTO MFN obligations, and our apportioned quotas. Actual tariff levels are not addressed in the letter.

Domo said...

All it means is, day 1, we are adopting, for ourselves, the tariffs imposed upon us by the EU.

Day 2, is a new day.

Cascadian said...

Summary-business as usual, yUK has no intentions in being a competitive trading nation, they certainly want to maintain the onerous cost of food at stratospheric levels.

If playing a flanker means "We want Brexit, we just don't want to change anything" then the yUK public has indeed been outflanked.

The managed decline continues.

James Higham said...

This truly is treason writ large. Much of it comes down to the extent of our debt.