News

Britain is warned about leaving the EU

Voters are due to decide whether the UK should remain within the European Union by the end of 2017 and opinion polls are said to favour the UK leaving the bloc.

Trade representative Michael Froman has said the UK would face the same tariffs and barriers as China, Brazil or India in the result of Brexit [1].

He has said: “I think it’s absolutely clear that Britain has a greater voice at the trade table being part of the EU, being part of a larger economic entity,” adding that EU membership gives Britain more leverage in negotiations. “We’re not particularly in the market for FTAs with individual countries. We’re building platforms…that other countries can join over time” [1].

He did however, comment earlier this week undermine a key proportion of the exit, if it were to happen. He says Britain would prosper on its own and be able to secure bilateral free trade agreements (FTAs) with trading partners [1].

If Britain was to leave the EU, it would incur the same tariffs and trade barriers as other countries that are outside the US free trade network and not part of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). British cars for example, would face a 2.5pc tariff which would put them at a disadvantage to their German/Italian competitors.

The US is Britain’s biggest export market after the EU, buying more than (£35bn) in goods from the UK in 2014 [1].

Exports of British fuel and chocolate would also be at a disadvantage if TTIP were to abolish tariffs on these products.

This challenges Gerard Lyons argument that Britain could benefit from Brexit, in which he advised that Britain would have nothing to fear, as per our article of 19 October 2015.

[1] The Guardian. ‘US warns Britain: If you leave EU you face barriers to trading with America’. theguardian.com