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Britain couldn't leave the single market if it tried | Andrew Adonis | The Guardian

Setting aside its merits, there is a huge practical problem with hard Brexit. Leaving the customs union and the single market requires the UK by March 2019 to negotiate new trade treaties not only with the EU27, but with the 75 other nations with which the EU has free or preferential trade agreements, if British trade is not to take an immediate and substantial hit. Between them, these 102 countries include most of the trading world, and account for more than 60% of UK exports of goods and services.

Just because ministers keep repeating the mantra that a post-Brexit "global Britain" will trade far more with the "wider world" does not make it true. Britain's trade is already global - and this is helped, not hindered, by being part of the EU customs union. There are a few large markets with which the EU does not yet have trade agreements, but it has them with most of Britain's trading partners, and the number is growing. An agreement with Canada came into force last month; heads of terms have just been signed with Japan.

by Gag Halfrunt on Fri Aug 4th, 2017 at 10:21:58 PM EST
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