2 Brexit will damage our trade. Why?
a) In 2002, 58% of UK exports went to the EU and 59% of UK imports came from the EU;
b) In 2016, 45% of UK exports went to the EU and 54% of UK imports came from the EU;
c) Hence the EU is a diminishing export market in % terms for the UK, our exports to the EU having dropped 14% in 14 years;
d) On a world scale the EU’s share of the worlds GDP has dropped from 31.6% in 1980 to 22.2% in 2016;
e) Hence, after a full Brexit the UK will have national access to the Commonwealth and the rest of the worlds (ROW) markets which have grown from 69.4% to 77.8% of the worlds GDP;
f) In 1961 UK exports to the British Commonwealth were 43% of the total. 16.7% to the then Common market and 13.1% to EFTA;
g) In 2002 58% of UK exports went to the EU and only about 10% to the Commonwealth. So did this dramatic change in our trading patterns represent a great improvement in our fortunes? Not a bit of it! Since 1973 trading with the EEC/EU has currently cost the UK an accumulated DEFICIT (LOSS) of well over £1 trillion;
h) However, over the period 1973 to 2012 the UK made an accumulated SURPLUS (PROFIT) of £245 billion in trade with the ROW using WTO rules where necessary;
i) Clearly trade is a complicated issue and we import goods from the EU to make goods to export back to the EU and the ROW and vice versa. Nevertheless, IF the figures were reversed and we had made a £1 trillion surplus trading with the EU, the pro-EU fanatics would have been screaming this incessantly from the roof tops. The FACT is that as it is a £1 trillion LOSS they never mention the figures!
3) Where is the advantage?
In his report “Where’s the insider advantage?” Civitas, 2015, Michael Burrage concluded: “There is no case that EU membership is good for UK exports or foreign direct investment.”
a) The fact that the UK is the second largest net contributor to the EU’s budget clearly does not grant us any favours when it comes to exports to the EU;
b) Thanks to the EU the UK has not had a balance of trade surplus in goods since 1981, after just eight years of joining the EEC;
c) Furthermore, out of the EU, the UK must be in a much stronger exporting position with the rest of the world (ROW) without the enormous £185 billion/annum overhead cost of being in the EU.
Hence there is a very good case that OUTSIDE the EU the UK would also increase its exports to the EU!
Burrage listed the top 35 fastest growing exporters of goods to the 11 founding members of the EU’s single market between 1993 and 2011. The UK comes 28th on the list. Only nine countries above the UK had a trade deal with the EU. It therefore proves beyond any doubt that;
a) it is NOT necessary to be a member of the EU to access the EU single market and export successfully to the EU;
b) it is NOT necessary to have a trade agreement with the EU to export successfully to the EU and;
c) the USA, China and Russia are the top three largest non-EU trading partners of the EU, none of which have trade agreements with the EU or membership in the EU single market. They trade based on the rules of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
Hence the UK does NOT NEED TO BE IN THE EU to trade with the EU or with other countries.
There are clearly no advantages in staying in the EU’s customs union, the single market or even the EU itself. The proponents that demand we stay in should be made to justify their reasons for staying in, but these are clearly non-existent. Hence they are all promoting a lost cause. Their only justification must be that staying in the EU and making the UK a vassal state of the EU is a cause worth all the political and economic costs of being in the EU. Luckily the majority of voters in the referendum did not agree with them!