Brexit looks way better than staying in

The Better Stay in Europe campaign is totally negative, and that's because the benefits of Brexit far outweigh anything that is positive in Britain remaining in the EU. Brexit can be done, and it should be

A future in a faceless building?
Sir John Redwood MP
On 1 February 2016 13:24

The Better Stay in Europe campaign only wants to paint gloomy and false pictures of the complexities of Brexit. They have nothing positive to say about belonging to the EU. Out of the EU we will be free to make our own laws and spend our own tax revenues as we see fit.

The Leave campaign does not want the UK to seek a Norway style deal, as we see no need to pay any money into the EU once we have left. Canada, Australia, Mexico trade well with the EU without having to pay for the privilege.

Once the voters have chosen to leave, there are two options. The UK could invoke Article 50 under the Treaties and enter a negotiation lasting up to two years -- or more -- to decide which agreements we wish to keep and what we wish to change. That would be playing the EU’s game and may take longer than is desirable.

The UK could simply amend the 1972 European Communities Act to make clear that as from the Exit vote all EU laws and rules in the UK depended on the authority of Parliament and no longer derive from the Treaties or the European Court. All present laws and rules would continue for the time being.

Armed with that change the UK would then be able to negotiate which agreements and rules need to remain to facilitate our trade and economic relations with the EU, and which can be amended or repealed if the UK wishes.

I would expect the rest of the EU to want to keep the trade agreements, mutual market access, pipeline, transport and other agreements. The EU for its part would have to accept that in other areas the UK is free to legislate as it wishes -- over borders, benefits, environment, energy and much else.

The UK could simply rely on World Trade Organisation membership to stop tariffs and other barriers being imposed. In practice both sides will wish to do better than this. Germany has already made clear they don’t want extra tariffs like a 10 percent tariff on cars, so the resulting deal will be similar to the current position -- WTO plus.

The UK would reassure former partner countries that we wish to sort out the matters where we are still involved -- mainly trade -- on an amicable basis to a sensible timetable, but reserve the right to get on and sort out matters like borders, welfare and criminal justice where the act of leaving restores sovereignty.

Mr. Redwood's writing is re-posted here by his kind permission. This and other articles are available at

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