IslingtonTribune

The independent London newspaper

Brexit warning: ‘No deal’ will open a floodgate of chaos

10 August, 2018

• STEPHEN Southam tells us: “There never has been existential risk in voting to leave the EU because if there had been these well-informed MPs would never have put the nation in peril”, (It’s nonsense to call for another People’s Vote, August 3).

Well informed MPs? Let’s see what the chair of Vote Leave, Dominic Cummings, had to say about that: “Few MPs know the difference between the EEA and EFTA or the intricacies of the WTO rules.” He went on to explain that a post-Brexit plan would “simply provide an undefendable target and open an unwinnable debate…” So, Vote Leave painted a picture of ignorant MPs and decided that debate on our future was “unwinnable”.

On the other hand Vote Leave proclaimed we could spend an extra £350m a week on the NHS. They also claim­ed “The EU is taking more control of the NHS and forcing more privatisation”.

Actually, the EU has arranged a waiver for the NHS from World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules that “force privatisation”. If anyone thinks the EU is a neoliberal conspiracy, wait until you see what WTO rules on subsidies mean. These are wide-ranging and do pose a threat to the NHS.

The threat comes from the WTO system of allowing one country to sue another for state funding of “services”. Canada’s health system is similar to our NHS and, guess what, the US is suing them.

The US health secretary has said: “On the foreign side, we need to, through trade negotiations and agreements, pressure them. The reason why they are getting better net prices than we get is their socialised system.” When we go cap in hand to the US for a trade deal what do you think they’ll want?

Stephen complains that the EU’s “Economic policy results in low growth and high rates of unemployment. Please tell me I’m wrong.” He has a point here because eurozone growth between 1995 and 2018 averaged 1.7 per cent while UK growth from 1980 to 2014 averaged 2.2 per cent. But we’re not in the eurozone and we do control our economy. Now, we are gambling with £270billion of exports to the EU that comprise 14 per cent of our economy.

If there is a deal we may just scrape through fairly painlessly. “No deal” opens a floodgate of chaos and puts us straight into the arms of “disaster capitalism”. Our MPs, ignorant of European organisations and international trade rules, have indeed put our nation at peril.

RICHARD ROSSER
Richmond Grove, N1

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