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I heartily urge the Left to get up to speed on the implications of trading on our own under WTO terms

30 November, 2018

• WHEN is the Left going to wake up? Mark Still tells us that the EU would slam the brakes on Labour’s socialist program, (Ordinary people will pay in some way, November 23). It’s not that Mark is wrong, so much as the idea that Labour’s policy is possible outside the EU.

Yes, the EU does have rules against nationalisation but there are also “waivers” from some World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules, which allow for nationalised industries. These waivers allows us to main­tain our state-funded NHS.

When we leave the EU we become reliant on the WTO. Brexiteers like Jacob Rees-Mogg and Liam Fox have been telling us that we can carry on trading worldwide on WTO terms and that everything will be fine.

What they don’t tell you is that the WTO has even more stringent rules than the EU on nationalised industries. These fall under “The WTO Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures” and effectively prohibit exactly the kind of re-nationalisation that Labour envisages.

To make matters worse, the rules also open our NHS up to challenge and we are very likely to lose it. If challenged on the NHS and we lose, then we are open to fines and trade sanctions until we privatise it.

We also risk the continuation of our NHS being funded through taxation. Under the WTO, private health insurance for all beckons. This is the WTO plan that Rees-Mogg’s acolytes are offering us.

If the EU puts a damper on socialism, the WTO outlaws it. Like many of us, I owe a deep debt of gratitude to the NHS (tumour on the spinal cord).

The very last thing I want is to see the NHS sold off to America for scraps of chlorinated chicken. And that is what will happen if we leave the ambit of the EU’s international trading structure.

I heartily urge the Left to get up to speed on the implications of trading on our own under WTO terms.

Richmond Grove, N1


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