23 - 04
It’s not a new idea.
We thought about joining an Atlantic trading area in the 1970s.
We thought it would be better than joining the Common Market.
But the idea got nowhere.
The US would be the dominant partner in any such arrangement.
And the US thought it would be better for us to be in Europe.
It still does.
And the case for joining NAFTA still doesn’t stack up.
Yes, we do a lot of business with the US.
Fifteen percent of our total exports, in fact.
But that’s far less than we do with the EU. In any trade deal with the US we would have to deal with their strong agricultural and drugs lobbies. We could be importing food produced to lower standards, eg chlorine washed chicken and hormone treated beef. (FT November 25, 2017)
Yes it’s a big market. 400 million in fact.
But the geography is against us.
Its three members share at least one land border.
The UK would be an offshore member.
Thousands of miles from the others.
To quit the EU, our major trading partner
To join markets where we have a far weaker position.
What sort of sense does that make?