Trade deals won't compensate for what UK has lost after Brexit - Yorkshire Post Letters

From: Jas Olak, Vice Chair, Leeds for Europe, Roundhay, Leeds.

The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) says long-term UK productivity will be down four per cent because of Boris Johnson’s December 2020 trade deal, when compared to remaining in the EU.

This isn’t “project fear”. Confidence lost after the 2016 referendum meant two-fifths of the drop had occurred by the time the Trade and Co-operation Agreement was signed.

New trade deals won’t compensate.

Pic: Getty.

The Government claims the one with Australia is worth £2.3bn (‘Ministers ‘bottle’ MP trade deal talks’, The Yorkshire Post, July 20). But the OBR says it’ll raise UK GDP by just 0.1 per cent over 15 years.

Worthless.

We did have a trade deficit with other EU members, but Tony Galbraith must explain further if “enormous and deeply damaging” isn’t just hyperbole.

Buying from other EU countries isn’t charity.

It’s because they make things we want – or need.

For example, we might be importing more food in future because of the problems Brexit’s causing domestic producers.

That won’t help the trade balance – any more than making us poorer and less productive will.

The big lies here are the ones Mr Galbraith keeps telling himself.

Sadly, statements from the Tory leadership candidates suggest Ministers under the next Prime Minister will continue peddling Brexit falsehoods like the ones seen while led by Boris Johnson. But encouragingly, fewer are falling for them.

YouGov has been carrying out surveys since the 2016 referendum and this week’s high temperatures are being matched by record levels of Brexit disgruntlement.

Two-thirds (64 per cent) say the Government has handled Brexit badly, and only 25 per cent well.

That 39-point gap is YouGov’s largest ever.

Similarly, 53 per cent say in hindsight it was wrong leaving the European Union – versus 35 per cent right.

Again, 18 per cent is the widest gap ever.

Where might public opinion now be if the leadership of the main opposition Labour Party wasn’t so lacklustre and out of touch with what its own supporters think about Brexit?