Concerns over UK’s trade deal with EU


Sir, – Prof Ronan McCrea worries that the EU and the UK may not conclude a comprehensive special trade deal by next December (“Another Brexit crisis next year is almost guaranteed”,Opinion, December 19th)

In reality the single market arrangements which currently operate for trade between the UK and the rest of the EU have brought little or no overall economic benefit to either side, compared to trade on basic World Trade Organisation terms.

Were the EU negotiator Michel Barnier to be asked how much has been gained through creation of the single market he could refer to his own 2012 report, which stated:

“EU27 GDP in 2008 was 2.13 per cent or €233 billion higher than it would have been if the single market had not been launched in 1992.”

And were the German government to be asked how much the UK might lose from leaving the EU without any special trade deal, then it could refer to advice it received in 2017 from the Ifo Institute for Economic Research, that the UK’s loss could be a mere 1.7 per cent of GDP.

The primary purpose of the EU single market has always been political rather than economic, to act as an engine for “ever closer union” leading on to the European federation adumbrated in the 1950 Schuman Declaration.

So my advice to the good professor, and to your readers, is to relax and enjoy Christmas, because it will only take a modicum of common sense from both sides for the UK to accomplish its paramount political aim of extricating itself from that process with very little economic loss to either.



Berkshire, England.