By David Butt
The EU has been offering a Canada+++ or Super Canada trade deal from the beginning of talks on Brexit, but the average person hasn’t heard of it. The media, Remainers and especially Brexiteers have not talked about the fact that the EU put a Canada style trade deal on the table straight away.
Never have I heard Nigel Farage mention the fact that a deal was on the table nor for that matter has Theresa May. It is always put across that the EU is playing hard ball. It’s the EU that does not want to play fair they are the ones who don’t want the UK to leave. As it turns out it’s the EU who are more than willing to put a deal on the table. It’s Theresa May and her Brexit negotiation team that don’t want to talk a Canada style deal.
You have to ask the question why aren’t the Brexiteers screaming from the roof tops that there is a Trade Deal on offer and that Trade Deal offers us all the things we were expecting when we voted to leave the EU.
What’s so great about Canada+++ ? For a starters we would have left the EU and regained sovereignty (for Britain at least). No more EU law or rules and regulation unless it’s part of an agreement but not bound by the EU. Since I or anyone else knows exactly what the UK would bring all I can do is tell you what is in the Canada deal as far as tariffs free movement of goods and services.
When it comes to tariffs, the Canadians have 99% tariff free trade on goods that are non agricultural. From the report that I have read Donald Tusk offered the UK 100% tariff free on all non agricultural goods. This offer was made as late as 7th of March 2018. Donald Tusk’s said:
“I propose that we aim for a trade agreement covering all sectors and with zero tariffs on goods”. This was later confirmed by Michel Barnier 2nd August 2018.
Whether this would include agriculture is not known at this moment in time. Canada only achieves 92% tariff free exports and this is also being proposed for Australia and New Zealand. It seems the French farmers want to protect their agricultural sector. Who can blame them? We may also want some protections on some of Welsh small hold farms.
With all the talk on the Irish border and frictionless trade, what does Canada+++ offer? It would seem the trade across borders would be fairly easy – no hold ups at Calais and Dover – all to be achieved on a basis of trust and electronic customs forms sent in advance of any goods. Just the occasional check just to make sure things are not being abused. So no need for a hard border on the Irish end.
Are we going to get the same as we have being in the customs union no but it’s going to be damn close, so close that the difference in trade will be negligible. Will this cause some disruption yes but very little and nothing business couldn’t cope with. How long would this disruption last is the more important question. Under WTO rules article 24, the UK and EU can trade 10 years tariff free whilst a trade deal is being negotiated. And the consensus is, it should be done within two years max. Theresa May just wasted two and a half years on trade deal that keeps us in the EU for the price of £39 Billion.
The Canada deal will be used as boiler plate for an ongoing deal with minor adjustments to most chapters. Only seven chapters need to be renegotiated. This means it will not take six years to ratify and can be agreed with the Commission, not all 27 European nations, hence the two year negotiation period.
Ceta deal does not require the harmonisation of professional qualifications. It works on the mutual recognition of qualifications. So all things like education and professional qualifications will be recognised on both sides. So professionals wanting to work in the EU or EU nationals wanting to work in the UK will have no difficulties, all subject to immigration controls of course. Under Canada+++ there is an end to the automatic free movement of people from the EU.
The Plus, Plus, Plus of the Canada+++ deal deals with services and since the EU has very little on regulation of services I’m not sure what the proposals on this will be.
In conclusion, the Canada+++ looks like a good deal. It means Britain at least regains it’s sovereignty, ends the free movement of people from the EU, 100% free trade on goods, 92% on agriculture. It means the ability of our populations to go and work within the EU so long as they have the required qualifications and it means the end or near end of unqualified workers taking away jobs from our own populations.
More or less frictionless trade will continue under a different system of electronic customs forms.
Given that this is what the people thought they would get when we voted to leave the EU, why isn’t this deal more widely known about is the question everyone should be asking.
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