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It’s not Brexit if we don’t do this, is it?

We’re leaving the EU, and because we’re leaving the EU we will be leaving the single market and, by the way, we’ll be leaving the customs union,” Mr Hammond told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, in his first interview since the election. “The question is not whether we’re leaving the customs union.

“The question is what do we put in its place in order to deliver the objectives which the Prime Minister set out in the Lancaster House speech of having no hard land border in Ireland and enabling British goods to flow freely backwards and forwards across the border with the European Union.”

13 thoughts on “It’s not Brexit if we don’t do this, is it?”

  1. So goods will flow freely across the border outside the customs union.

    So glad the politicians know what they are doing, and aren’t just fiddling while London burns.

  2. The man clearly doesn’t know what he’s talking about (which is a bit worrying, as you can bet the EU side do).

    We do not have to be in the EU to be in the EEA Single Market.
    About 15 seconds of web searching returns this from the EFTA site:

    “The EEA Agreement provides for a free trade area covering all the EEA States. However, the EEA Agreement does not extend the EU Customs Union to the EEA EFTA States.”

  3. Interesting, the UK/Eire frontier. If there’s a post-Brexit agreement on free movement of goods across it, it’ll have to acceptable to the EU. The Republic still being a member. But an agreement like that would be a template for a post-collapse of the EU, Europe. Brussels ain’t gonna like that.

  4. bloke in spain: the template already exists, as between EU and EFTA states within the EEA single market. We “just” have to make sure we re-join EFTA when we leave the EU. Perhaps we should be putting out feelers?

  5. Thanks for the link, I’ve skimmed it and will read in full when I have time. It certainly doesn’t seem to represent EFTA as the worst of all worlds, e.g.
    “The key point though is that while being in the EEA is better (and cheaper, and less burdensome) than being in the EU for a developed and rich state, we can do so much better. That might mean with the UK alongside us a major reform of the EEA is possible. More likely, the EEA is as reformable as the EU is(n’t). So if you really do have to plump for the EEA route, we’d advise you to make your stay as short and transitional as possible.” (from p3)

    My view is that there are no “good” options but a Brexit process via an interim safe haven in EFTA is the least bad. It’s also an off-the-peg solution so we don’t need to try to reinvent the wheel in the pitifully short time available. It’s a good approximation of the “Common Market” that we were originally sold. And it means that we do get to “Leave the EU”.

    A walk-away/no deal is the worst (not that unilateral free trade or WTO rules is bad long term, it’s just the sudden cliff-edge “plane crash” event will not be at all fun).

    EFTA gets rid of maybe 70% of the EU acquis and we get a seat on the various inter governmental bodies that hand down regulations to the EU. E.g. Norway gets to sit on the fishing one but we have to be represented by the EU as one of 28.
    Articles 112 and 113 of the EFTA agreement allows a unilateral emergency brake on the four freedoms so we could limit migration should we wish to. And we’d not be subject to EU court as the EEA has its own dispute resolution.

    Hope this makes sense in explaining why.

    And isn’t it sad (probably tragic) that Mr Hammond doesn’t even seem to have an key-stage one understanding of the subject?

  6. We want as few ties with European structures as possible.

    Continued membership of any part of the EU can be grown back little by little. We need a clean break with nothing for the federasts to find purchase on.

  7. Bloke in Germany

    I’m sorry, is there a particular rule that says goods may not flow freely across the border between nations inside and outside the Customs Union? It would seem to me that such a rule would be quite contrary to all those principles you Remainers say you believe in so very much. So I would be interested in any answer that didn’t rely on the EU and it’s customs union being one big protectionist racket.

  8. @ Ironman
    There are many rules. All states and trading blocks have rules.

    You could start by having a look at non-tariff barriers and how they operate. A lot of the rules are useful and necessary (like those that try to ensure food imports are not diseased).
    Whether the EU is a “protectionist racket” or no, and whether anyone voted Remain, or Leave, or didn’t vote is irrelevant to this question.

  9. Gareth

    Thanks for failing to answer the question we all know you can’t answer. Because the answer is the EU is a protectionit racket that puts up tariff and non-tariff barriers to protect inefficient producers.

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