Backed by prominent Brexiteers, the pro-Brexit Economists for Free Trade have launched a report called 'a World Trade Deal'.
PLEASE WATCH THE VIDEO BELOW
The Economists for Free Trade, who started 'From Project Fear to Project Prosperity, launched their report today with leading Brexiteers such as Boris Johnson, Jacob Rees-Mogg, David Davis, Bill Cash, Iain Duncan Smith, Richard Tice and John Mills in attendance.
The main thrust of this is that there is nothing to fear from a clean break and:
"The Government would redirect its strategy from a singular focus on achieving an ideal, comprehensive and ‘deep and close’ relationship deal with the EU, at almost any cost, to a new focus of leaving the EU and embracing global free trade under World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules."
And a big message is that opting to operate under WTO rules would not be a leap in the dark:
"It would be a leap into the normal as we already do about half of our trade under WTO rules." and that our trade would be covered by "rules that are comprehensive and backed by a well-respected world legal system". Especially as we can set tariff rates to suit ourselves as long as they do not go above the Common European Tariff rates and that we treat all countries equally unless we have a free trade deal or customs union with them.
"We could, for example, – says the report – eliminate all tariffs or impose zero tariffs on products we do not produce in the UK." Which is something we cannot do unilaterally while members of the EU or within its single market or customs union.
And they also point out that "The four non-EU countries with the fastest growing exports to the EU all trade on WTO terms."
And on borders and border checks the authors of the report say:
"Specific WTO agreements and the Kyoto Convention of the World Customs Organisation commit to make border processing activities as streamlined as possible with no requirements for border checks and, if physical inspections are necessary, they be intelligence-led. Mobile and remote customs controls are permitted and are already used widely for goods coming from outside the EU Customs Union. The UK currently checks only 4% of goods arriving in the UK from non-EU countries, and Ireland just 1%."
And round that off with their assessment that it would be much easier to deal with the EU and come to an agreement under these arrangements that it would during the Article 50 negotiation phase and you have a compelling case for a no deal Brexit.
I've left a link to the report in the descriptions box below. It is nicely laid out with Remainer type claims couched as questions with the answers underneath – great for debates. So please peruse at your leisure.
Moving on, the Chancellor, Philip Hammond, has confirmed that the governor of the Bank of England will be staying on at the helm of the UK central bank until January 2020.
The Chancellor said in a letter to the bank governor that an extension in his term:
"…would ensure there is continuity at the Bank during this exceptional period and would also allow for a new governor to be appointed during the Autumn next year after the terms of the UK’s withdrawal and the framework for the future partnership have been finalised."
And Mr Carney replied:
"I recognise that during this critical period, it is important that everyone does everything they can to support a smooth and successful Brexit.
"Accordingly, I am willing to do whatever I can in order to promote both a successful Brexit and an effective transition at the Bank of England."
Mr Carney, a Canadian and first non-Brit to hold the post since the bank of England was established in 1694, came into the job in July 2013 and would normally do an eight year stint until 2021, but he originally only committed to a five year term. This was extended in late 2016 after the Brexit vote to take him into 2019 and has now been extended a little more to January 2020.
The Chancellor said on confirming the extension:
"I'm delighted that the governor has agreed to stay in his role for a further seven months to support a smooth exit from the European Union and provide vital stability for our economy."
However, many Brexiteers like me will not be happy as they see Mark Carney as an arch Remainer at the heart of the establishment.
Nigel Farage, the former UKIP leader Tweeted:
"Truly appalling decision to extend Mark Carney’s term at the Bank of England. He is a Remainer, how can we take this government seriously?"
And as he is backed by our own Chancellor, who does his best to spread economic Brexit despondency you can see their point. But it is amusing that while us Brexiteers reject the Canadian, we do hanker after a Canada plus plus plus based deal.
Some are claiming that Carney saved the Brexiteers bacon with his actions such as lowering interest rates after the vote to leave, but I would counter that whoever the governor was they would have also taken appropriate action.
Now to economic growth, UK GDP increased, yes increased, by 0.6% in the three months to July says the Office for National Statistics, mainly driven by services and construction and it grew by 0.3% in July alone. This is the highest three-month growth seen since August 2017.
Within this construction was the star, showing a 3.3% growth propelled by repair and maintenance work. This is the highest three-month growth since February 2017.
The latest Employment statistics from the ONS show little change with 32.4 million people in work in the three months to July 2018. And the number of unemployed people dropped by 55,000 compared to the previous three months and the unemployed rate at 4% has not been lower since February 1975.
But the number of those who are between the ages of 16 and 64 and are not working and not looking for work – those called the economically inactive – rose by 108,000 in the same period and is 16,000 more than a year ago. But do bear in mind that the number of the long term sick that fall into this category rose by 44,000 compared to last year.
On wages, the latest estimates are that nominal wages rose by 2.9% excluding bonuses, which equates to a real terms rise after inflation of 0.5%, and that wages including bonuses rose by 2.6%, which is a rise of 0.2% after inflation.
And the giant Anglo-Dutch company RELX, which is the parent company of a number of publishers and worth about £33 billion has decided to move its entire headquarters …. to London.
All that doom and gloom that has not come to pass. All that – 'despite Brexit' – stuff.
Now, as a passing observation, what has this country come to when Uxbridge town centre has to go into a police lock-down because of yobbery by reportedly hundreds of school-kids. But before the oldies get a bit sanctimonious about this, d'you remember the mods and rockers in Brighton in the 1960s and football hooliganism?
And in case anyone forgets, today is the 17th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.