While Sue Prochak (Lib-Dem) graciously acknowledged my challenge (What is the EU/Lib-Dems’ proposal to defeating ISIL and ending the refugee crisis?), she completely ignored it, promoted her rehousing campaign, blamed the Tories and offered no solutions... ‘nuff said!
I too am intrigued by the former ‘shopkeeper’ leading the ‘EU-In’ campaign (16/10/15) whose M&S famously once kept Britain’s textile trade alive with affordable, high quality, British-made clothes but abandoned British manufacturing around 1998.
As most M&S and Argos products are now made more cheaply outside the EU, import duties go direct to the EU Customs Union, not Britain.
Lib-Dem/In campaigners insist we must stay in the political EU ‘to trade with Europe’.
So how come non-EU America, Japan, India, China and Switzerland are major exporters to the EU and Ford abandoned Britain, moving Transit production to non-EU Turkey?
Factory locations are chosen for many diverse reasons: both Nissan UK (managed by Renault) and Honda chose Britain – and will remain here.
Under WTO rules, the EU cannot impose punitive tariffs nor, as Britain is the stagnating EU’s second/third largest export destination, will German, French and other companies tolerate an EU-driven tariff war.
Besides, tariffs are not barriers to trade and are easily avoided through oversees ‘local content’ CKD assembly plants (securing British and foreign jobs), hence so many famous ‘British’ companies being of German, American or French origin.
Both Renault and Citroen assembled here (1920s-1960s) for tariff-free access to our Commonwealth; British companies did likewise, world-wide. That’s profitable business.
The tragedy of the ‘In’ campaign is their inability to support their irrational, emotive, bully-boy scaremongery: ‘eight million job losses if we left the EU’ (Keith Vaz MP, Labour Minister for Europe, 2000) speedily corrected to the factual ‘1.5 to three million jobs partly or wholly engaged in EU trade’ or to ‘Britain’s economic decline due to high interest rates if we didn’t join the Euro’ (Emma Nicholson, Lib-Dem MEP, 2000).
So to those under 55 (80 per cent of Britons) who have not known life outside the EEC/EU, be assured leaving is not a leap into the unknown!
Ask us worldly-wise old codgers!
Barry M Jones
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