YoMo2 wrote:...Of course. But I can see only negatives in the Labour Party position. We lose any say in what happens in the EU and are forbidden from negotiating trade deals elsewhere. I just wondered if I was missing something. Basically it's BRINO isn't it?
Realistically yes, the Labour position is BRINO. If you listen carefully to the Labour proposition they always talk about negotiating a deal that would leave the UK in "a" single market and "a" customs union. Note the careful use of the word "a". They somehow believe that they can negotiate a deal with the EU that gives all the benefits of being in the single market and customs union without the downsides, i.e. some special single market and customs union just for the UK. This is yet more unicorn thinking. The EU has "the" single market and "the" customs union. You can be in them or out of them. If you opt to be in you gain the benefits but you pay the costs. If you are out you lose the benefits but you don't need to pay the costs. There is no evidence whatsoever anywhere that the EU will deviate from this position. They are happy to do free trade deals under WTO rules but they wouldn't include completely free access with no borders and no customs checks as happens by being a member. In fact WTO rules requires there to be such borders and customs checks.
Any Labour negotiated deal along single market - customs union lines would inevitably lead to a situation where the UK still has to pay into the budget, still accept EU laws, still accept jurisdiction of the ECJ on EU laws, still not be able to do independent trade deals and still accept free movement. The gross budget payment might be less but it is also possible that the net budget payment could be more. We wouldn't have to accept all EU law but that isn't a freedom to choose whether to accept or not. We would have to accept all EU law that was relevant to our trading relationship and we would have little/no influence over what those laws say. Currently the UK is one of the top influencers in shaping EU law. It might be possible to have some limited control on free movement but that is not certain. The UK could be out of the common agricultural policy and the common fisheries policy. Whether those are benefits depends on your point of view.
It is also worth noting that if the UK were to negotiate a free trade deal with the EU that would also limit our ability to deviate from EU regulations. The reason trade deals take so long to negotiate is the comparison of regulations in the two countries to determine if they are broadly equivalent. They don't have to be identical, as ours are as a member of the EU, but if they are very different that can act as a barrier to trade. It's no good legally having free trade if practically you don't have it because the regulatory regimes are so different. We would be able to deviate but not very far. Incidentally, so far no one who voted leave to take back sovereignty has suggested one single EU derived law that they want to abolish or to significantly change, why or in what way?
Whichever side of the debate your views lie on Brexit the only two realistic options are to remain or to be completely out but with a free trade deal. Labour's position is crazy. Equally so is Farage's position. Most countries in the world are members of the WTO and as such are subject to WTO rules. None of them, however, deliberately try to trade on WTO terms. All of them have, and are trying to negotiate more, free trade deals with like minded countries.