David Cameron, the British prime minister, has been burnishing his Brexit credentials.
David has argued the EU has been unsuccessfully trying to negotiate a trade agreement with Canada for more than seven years, the same for China, and has singularly failed to finalise the TTIP trade deal with North America.
Of course the 28member states of the EU struggle to agree a trade deal because they all have their own vested interests to satisfy, and any one of them can veto the trade agreement at any stage.
There are three observations that can be made about this state of affairs.
Firstly, if the UK left the EU then instead of having to get agreement among the 28 members of the EU for a trade deal with Canada, China or North America, the UK would be negotiating one-on-one, which would be far, far quicker and easier. I doubt whether it would even take two years to negotiate a trade agreement between the UK and each of these.
Secondly, Canada is a fellow member of the Commonwealth and it would be far easier for the UK to negotiate a trade deal with other Commonwealth countries than for the EU to do so.
Thirdly, Canada and the UK share the same head of state, i.e. Queen Elizabeth II. Of course it would be far easier for the UK to negotiate a trade deal with Canada, and with all the other Commonwealth countries that share the same head of state with us.
Moreover, if the UK leaves the EU then we could choose to impose trade barriers on agricultural products to protect our British farmers from unfair competition, and at least our farmers could lobby their own MPs to that effect.
Furthermore, if the UK left the EU then the almost £10 billion per annum that we save can be invested primarily on our armed forces to substantially increase their numbers, to develop leading technologies that support our manufacturing base, and to project British influence around the globe.
Lastly, the EU has had eight years from the last financial crash in 2008 to reinvigorate the European economy.
The USA recovered years ago. We’re told by David that under his premiership the UK created more jobs than the other 27 EU states combined and that our economy has largely recovered.
If the EU is such a great financial and economic success as argued by the Remain campaign then why didn’t the EU economy recover before that of the USA and the UK?
Bernard Mulholland, Malone Road, Belfast