Fake views: George Osborne on post-Brexit Protectionism
It’s not fake news – it’s just spin. In a story called ‘Project Fear is BACK’, the Mail spots former Chancellor and perpetual Remainer George Osborne warning that the UK leaving the European Union without trade deals would be the ‘biggest act of protectionism’ in British history.
Speaking at the British Chambers of Commerce annual conference in Westminster, Osborne opined:
“Let’s make sure that we go on doing trade with our biggest export market, otherwise withdrawing from the single market will be the biggest single act of protectionism in the history of the United Kingdom and no amount of trade deals with New Zealand are going to replace the trade that we do at the moment with our big European neighbours.”
What utter nonsense. Protectionism is about what you import not what you export.
If tariffs can be rebranded as protectionism, which is bad, why not allow free trade on goods traded with all countries? Mixing politics with trade is fraught with bias and agendas.
By way of an example as to how stupid things can get, the Economist told us:
FORD makes transit vans in Turkey, with passenger seats in the back. When the vans are shipped to America, the brand-new seats are immediately torn out and recycled.
Why? Because 46 years ago, Europe slapped tariffs on American chickens. America retaliated with a tax on European commercial vans.
To get round this, an American firm’s European factory adds passenger seats to its commercial vans so they can be classified as passenger vans, which attract a lower tariff. Then it trashes the seats once the vans are safely landed in Baltimore.
Sometimes the rules that make the least sense last the longest.
Unless you vote out of a trading bloc and trade the world as an open market.