Senior Businessman: UK Will ‘Prosper’, Reap the Benefits of Brexit on WTO Rules

Leave Means Leave campaign co-chairs John Longworth (L) and Richard Tice gesture aboard The Leave Means Leave battle bus at an event on the sidelines of the Conservative Party Conference 2018, in Birmingham on October 1, 2018. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) (Photo credit should read OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images)
OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty
VICTORIA FRIEDMAN

Leave Means Leave chairman John Longworth has said that Britain will “prosper” if it makes a clean break from EU on World Trade Organization (WTO) rules.

Responding to news that the European Commission had broken its own hard line and plans to allow continuity of certain arrangements in the event of a No Deal Brexit, Mr Longworth told BBC Radio 4’s The World Tonight that the plans would “allow the UK to leave on the 29th of March without disruption, effectively gliding us into a situation where we are able to implement the benefits of Brexit and prosper as a consequence.”

Highlighting the negative language often used by British europhiles and the mainstream media, the leading businessman said: “Far from it being a ‘cliff edge,’ ‘catastrophe,’ and ‘crashing out,’ actually we leave the EU and move on to better things.”

Mr Longworth, (above left with fellow Leave Means Leave co-chairman Richard Tice) was forced to resign in March 2016 as the director-general of the British Chamber of Commerce for breaking ranks and supporting a vote to Leave the European Union, volunteering to lead the business campaign for Brexit.

Countering the scaremongering surrounding “No Deal”, Mr Longworth said that it was “absolute nonsense” that making a clean break from the EU would stop the import of medical drugs.

“The Prime Minister was asked in Parliament whether she knew of any company in the drugs sector that would have any difficulties importing medicines into the UK and her answer, quite rightly, was ‘no.’ She had not had a single company saying that. And for very good reason.

“Medicines, foods, or other goods coming into the UK would only have restrictions, or ‘problems’, or supply shortfalls if the UK self-chose not to let them in. Why would we do that?” he asked.

The business veteran added that the EU has a vested interest in continuing trade with the United Kingdom post-Brexit, as the EU has a nearly £100 billion trade surplus with its departing member-state and to hinder that “would be very damaging to businesses on the continent.”

Writing in a separate piece for the Huffington Post on Thursday, Mr Longworth also brushed off fears that Britain would be unprepared for WTO rules on Brexit day in 100 days’ time, remarking: “Within a hundred days Churchill managed to do the impossible, snatch victory from the jaws of defeat — overcome his quisling colleagues in the Tory Party, rescue an army at Dunkirk, defeat the Luftwaffe, and save Britain from invasion all within just one hundred days. ”

“World Trade terms (WTO) are the basis of 95 percent of world trade, including that conducted by the EU with much of the rest of the world — China, the USA etc,” he explained.

“The majority of UK exports are under WTO terms and this trading system works perfectly well. It is this tried and tested system that will result from a no-deal exit, not a cliff edge.”

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