Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage has rejected claims that there would be chaos at Britain’s ports if the EU fails to agree on a new trade deal with the UK, adding that it would not be in Europe’s interest to block the flow of trade.
Following five months of negotiations, London and Brussels are at a stalemate over the terms of a new agreement. Britain wants to regain control of its laws and regulations, and the European Union has said that it will not agree on a deal unless the UK stays aligned with some of the bloc’s rules.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said that he will take the UK out of the Customs Union and Single Market at the end of the transition period on December 31st, 2020, with or without a deal.
Now we're approaching the Brexit negotiation endgame and all those apocalyptic predictions are rearing their heads again it is good to look back, remember, and laugh at this absurd nonsense they think we'll take seriously https://t.co/qtZUNIlhoR
— Oliver JJ Lane (@oliver_lane) July 15, 2020
Asked if he thought the EU’s negotiator Michel Barnier would want to scupper trade between the UK and EU, resulting in “chaos”, Mr Farage told talkRADIO’s Julia Hartley-Brewer on Tuesday: “Only if Monsieur Barnier wants chaos.”
“Only if Monsieur Barnier wants to make it difficult to sell French wine and German motor cars in Britain, then yes,” Mr Farage joked, before clarifying: “Of course not.”
The UK operated a £72 billion trade deficit with the EU in 2019, selling more to the bloc than was purchased from it, while having a £46 billion trade surplus with the rest of the world.
According to Statista, in 2018 the UK was the third-largest importer of German-made cars, behind China and the United States, but ahead of mainland European nations France and Italy.
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— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) July 9, 2020
The Brexit Party leader said: “We are entering the end game of the Brexit negotiations, so you have to expect that Brussels and their allies in the United Kingdom will paint as bleak a picture as they possibly can.”
Remainers and their European allies have indeed sought to paint bleak pictures of Brexit in the past four years. Such as that the vote to leave in 2016 would result in an immediate shock to the economy, leading to the loss of 500,000 jobs. Instead, before the coronavirus pandemic hit the Office for National Statistics reported record-high employment rates in February 2020.
Leaving without a deal also reportedly could result in a shortage of sandwiches, cheese, Mars bars, and clean drinking water. Arch Remainer and businessman Sir Richard Branson even claimed that a no-deal would be “more damaging to Great Britain than almost the Second World War”.
Mr Farage continued that from the British imports side, the UK is doing trade with nations where there is no deal, and no current restrictions are holding up incoming goods.
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— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) July 5, 2020
He said: “The reality is, we do trading in goods all over the world. Look at some of those container ships coming into Southampton today. Big container ships with thousands of containers on them.
“Do you think that because it’s coming from China there’s some little man that opens up each container and goes through them? Of course not. We have things called ‘trusted trader’ schemes. Most of the companies we deal with are known to us, in most cases trusted by us.
“If we can manage to do trade smoothly with the rest of the world, why on earth can’t we do it with the European Union?”