The European Union has negotiated a major extension to its trade deal with Mexico — proving it is capable of agreeing liberal commercial arrangements with non-members.
“Mexico and the EU worked together and reached a mutually beneficial outcome,” boasted Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the unelected European Commission which acts as the bloc’s executive and initiates all EU-level legislation.
“We did it as partners who are willing to discuss, to defend their interests while at the same time being willing to compromise to meet each other’s expectations,” he added.
The newly-expanded deal “virtually eliminates tariffs”, according to CNN Money. It is being interpreted as, in part, an attempt to rile U.S. President Donald Trump, who has expressed reservations about unrestricted trade with Mexico and suggested he will impose tariffs on Mexican imports if corporations outsource American jobs to bring labour costs down.
But it is good news for Brexit supporters, who have long argued that is perfectly possible for countries outside the European Union to trade freely with it even if they do not sign up to its Free Movement migration regime and submit to the jurisdiction of the EU court.
SELLOUT: May Tells Voters Continued Influence of EU Law and EU Court After Brexit a ‘Hard Fact’ https://t.co/5rx6GoILKx
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) April 20, 2018
EU loyalists have long claimed that the bloc would not give Britain, even as its single-largest trade partner, a “better deal” than EU members themselves have — a slightly curious argument in that it implies that the Free Movement of People which Brussels sells as a positive feature of EU membership is, in fact, a cost which it imposes on members.
However, if confirmed, the expanded EU-Mexico deal will come very close to achieving full free movement of goods and liberal free movement of services without Mexico becoming an EU member or signing up to EU member obligations with respect to open borders and budget contributions, or submission to the European Court of Justice.
The development may prove something of an embarrassment to Prime Minister and former Remain campaigner Theresa May, who recently told an audience at the Lord Mayor of London’s official residence that continuing influence for EU law and the EU court after Brexit was a “hard fact” which voters must “face up to”.