The UK government staged a “fake traffic jam” in Kent on Monday morning, with lorries queuing all the way to Dover, to establish the implications of Britain leaving the EU without a deal, leading to ridicule on social media.
In the first significant test for border disruption, the UK Department for Transport’s (DfT) experiment, named ‘Operation Brock’, saw nearly 100 lorries from the disused Manston Airport, in Kent, on a 20-mile journey to Dover – Europe’s busiest roll-on roll-off ferry port – at around 8am, the Evening Standard reports.
The rehearsal has led to journalists and pundits pouring scorn on the exercise. The Independent’s sketch writer, Tom Peck, updated his Twitter followers with a rather comical running commentary on the “fake traffic jam” operation.
Peck claimed that he’d been sent to cover a variety of unusual stories for the paper, but he’d “never been on an assignment anywhere near as stupid as this.” He described the experiment as a “demented pantomime.”
Lets look at the facts of a no deal BREXIT. Most of the UK’s trade is with the EU or countries the EU has trade agreements with—about 57% of our exports and 66% of our imports in 2016. That means it doesn’t happen under standard World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules.
But EU trade agreements don’t affect tariffs on all goods and services. Some goods and services have the same tariff level for countries the EU has trade agreements with and those it doesn’t.
If the UK were to leave the EU with “no deal”, we would go back to trading under WTO terms with these countries, which we do anyway with the rest of the world, so where`s the problem?
In a nutshell, the WTO is an international organisation aiming to reduce all barriers to trade. Most countries around the world are members, including the UK.
The WTO requires member countries to apply tariffs (taxes) on goods and services to other WTO countries equally. It also means you can’t set different rules for foreign and domestic products in your country. The big exception is if countries have negotiated their own customs union or free trade area.
Extract from www.rt.com
Posted by David Pilkington