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Leaving the EU will be bad for trade, but a secret Brexit will be worse

First Published:, 20/10/2016

One of the worrying aspects of the Brexit process is that discussions about the UK’s future trade arrangements, and the wider economic goals and ambitions of Brexit, are taking place behind closed doors, and by government departments feeding self-serving information to the media.

Parliament should be allowed to inform itself, review and help to start frame this debate as a matter of urgency before article 50 negotiations, that is, before next March, according to the prime minister, Theresa May.

As the Guardian revealed earlier this week, the Brexit cabinet committee has been presented with findings considering the trade and economic consequences for the UK of leaving the EU and the customs union. The suggestion that exports to the country’s 10 largest non-EU trading partners would have to grow by 37% by 2030 simply to compensate requires open and informed debate as to how this is to be realised, even if the numbers are only approximately right, given the likely economic circumstances surrounding world trade over the next several years. What happens to trade and to related foreign investment inflows is hard-wired into the productivity and living standards of citizens….Read more: