Following the referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union, those who advocated a Leave vote have mostly been inhabiting a kind of parallel universe, where countries can make instant trade deals with one another, those outside the EU can be part of the Single Market and keep out all those nasty migrants, and all the while may indulge in the ritual incantation telling the easily led that “Britain is open for business”.
Nowhere is that parallel universe better shown than in the hopelessly optimistic propagandising by the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog, and today has brought forth another example of the genre, with readers being told “27 Countries Seeking UK Trade Deals”. It looks too good to be true, and that is because it is too good to be true: the central conceit soon unravels.
“The above map shows all the countries in which government officials or prominent business figures have declared a desire to secure a post-Brexit trade deal with Britain. Out of the 10 largest economies in the world, just two (France and Italy) have not yet made moves for a deal. Every continent on earth is represented, with 27 countries already signalling their intentions” gushes The Great Guido.
See the cracks yet? Let’s start at the very beginning, as it’s a very good place to start. “Government officials or prominent business figures” does not confirm Government policy: indeed, one of the countries shown is the USA, and they’ve just rebuffed the clueless Liam Fox. The Fawkes blog cannot name one country whose Government has an official policy to make such a deal. And it gets worse in short order.
The Fawkes rabble cite France and Italy in that quote. Their list of countries “seeking UK trade deals” also includes Ireland and Germany. All four are EU member states. That particular competency has been pooled and is an EU-wide function. This means that none of those four countries is in a position to negotiate their own trade deals with a post-Brexit UK. Anyone who knew their subject would be aware of this.
And it gets still worse, as The Great Guido proclaims “The total GDP of all of these countries is nearly $50 trillion dollars – 67% of global GDP. In comparison, the EU’s GDP of $16 trillion equates to just 22%”. YOU JUST COUNTED IRELAND AND GERMANY TWICE, DIMWITS. And the point about not being able to strike trade deals with individual EU member states still stands. Can it get even worse than that?
Sadly for the Fawkes rabble, yes it can: “Britain is open for business and Guido will be updating this map over the coming weeks and months. Over to you, Dr Fox”. Soil the bed, what planet are these goons on? WE’RE STILL IN THE EU AND NO TRADE DEAL NEGOTIATION CAN START UNTIL WE HAVE LEFT. The earliest that Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty can be triggered is going to be next year - if it is ever triggered. Then it’s at least two years after that before any negotiation can start.
We know that Staines and his pals are enthusiastic Leave supporters. That is a stance they are free to take and hold. But Christ On A Bike lads, try to keep one foot in the real world once every so often. This is so misguided that it qualifies as fiction. But then, that’s another example of “no change there, then”. Another fine mess.