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Trading under World Trade Organisation rules after Brexit would be no hardship

Roberto Azevedo, director general of the World Trade Organisation
Roberto Azevedo, director general of the World Trade Organisation Credit: EPA

As one Brexit hurdle is cleared, the doom-mongers erect another. Before last June’s referendum, the Treasury warned ad nauseam that voting to leave the European Union would spark “an immediate and profound economic shock”.

Since that vote, with the economy holding up regardless, we have seen endless legal battles and parliamentary shenanigans stopping the Prime Minister from even getting the Brexit ball rolling.

Now, with the law allowing Article 50 to be triggered finally passed, the doom machine has been programmed anew. The Brexit-blockers’ new crie de coeur is the cataclysmic impact of leaving the EU with “no deal”, the dystopian wasteland the UK would become if we traded instead under “World Trade Organisation rules”. Such nostrums are self-serving nonsense; the latest mutation of “Project Fear”, spread by those with little understanding of negotiation tactics and even less of economics....

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