Leaving the Protectionist Union’s 12,651 Barriers to World Trade

The EU’s Common External Tariff comprises 12,651 different taxes and quotas imposed on goods from the rest of the world. This is what the Customs Union amounts to, a protectionist barrier to free trade with the 162 countries outside the EU. Don’t fall for the hype that it reduces trade barriers.

Garlic has a 200% external tariff to protect French farmers, tariffs double the price of sugar cane imported by Tate & Lyle from outside Europe. The policy was designed by the EU to boost beet sugar producers in 19 EU countries – at the expense of companies like Tate & Lyle who use cane sugar instead. Some US jeans face a 26% tariff, shoes face 17% tariffs to protect Italian cobblers. Some agricultural products, e.g. beef and dairy, have very substantial tariff rates, 54 dairy products alone have tariff rates of more than 75%. Just a few examples out of thousands showing how British consumers’ best interests are sacrificed to protect European producers from global competition…

Regional deals tend to divert trade rather than create it. Although they do lower some barriers, most do nothing to tackle the highest tariffs and each deal tends to enshrine the preferences of its largest members, making it harder to bring regional blocks together within a cohesive set of globally liberalised rules. The EU’s Customs Union only liberalises internal trade within the EU. Free trade will allow us to import raw materials from outside the EU at lower cost and without the tariffs designed to prop up inefficient European industries and high cost agriculture. The single market is really an internal market for 10% of the world’s population, the global market is a much bigger opportunity to be seized…




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