The economy could get a four per cent boost if we avoid imposing tariffs on imports after Brexit
Consumers will benefit from cheaper food and other goods as long as ministers remain committed to free trade with the rest of the world, they said.
Professor Patrick Minford, a leading member of the group, accused Chancellor Philip Hammond of “economic illiteracy” for appearing to rule out the approach.
The former adviser to Margaret Thatcher urged the Chancellor to think again. Their call for Britain to unilaterally reject trade tariffs was made at the launch of Economists for Free Trade in Westminster today.
The group is the successor to Economists for Brexit which played a key role in last year’s EU referendum campaign.
Chancellor Philip Hammond was accused of ‘economic illiteracy’ by a former advisor to Thatcher
Professor Minford urged the Government to avoid “tit for tat” measures if the EU tries to punish the UK by imposing tariffs on goods and services.
Embracing global free trade… will mean the UK is far better off compared to the status quo
Professor Patrick Minford,
Retaliating by imposing tariffs on EU goods and services could wipe eight per cent off UK GDP, he warned.
“Trading as a full member of the World Trade Organisation outside the Single Market can offer the UK considerable economic benefits,” he added.
Blair and Juncker: Together through the years
Wed, January 25, 2017
Former Prime Minister, Tony Blair and President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker have always shared a friendly relationship over the years.
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EU Commission President Juncker greets former British PM Blair in Brussels
Consumers can benefit from cheaper food if ministers remain committed to free trade
“Embracing global free trade, even if the EU does not reciprocate, will mean the UK is far better off compared to the status quo.”
Prof Minford rejected past claims by Mr Hammond that unilateral free trade would damage the economy and cost jobs, saying: “This is just economic illiteracy.”