When someone releases a report which makes an incorrect assumption we can – and should, in charity – assume that they’ve just made a little boo boo. The next person to repeat the mistake should perhaps be chided gently. But there does come a point when the same politically useful mistake is made just that one too many times and we’ve got to start shouting at the charlatans. Insisting that they are spouting scrotals all the while.
We might have got there:
A “no deal” Brexit could cost UK households £1,000 a year, with the impact disproportionately felt by poorer households, according to new research.
Gosh, I wonder how they’ve reached that number?
The study by consultants Oliver Wyman suggests that whatever deal is struck with Brussels, UK household spending will rise and consumer businesses’ profitability will fall after Brexit.
Hmm, maybe, maybe:
Global consultancy firm Oliver Wyman will say that under the most negative scenario of high import tariffs and high regulatory barriers the cost to the economy could total £27bn.
Under a “no deal” Brexit scenario, where all imported goods from the EU were subject to World Trade Organization tariffs, the overall cost to households would be £27 billion a year, or nearly £1,000 per household.
Ah, yes, this is scrotals.
They’re assuming that trading under WTO rules means that we must charge the maximum permissible WTO tariffs upon all imports into the UK. When we’re entirely allowed to charge presicely the square root of scrote all:
To insist, meanwhile, that we must raise tariffs on the imports we desire is to misunderstand the WTO system. As a source in Geneva explains, Britain is a WTO member in its own right and will still be so even after Brexit happens. This means that we have promised not to charge higher than the allowable ceilings in tariffs upon imports from other WTO members. The Most Favoured Nation clause also states that whatever we do decide to charge ourselves, we must apply the same rate to the same products from all different WTO countries.
But not charging higher than the allowable ceilings does not commit us to charging anything at all. We can apply a 0 per cent rate (yes, I checked) if we so wish.
This also tells us what we should be doing:
Our answer to this little conundrum is and should be simple. We wish to make the consumer better off, that is the art of economic management. Therefore our post-Brexit trade stance should be unilateral free trade, the very thing which benefits consumers. Anything else is bad economics masquerading as good sense.
Well, that’s not all. We do have to start shouting that “you’re spouting scrotals” at the people from Oliver Wyman as well.