This is one of those things to be greeted with an “Well, of course” for the European Union would be severely threatened if Singapore on Thames were to be allowed to succeed:
The European Union is preparing to offer the UK a trade deal on tougher terms than its deals with Canada, Japan and a host of other leading trade partners, the Telegraph has learned.
In what will be seen by industry as an unusually harsh move, the European Commission has warned EU member states that it would be a mistake to allow some UK industry bodies to be allowed to certify that goods conform to EU standards.
The so-called Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRAs) are granted to other key EU trade partners to facilitate the smooth movement of goods in key sectors, but could be withheld from the UK if it only seeks a basic trade deal.
EU regulation has some costs. It can indeed be argued that said costs are worth it – the EU does. But as with any other form of economic valuation whether something is worth it or not is a matter of personal utility, not something that can or should be defined for people. Thus it is necessary ,for the correct decision to be taken on the level of regulation for people to see the actual costs of that regulation. Only then, when the burden of the entire system is obvious and clear can a rational decision be taken.
Take, for example, this idea of Singapore on Thames. It’s trivially easy to rally the peeps against one or other relaxation of regulation. Chlorine washed chicken for example. But what about lifting the entire burden? Singapore is, after all, about 50% richer than Britain on a per capita basis. The correct question therefore is would you like a 50% pay raise at the price of shooting all the bureaucrats? Given the manner in which the bureaucrats don’t want the question even asked we have a reasonable enough guide that the answer would be yes.
Which is why the terms on offer to a Britain which could do the SonT thing are so terrible. Because of SonT succeeded it would be a death blow to the entire idea of how Europe is regulated. Lille, Leipzig and Livorno will all put up with interfering bureaucracy because that’s just the way the world is. But if Les Rosbifs become richer by half again simply by that bonfire of the regulations then the auto da fes will light up all over Europe.
So, yes, of course the EU is offering shit trade terms. They can’t allow an independent and free Britain to succeed. That we will anyway is what will bring that freedom and liberty to the continent – once again. For as so often it will be us that saves Europe from itself.