A not entirely accurate map Credit - Wik

A letter to the Daily Telegraph:

SIR – The Trump administration’s move towards trade protectionism shows the benefit to Britain of being a member of the EU customs union.

Liam Fox, the Trade Secretary and arch-Atlanticist, unsuccessfully lobbied Washington for an exemption of UK steel from punitive tariffs. By the effort of Cecilia Malmström, the EU trade commissioner (representing all 28 EU members), such an exemption was secured. It was prolonged earlier this week for another month.

The EU has joined a select group of trade partners strong enough to resist American economic bullying. Beyond the EU, it includes only Nafta partners Canada and Mexico. South Korea, Brazil and even Japan have been forced to accept tariffs or are agreeing painful bilateral concessions.

Despite the rhetoric about global Britain, had we faced this crisis alone, outside the customs union, we would likely have been treated like Japan (the third-biggest global economy compared to Britian’s position as sixth).

The EU customs union is the only effective protection against US bullying today.

Jude Kirton-Darling MEP (Lab)
Lucy Anderson MEP (Lab)
Richard Ashworth MEP (Ind)
Catherine Bearder MEP (Lib Dem)
Molly Scott Cato MEP (Green)
Charles Tannock MEP (Con)
Paul Brannen MEP (Lab)
Richard Corbett MEP (Lab)
Seb Dance MEP (Lab)
Jill Evans MEP (Plaid Cymru)
Neena Gill MEP (Lab)
Julie Girling MEP (Independent)
Theresa Griffin MEP (Lab)
Mary Honeyball MEP (Lab)
John Howarth MEP (Lab)
Wajid Khan MEP (Lab)
Jean Lambert MEP (Green)
David Martin MEP (Lab)
Linda McAvan MEP (Lab)
Clare Moody MEP (Lab)
Alyn Smith MEP (SNP)
Catherine Stihler MEP (Lab)
Derek Vaughan MEP (Lab)
Julie Ward MEP (Lab)

Until we actually leave the European Union, on freedom day, the EU has sole competence over all trade matters. Thus, and quite obviously, the EU can gain an exemption from certain US tariffs and the UK cannot. Because we’re not the people who make deals on trade, they are.

You’d expect a gaggle of MEPs to know that but apparently not.