Commenting on today’s House of Commons debate on Customs and Borders, Callum Crozier, policy director at leading northern business think tank, Policy North, said:
The North of England economy is worth over £300bn and makes up 19 per cent of total UK output, but it has the potential to be so much more after Brexit, as long as we leave the Customs Union.
If we do not leave the Customs Union, there is no point in leaving the EU. Being ‘out’ of the EU but having to abide by its tariffs and being unable to strike new trade deals with the rest of the world defies logic.
With 90 per cent of global growth over the next 10-15 years set to be from non-EU countries, it makes no sense to lock ourselves out of these lucrative markets.
Policy North has proposed establishing free ports in the North post Brexit. There are currently no functional Free Trade Zones in the UK because membership of the Single Market and Customs Union effectively prevents us from creating them. That’s why leaving the Customs Union is essential.
If the UK remains in the Customs Union, the Department for International Trade will rendered pointless as we will be unable to negotiate independent trade deals with other countries. People will then rightly ask in what way we have left the EU. This debate is simply an attempt to frustrate Brexit and undermine the referendum result.