BREXIT: Not as simple as it seems

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I read Anne-Marie Trevelyan’s column with interest and, unfortunately, a great deal of despondency, (Morpeth Herald, July 19).

Mrs Trevelyan is an ardent Brexiteer and votes with Jacob Rees-Mogg’s European Reform Group (ERG). She suggests that World Trade Organisation (WTO) terms will be fine if no agreement is secured.

However, one of the main claims for leaving Europe made by the ERG is that the we will be able to strike our own trade deals.

The ERG simply doesn’t see any inconsistency with this and walking away from the EU/EFTA agreement, the biggest trading block in the world, which has the exceptional advantage of being on our doorstep.

She does not mention, and clearly fails completely to appreciate, just how interconnected our economy is with Europe. It is not just tariffs that are an issue, but the paperwork and the associated time and costs associated with moving goods over a hard border are horrendous.

My own business regularly buys high-tech equipment from the EU and America, (similar equipment is simply not made in the UK), and it is so much more time consuming buying from America than from the EU.

I dread to think how the multi-nationals will react, and let us not forget that, as an example, Renault effectively controls Nissan, with a 44 per cent shareholding.

Finally, Mrs Trevelyan completely ignores the Irish Border. She is old enough to remember ‘the Troubles’, as I certainly do.

In the early 1990s I was driving regularly to the Republic, and each time I crossed the border, when I looked around, I was staring down the barrel of at least one, and often two guns. Admittedly, these were British soldiers, but it was not a pleasant experience.

Now, the border is almost invisible, but with a hard border, I fear the Troubles will undoubtedly return.

At the last Tory Party conference, Mrs Trevelyan admitted that her own son might not have voted for her if he had been old enough to vote. Let us hope she heeds his advice in the future.

Peter Allan

Kings Avenue