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Our MP's Brexit view is 'Back to the Future'

Sir John Hayes is a conscientious constituency MP but his judgement on wider issues is debatable.

Sir John challenges the zealous ‘free trade' orthodoxy. The Brexiteers’ argument for Leaving the EU still remains to become the champion FOR free trade.

Sir John seeks to recreate the Imperial Preferencial Trade arrangements oblivious to the fact this would be a clear breach of the basic rule of the World Trade Oganisation.

MP Sir John Hayes (20635813)
MP Sir John Hayes (20635813)

In the 1840’s David Ricardo, economist, demonstrated that if countries concentrated on producing goods for which nature and their human talents gave them a competitive advantage, engaging in trade would be mutually advantageous.

Since the 1950’s global trade has rescued billions of people from the drudgery and poverty of agrarian economies and inspired billions more to do the same.Globally, absolute poverty is rapidly disappearing.

Britain has insufficient quality arable land to feed the nation. Britain could at a vast expense and wasteful use of reources feed itself. We have the technology. The downside is that the cost of food would absorb an increasing share of household income, diminishing living standards.

Britons buy German and French cars because they are well designed, quality vehicles, reliable, repairable and retain a high resale price.

The days when Made in Britain was synonymous with quality are long gone. There is now no British-owned, British-based manufacturer of volume models. The exhortation to buy British was a fad in the 1960’s.

Ernst Schumacher advocated the concept of intermediate technology; the use of simple labour intensive means of production using traditional techniques incorporating latest science and technology.

This approach has increasing resonance today but the outcome of Small is Beautiful may be a high job satisfaction economy which is unlikely to be a high tech, high wage, high lifestyle economy.

Competition has a downside. Firms with a competitive edge use their advantage to eliminate their competitors in local, regional, national and international markets, creating barriers against potential competitors, differentiating markets and products to maximise their revenue streams, using their size to stifle competition and to minimise their tax liabilities.

Controlling these titans dominating the production of ‘stuff’ and controlling the flow of knowledge is through co-operation and harmonisation of regulatory standards.

Outside the EU, Britain alone does not have sufficient ‘clout’ political, diplomatic, economic, financial, commercial, military or soft power to, for example, ensure that Amazon pays tax according to its revenue earned in UK, not on its profits.

The EU does have sufficient ‘clout’. even without Britain.

Collectively all countries urgently need to control corporate titans.

Unfortunately a Britain that adopts Sir John’s BACK TO THE FUTURE delusional approach will diminish Britain’s international credibility and his use of derogatory intemporate language will not rebuild the social cohesion Britain will need to prosper in the future.

Paul Walls


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