In How to Leave the EU – Legal and Trade Priorities for the New Britain, Martin Howe QC, proposes when and how Article 50 should be invoked to give the EU notice of departure.
The author, a distinguished EU lawyer, explains that the focus should be on the UK’s trade deals globally, with third countries outside the EU. The aim should be to take over free trade deals with such countries to which we are already party, simply replacing the EU with the UK as co-signatory without further elaborate renegotiations. For other new global trade deals, independence from the EU and its remaining 27 Member States, will facilitate the forging of fast and rapid deals.
As for the EU itself, there should be no regrets at leaving the Single Market. Protectionist by nature, the Single Market imposes high costs on UK producers and consumers. They will now benefit from cheaper prices outside the EU. Britain, says the author, should aim for free trade with the EU outside the Single Market, forging the kind of deal already common between the EU and third countries. However, if the EU drags its feet, Britain should be ready to walk away with plan B in place, trading under low tariff WTO rules. In either case the aim should be to have access to the Single Market without belonging to it or being forced to allow free movement of people.
Above all UK officials should not now try to re-enter the EU with its restrictive rules by the back door, when the people have decided to leave it by the front.