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‘How To Take Back Control: Trading Globally Through the WTO’

How to Take Back Control
Trading Globally Through the WTO Will Boost UK Economy, 
says John Redwood MP in new Politeia publication.

Publication: Immediate
PDF LinkHow to Take Back Control: Trading Globally Through the WTO
Press Release

As Britain prepares to leave the EU, there is, says The Rt. Hon. John Redwood MP, a clear choice. The UK can submit to the damaging Withdrawal Agreement and spend another 21 months wrangling with the uncertainty about trade and the future economy that would bring. Or it can just leave in March 2019 with certainty about trade, the economy and the boost from leaving.

In Politeia’s new publication, How to Take Back Control: Trading Globally Through the WTO, Mr Redwood explains that Britain should ‘just leave’ and outlines the opportunities this will bring.

The economic boost from ‘just leaving’ next March is significant:

  • The UK’s balance of payments would be improved by ending payments to the EU.
  • The uncertainty about future trade would end, and UK trade with the EU would be on the same basis as the USA and China.
  • There would be advantages to tax and public spending.
  • The ability to increase spending on public services providing a welcome boost to schools, social care, defence and others, out of the savings.
  • Tax cuts to raise take home pay and boost the economy.
  • If the UK spent an extra £39bn on itself instead of paying to stay in the EU for longer over the couple of years, that would be an estimated 1.4 – 2 per cent boost to GDP.

A Brexit Budget could use the £39bn:

  • To cut Stamp duties, CGT and Vehicle Excise duties, rates of income tax and VAT on a range of products.
  • Boost school spending especially on schools receiving 10 per cent or less than the national average and meet the costs of the NHS planned increases to improve quality and quantity of care.

There is no cliff edge nor cataclysmic result if the UK leaves the EU and trades under WTO rules:

  • Being out of the EU will not make importing medicines or food difficult.
  • Just in time supply chains will be fine. They handle plenty of components from outside the EU already. By contrast supply chains from the continent can be subject to delays on the roads and in transit.
  • We could cut tariffs and remove all tariffs from imported components needed in UK factories.
  • Ending the uncertainty for business by just leaving in March should also give a boost to investment.

Fishing and Farming can be restored at the heart of Britain’s sustainable food industry.
Redwood challenges the government to boost fishing, an industry pillaged and damaged by EU membership, and farming, to restore British production and supply chains, promoting a true environmental policy, with healthy food, fewer air miles and local produce.

By contrast, the Withdrawal Agreement goes against the voters’ decision and the prime minister’s pledges.

  • It obliges the UK to pay around £39bn, but without the trade deal for which payment was promised.
  • It violates Northern Ireland’s Union with UK with a barrier proposed down the Irish Sea.
  • It binds Britain into an EU customs union, potentially indefinitely.

But above all, says Redwood, leaving the EU is a great democratic event ‘to take back control of our money, our borders and our laws’. The author concludes, ‘restoring our right to govern ourselves is not a threat but a promise. It is not a problem but a whole host of opportunities …’


These and related themes will be discussed with the author, John Redwood, at 5pm on Wednesday 5th December. Speakers will include:

  • The Rt. Hon. John Redwood MP, Chairman of Conservative Parliamentary Economic Affairs
    Committee, author, How to Take Back Control: Trading Globally Through the WTO.
  • Barnabas Reynolds, partner, Shearman & Sterling LLP, author, Free Trade in UK-EU Financial
    Services: How Best to Structure a Brexit Trade Deal.
  • Dr Sheila Lawlor, Director, Politeia, author, Deal, No Deal? The Battle for Britain’s Democracy.


How to Take Back Control: Trading Globally Through the WTO, by John Redwood, is published by Politeia, 14a Eccleston Street, SW1 W9LT, priced £8-00. Hard copies are available to journalists on request from


*The Author: The Rt. Hon. John Redwood been the Member of Parliament for Wokingham since 1987 and is Chairman of the Conservative Parliamentary Economic Affairs Committee. He is a Distinguished Fellow of All Souls, Oxford.

The Author: The Rt. Hon. John Redwood MP,
Series Editor: Dr. Sheila Lawlor, Director, Politeia, 02077995034
Politeia: Anton Witchell-Chibber, 0207 799 5034 / 07484252628,
Joshua Carlton,

Sir John Redwood MP

Sir John Redwood has been Member of Parliament for Wokingham since 1987 and is a former Secretary of State for Wales, having held a variety of ministerial roles in the 1980s and 1990s. A former Head of Margaret Thatcher's Policy Unit, he is Chairman of the Conservative Parliamentary Economic Affairs Committee and wrote We Don’t Believe You: Why Populists and the Establishment See the World Differently (Bite-Sized Books, 2019). His Politeia publications include How to Take Back Control: Trading Globally Through the WTO (2018) and Trading Truths: The Treasury, Trade and the City (2016).

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