Published On: Mon, Sep 2nd, 2019

Brexit news: German economist highlighted EU’s crucial failure with UK | UK | News

Last week, Queen Elizabeth II approved the order from Boris Johnson for Parliament to be prorogued from the second week in September until October 14 – only 17 days before the scheduled date of Brexit on October 31. Mr Johnson insisted it was “completely untrue” to suggest his motives were because of Brexit, but the suspension dramatically reduces the time available to rebel MPs on passing last-minute legislation to block no deal. The House of Commons Speaker, John Bercow, immediately issued a furious attack on Mr Johnson’s intention to prorogue Parliament, describing it as a “constitutional outrage”.

Conservative MP Guto Bebb, who has been a vocal opponent of no deal, also said the Prime Minister had shown signs of “weakness” by proroguing Parliament, adding that leaving without a withdrawal agreement in place would be “antidemocratic”.

Speaking to BBC Radio Cymru, Mr Bebb said it would be wrong to “put figures on a potential rebellion” but claimed it was likely enough MPs would vote against the Government to pass legislation preventing leaving the EU without a deal.

The no deal opposition has particularly grown in recent weeks, after ‘Operation Yellowhammer’ was leaked to The Sunday Times earlier this month, revealing Britain could face months of disruption after a no deal divorce.

The document predicts delays to medicine supplies and shortages of some fresh foods, combined with food prices.

Downing Street dismissed the dossier, with sources close to the Prime Minister branding it “Project Fear”.

In a newly-resurfaced debate at the Oxford Union, Lord Lawson – who served as Margaret Thatcher’s Chancellor – echoed such claims, as he made the case for Brexit in 2013.

The former Chancellor revealed how even a German economist and Financial Times European correspondent, Wolfgang Münchau, had agreed with him in saying that leaving the bloc would be particularly beneficial for Britain.

While launching an attack against of europhiles, Lord Lawson explained: “This eurocentricity I find appallingly parochial.

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“While London is certainly not just a British financial centre, it is not just a European financial centre either.

“London is one of the only two truly global financial centres in the world.

“The other being New York and it is the only one in the European time zone – which is an advantage and one which of course will remain.”

He continued: “When I developed this case publicly for the first time earlier this year, I was surprised to find a strongly supportive article in the Financial Times, by their most knowledgeable perceptive European columnist, the German Wolfgang Münchau.

“Under the heading, Lord Lawson is right, he pointed out that for the United Kingdom, maybe different for some other countries, but for the United Kingdom, membership of the Single Market, carries higher costs than benefits.

“He concluded in these terms: ‘There may be reasons why the UK may wish to remain a member of the EU but, whatever they are, they are not economic.'”

Looking at the audience at the Oxford Union, Lord Lawson added: “And Mr President, they are certainly not democratic either and I urge you to support the motion.”

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In the 2013 Financial Times report mentions by Lord Lawson, Mr Münchau wrote: “For the EU as a whole, the single market has been a macroeconomic non-event. Its impact on aggregate gross domestic product is statistically imperceptible.

“If you really wanted to defend it on macroeconomic grounds, you would need to argue that trend growth would otherwise have declined – and would have done so at exactly the time when the single market was introduced. Good luck with that.

The single market brought some benefits to the EU’s many small open economies, especially those with a relatively large industrial base.

“The UK is a large economy with a small industrial base. For a country such as the UK, the regulatory burden of the single market outweighs the benefits.”

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