An MP has warned it would be “economic suicide” for the European Union if they did not agree a free trade deal with the UK as part of Brexit.
Any deal must not involve staying in the single market or accepting EU laws, but should allow trade to continue without tariffs, Shipley MP Philip Davies said.
Speaking in Business questions in the Commons Mr Davies said: “Given that we have a massive trade deficit with the European union, it would be economic suicide for the EU not to agree a free trade deal with us, but if they did go down that line, Civitas have calculated that British business would have to pay about £5 billion a year in tariffs on World Trade Organisation rules to access the EU market, and EU businesses would have to pay about £13billion in tariffs to access the UK market.
“Given that could we not agree to cover all tariffs for British business exporting to the EU so they do not have to pay anything and still be quids in?”
The analysis from the think-tank showed the burden on EU firms if tariff barriers be imposed on UK-EU trade, with European exporters having a great deal to lose with knock on effects and increased prices harming their ability to sell in the UK.
Business Minister Jessie Norman said: “Long experience has taught me to distrust some of these speculative estimates of cost and benefits, so I will not comment on that.”