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“On the train pissing out or the platform trying to piss in!”

May 12, 2013

eurostar-god

You can be in Europe on the train, affecting everything for those on board as well as those at all member stations.  Or you can be on the platform of an isolated station waiting for the train to stop so its passengers can use your facilities if it stops at all!

 

 

Conclusions from extracted from

Copyright © 2012 Open Europe

Published by Open Europe 7 Tufton St London SW1P 3QN
Tel: 0207 197 2333 Fax: 0207 197 2307 http://www.openeurope.org.uk

By Booth & Howarth June 2012

 

• Membership of the EU customs union, and the free movement of goods with the absence of tariffs and rules of origin, remains a benefit to UK firms exporting to the EU. The UK has been instrumental in developing the Single Market in goods and promoting EU enlargement, which has helped to generate new markets, increased competition and reduced costs.
• The EU remains by far the biggest destination for UK trade, which is particularly the case for the UK’s trade in goods, with a 53.5% share exported to the EU, although the actual figure is lower due to the ‘Rotterdam/Antwerp effect’. In services trade, the UK is less dependent on the EU market (39% of exports). The UK is also less reliant on the EU market than the other major member states but it relies on the EU to negotiate on its behalf for greater market access to third countries, with non-tariff barriers to trade of increasing importance.
• The EU, which has broadly been a positive force for global and internal goods trade liberalisation, has not shown the same focus on or enthusiasm for services liberalisation. Services account for 71% of total EU GDP but only 3.2% of this is a result of intra-EU trade. In comparison, 33.6% of the EU’s non- services GDP stems from EU cross-border trade.
• The failure to liberalise services within the Single Market and member states’ reluctance to compete on the global stage in this sector means the EU risks punching below its weight in global talks on services, which can be to the detriment of UK interests.
• Nevertheless, from purely a trade perspective, EU membership remains the best option for the UK. All the alternatives come with major drawbacks and would all, except for the ‘WTO option’, require negotiation with and the agreement of the other member states, which would come with unpredictable political and economic risks. This means that negotiating a new UK relationship with Europe outside the EU Treaties, i.e. leaving the EU, would present similar difficulties as renegotiating membership terms while remaining a member of the EU. Therefore, there is not currently a compelling trade case for EU withdrawal.

2012eutrade

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