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Cheaper food and shoes after Brexit – MP

By Mark Andrews | Politics | Published:

Brexit will mean cheaper clothing, food and shoes, says an MP who played a prominent role in the campaign to leave the EU.

Owen Paterson

North Shropshire MP Owen Paterson crtiicised the negativity of some surrounding the EU negotiations, and said it was time the Government made people more aware of the exciting opportunities that Brexit will bring.

Mr Paterson said some families would see their household costs fall by a fifth as a result of being able to trade more freely with the rest of the world.

He said it would allow Britain to drop tariffs on goods made outside of the EU, such as clothing, and also make it easy to export to fast-growing economies outside the EU.

He said Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond – a vocal opponent of leaving the EU before the 2016 referendum – was failing to articulate the opportunities Brexit would present.

Earlier this week, Mr Hammond had said Brexit would only mean "very modest changes to the UK's relationship with the EU".

But Mr Paterson said Mr Hammond and the Treasury needed to be bolder in its post-Brexit ambitions.

"We want to embrace the advantages of leaving the customs union, and being able to trade around the world, so that (we're ready for) the very day that President Trump turns up, making it very clear he wants to do a lot more trade with us, and sees us as a big future partner and big ally on bodies like the World Trade Organisation.

"It was unfortunate that the Chancellor appeared to be transmitting that it was the standard Treasury view that this was all a nightmare, all a big mistake, and it should be minimised.

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"The problem is he is not articulating the tremendous, optimistic vision that some of us have of once we leave, and the benefits are often to our most disadvantaged people if we come out of the customs union and escape from the common external tariff, a lot of everyday products like clothing, footwear, and food will be coming down in price, for some people that represents 21 per cent of their average spend, now that's going to benefit every single family, right across the UK.

"What he didn't articulate was the really wonderful opportunities as the rest of the world grows so fast, the rest of the European Union itself is saying that growth is 90 per cent outside the European Union."

Mr Paterson said British exports to the European Union made up just 12 per cent of the country's GDP.

"The growth is going to be in exports to the rest of the world. This is not some pain to be got through and to be minimised, there are some real opportunities, we have the freedom to negotiate trade deals around the world and reduce cost burdens on our own industry and reduce costs for our hard-working families."

Mark Andrews

By Mark Andrews
@MAndrews_Star

Senior news writer for the Shropshire Star specialising in in-depth features and commentary, investigative reporting and political matters.

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