Monday, 12 September 2011

DOHA talks - The EU actually stifles free trade and hurts our economy

The text of my speech given earlier this evening in Strasbourg

The Commission states that one of its priorities is the cutting of tariffs in order to create new trade flows.

But what about non-tariff barriers to trade?

Quotas are barriers to free trade. The Commission sets quotas on fishing for example. However, when certain member states ignore those quotas, then they become barriers to trade for law abiding communities.

Import licensing requirements can be barriers to trade. European companies seeking to import from outside the EU may have to comply with licensing requirements as well as paying tariffs set by the Commission.

Some of those imports may be from third party states with which a nation has strong historic and cultural ties.

I am sure that many developing nations would benefit from the chance to trade more freely with Great Britain without being hampered by EU red tape and tariffs.

The Anti dumping policies so beloved by the Commission can themselves be barriers to free trade when they are cynically used to protect inefficient domestic producers from foreign competitors at the expense of the general public.
Anti-dumping laws can stifle consumer choice, and violate the rights of producers to enter into contracts freely.
Laws and regulations are necessary. However I just gave you 3 examples of how EU legislation actually stifles free-trade within its own borders. Should a political union that regularly has to bail out its own uncompetitive and bankrupt states really be advising the WTO on how to stimulate trade in developing nations?