Daily Management Review

Wetherspoons Founder Says To Gain US-Style Immigration System, UK Should Accept WTO Tariffs


07/13/2017




In order to regain control of its borders and establish a new points-based immigration system akin to the U.S., Britain should be willing to accept "a few tariffs" under the World Trade Organization (WTO) rules, said the chairman of British pub chain J. D. Wetherspoon.
 
Compared to that under a deal with the European Union, paying international tariff rates would still leave British businesses in a better position, said Tim Martin, founder of the chain which employs some 37,000 people across the U.K., during a television interview.
 
Following the Brexit vote of June 23 last year, the U.K. is currently negotiating its split from the EU. According to think tank Civitas, if Britain fails to negotiate a deal with the E.U., it is estimated that U.K. businesses could face tariffs of £5.2 billion ($6.6 billion) per year on exports to the EU. Tariffs range from 32 percent on wine to 9.8 percent on cars under WTO rules.
 
Martin said that it was "quite possible" to pay "a few tariffs" even though he admitted that a free trade deal would be better.
 
"It doesn't amount to much under WTO rules – and still do better than deals with the EU," said Martin, who imports many of his drinks from exporters outside of the EU.
 
And something that Prime Minister Theresa May has advocated in her hard Brexit agenda – the migration policy – would also be able to be managed better by Britain by relinquishing the free trade deal the U.K. currently enjoys with the EU.
 
"It's the great fallacy at the very, very heart of pro-Euro thinking, which is that to have high immigration you need to have an undemocratic EU. You don't. Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, for example, all have much higher levels of immigration than the U.K., but it's controlled by their own parliament.
 
"(We need) a sensible American, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore one (policy), on a points-system.
 
'There are a lot of embarrassed economists'
 
The remainers, who had insisted that the U.K. economy would sink into recession in the wake of the Brexit vote, were also taken a dig at by Martin by calling them "ludicrously gloomy".
 
Following the Brexit vote, the overall economy has so far held up better than some analysts' expectations even though sterling was devalued by around 11 percent from $1.4878 to $1.3218 in the immediate aftermath, and has remained lower in the year since.
 
"There's a lot of nonsense being talked, a lot of embarrassed economists around there who think they can tell what the future's going to bring, but they can't."
 
(Source:www.cnbc.com) 






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