As the Tory leadership race heats up and the remaining candidates take their positions on Brexit – to deal or not to deal? – a Channel 4 clip from 2018 has resurfaced online, which talks about the consequences of crashing out of the European Union.
Helia Ebrahimi, Channel 4 News’ economics correspondent, appeared on the TV station on 14 December 2018 to discuss what could happen if the UK leaves without a deal once the deadline passes.
With Boris Johnson recently revealing that he intends to leave on 31 October, even if it means leaving without a deal, the clip has found its way on social media once more.
“From the very first day of a no-deal Brexit, all the basic legal rules that underpin huge parts of British society will simply cease to exist,” Ebrahimi started.
And this would be as far-reaching and profound as the planes in the sky, our visas, our medicines, our haulage.
Haulage: it sounds simple enough but we actually need permission to take British trucks in and out of Europe and if we crashed out we’d be limited to just three thousand trucks and I have to tell you Matt, that represents just five percent of our current journeys.
And what about Brexiteers' claim that the UK will be fine with World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules?
Ebrahimi disagrees. "WTO rules are hugely restrictive," she insisted at the time.
The WTO is a global club with pre-set tariffs and pre-set quotas. Take for example at the moment: cars. We have zero tariffs for cars going into Europe. Under WTO it would be 10 per cent.
For clothes and shoes at the moment we have zero tariffs, under WTO it would be 12 per cent.
And there are tariffs that are much higher: Some beef products attract a tariff of 90 per cent. And we’re just talking about tariffs here, we’re not talking about regulation.
The point here is: we can’t control how Europe treats us if we crash out.
What Brexiteers are not telling you here is that if we bring tariffs down to zero on European goods, under WTO rules we would have to apply that unilaterally and if we do that, the consequence is how are we going to strike these deals with places like Australia if we have nothing to bargain?
People are re-sharing the clip on Twitter as a stark reminder of the dangers of a no-deal Brexit.