Trade Wars (3000+ Words)

Welcome to the second post on the blog.

In this post I aim to cover:

Why leaving the EU is a process that includes a negotiation and not a fait accompli, as some believe.

  • Why it doesn’t make sense for the EU to apply tariffs to British exports.
  • The relative health of economies in Europe and UK
  • Predicted crash of the pound
  • Why common sense will prevail

Leaving the EU – The Process

The process for leaving the EU will take some time to execute but it doesn’t take long to read the treaty text that defines the process. A member state leaves the EU by invoking Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty

Here’s a screenshot of the whole thing (yes, that’s all of it):

Article 50 Text

Reading the words you can see that it clearly states that there will be a negotiation. Some claim however that there will be no negotiation as per the Article 50 text and the EU will simply tell us what deal is available, for us to either accept or decline.

Some also claim that UK representatives will not even be allowed to attend the ‘negotiations’ in which case the EU representatives presumably hold discussions with a row of empty chairs.

Rather than go over every word myself, there are numerous articles covering the specifics. Here’s one by Brexit Blogger euquestion:

Article 50 (the EU treaty clause that provides for states to withdraw from the Union):

Art 50.2 makes clear EU negotiates withdrawal with UK.

Art 50.4 – UK continues in EU during 2yrs BUT when EU council business covers UK’s withdrawal, UK leaves room (makes sense, we don’t expect EU to sit in on UK teams discussions on withdrawal process).

And referenced by other bloggers:

  • – Lucy Thomas, Business for New Europe corrected by blogger The Boiling Frog
  • – Bronwen Maddox in Prospect Magazine corrected by blogger The Brexit Door
  • – Fraser Nelson in the Telegraph corrected by blogger VoteToLeave
  • – Kinnock & various others corrected by blogger Lost Leonardo

The Negotiation

I am told that in the case of UK leaving the EU, that the EU will have ‘the whip hand’, and will tell the UK ‘what the deal is’ and that tariffs will be automatically applied to UK exports to the EU if we don’t accept.

Let’s tackle the first claim:

The EU will decide what the deal is and offer it on a take it or leave it basis.

fait accompli

For there to be no negotiation with the UK whatsoever, the EU would have to be in a position where it either wanted nothing from the UK as part of the deal, or it felt that it was in such an overwhelmingly strong position that it had to offer no concessions. I’m discounting a situation where the EU put together a package that perfectly matched our requirements and we simply accepted it as it had everything we want.

To understand why there would be a desire for accommodation on both sides, we need only examine some simple facts of economics. Firstly that international trade is not an activity that favours only one party and in an open trading situation, benefits accrue to both parties, certainly between advanced economies. There is also the fact that the EU’s own policies promote free and open trade with close neighbours.

One proponent of the EU ‘whip hand’ position has a blog post in which I can find statements supportive of this case, although I’m sure this was not the intention of the author.

In the article you can find a statement referencing ‘Mutual beneficial trade with the EU’. Reinforcing the point about trade being a benefit to both parties.

The post does highlight what is described as a fallacy, that ‘The EU will still trade with us after brexit because we buy more from them, than they from us, we are in a position of power.’ It’s not quite a fallacy, more a misunderstanding. As I am describing, a fair and equitable trade agreement will be reached because it is in the interests of both the UK and EU. More reasons for this shortly.

Any trade deal with the EU must address the question of Tariffs. A repeated claim is that:

The EU will do nothing but apply the tariff to British goods once we are outside the ‘Tariff wall’ and why would they do anything else.

For any who don’t know, a Tariff in this context is “a tax or duty to be paid on a particular class of imports or exports”. The European Union applies Tariffs across a raft of goods and services. You can look up rates for particular product types on the Taxation and Customs Union website if you are ever bored one evening.

As an example, I found that a 16% tariff applies to Third country imports of passenger vehicles of 10 persons or more. Clicking a link to the relevant regulation 2261/98 of 26 October 1998 took me to a 969 page document.

An extreme example perhaps but it shows what a nightmare it would be to have to a) pay tariffs of up to 16% on (in this case) passenger vehicle imports and b) have to wade through 900+ page documents to ensure compliance before trying to import vehicles into the EU.

Full application of tariffs depends on there being either no agreement to either limit them or maintain tariff free market access. There is a whole set of WTO rules that are pertinent here. That the EU is an RTW, Regional Trade Area, rules around MFN, Most Favoured Nation, Technical Barriers to Trade that need an MRA, Mutual Recognition Agreement etc. This post is not going to cover that in detail but I see that it was covered recently by The Brexit Door

I would like to ask the following question as I think it is key to understanding the dynamics of any trade negotiations following any Leave vote majority and commencement of Article 50 negotiations.

Can the EU impair the UK economy (via the allocation of Tariffs) with impunity?

My point here is that, although in relative terms the U.K. economy relies more on EU trade than the EU does on UK trade, applying tariffs will harm the UK’s economic performance and hence reduce our capacity to import EU goods and services. This in turn harms the EU economy, although not evenly as UK will import more goods from certain EU member states than others.

Hold the answer in mind anyway and let’s see what the EU’s own treaty articles say about subjects related to trade policy.

Links to the Treaty articles on international relations, diplomacy, the EU’s own neighbour policy:

Articles 3.5, 8, 21.2 which commit the EU to maintaining good international / neighbourly relations based on co-operation.

EUPeons view: No. None of that. Not happening. At all. Ever.

The fact is, the UK offers a lot to the EU that they would want to retain access to after Brexit that is not related to trade. Collaboration and funding of science, security (Royal Navy ships were described as the EU Navy as far back as 2012 and there is an EU Website which describes the ‘EU Naval Force’) and taking a few more statements from the blog I referenced earlier:

“good sign of rebalancing global economies and continuing world progress and harmonisation.”

What do most Brexiteers say about looking outward to the world… They’re like a broken record!

“We in the West have had it our way far too long, while whole continents suffered in poverty to feed our greed.”

Brexiteers want UK to take its place in the world as a free trading, wealth generating partner, competitor, ally, etc.

Now, remind me again who sits behind a tariff wall designed to make others’ goods more expensive and internal producers protected from global competition? Just read about Africa.

Quoting from euquestion blog again:

“Having brought catastrophe to the UK’s fishing waters, the EU’s predatory fishing practices are also devastating the African fishing economy, causing mass economic migration from West Africa to Europe. Similarly, the EU’s trade policy is severely impacting Africa’s agriculture and their ability to develop their economies. In Oct 2014 the EU imposed a tariffs on Kenyan cut flowers to “persuade” a reluctant Kenyan government to sign the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) trade deal, which means underdeveloped East African economies have to try to compete directly with Germany.”

I’m not suggesting BTW that UK opens itself so completely that it is a global race to the bottom. Our heavy industries have suffered hugely due to globalisation and we haven’t a hope to compete in labour intensive activities in all sectors though our car manufactures, albeit foreign owned do very well. Nissan Sunderland acknowledged to be Europe’s most productive car plant and astonishingly, I read recently that it makes more cars than Italy

Overall UK is still a big player in manufacturing, the 11th largest manufacturing nation in the world.

Our services do quite well also. Discussing Brexit with a colleague recently he made the incorrect statement that we don’t manufacture anything any more (see above). I asked him where he thought UK stood as a provider of services. He guessed 25th place. When I told him that the UK was the world #2 in provision of services he nearly fell of his chair. That’s without there ever having been a complete single market in services within the EU. Maybe I need to look up tariffs in services!

Side note: who is the single biggest services provide in the EU & why is the single market in Services not complete? #Influence

Back to the negotiation, presuming the British delegation is not the aforementioned row of empty chairs.

To recap: As we have stated, Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty defines a period of… Negotiation. Quelle surprise, Mon ami!

Now, that may end up being two years spent sitting across the table from a stony faced Frenchman with his arms crossed, who repeatedly advises you that the tariff is the tariff and there’s nothing else to say. At least you’d get to drink some coffee and eat some nice pâtisseries et macarons etc.

Empty Chairs Small 24204696032_a798910212_z
EU Negotiations?

This is a key area that causes confusion because some people have the idea that the ‘negotiation’ is simply the EU working out what you can have and just telling you and that this is what is intended by the wording of the treaty article.

This is based on confusion about the leaving party not being part of the commission’s ‘discussions’. In reality it simply means you can’t sit on their side of the table and you can’t join the room when they want to discuss things among themselves. Not complicated really.

So why would the EU negotiate in good faith? Consider the statement from the blog post we are referencing:

“The next time a kipper tells you the EU’s economy is shrinking remind them only Finland and Greece have that problem. The rest are growing fine”

I might pick on the ‘growing fine’ comment because growth has to exceed inflation to be positive in real terms. However, as the EU (generally I think or maybe just the Eurozone) is in deflation that might not be an issue.

Lets look at the growth figures:

Source: World Bank

All growing fine yes of course nothing to see. Remember that certain economies will be contributing more to that growth than others, so it is not distributed evenly.

Now, moving on: ‘UK in no position to preach.’

Agreed but it is not about preaching. I’ll be totally honest about the UK economy… It’s crap. Huge deficit and a debt mountain, poor productivity, debt and property boom fueled ‘growth’.

So when our blogging friend puts out graphs of UK sovereign debt with a sword above it, it’s predictably horrific. I don’t disagree, never do. Why would I as I’m not in the habit of embellishing or lying.

However: UK Sovereign debt is not unique in Europe:


Do you notice who sits next to the UK in the debt table. Yes our great friends France.

The author of the blog just happens to live in France but only ever draws attention to UK national debt. He did this before starting to complain about loss of value of the pound.

Predicted crash of the pound.

This is a prediction I have relayed to me frequently now the referendum date is fixed. This is an area where I can only presume EUpeons of all stripes are blinded by the success of their 17 year old currency.

I make the same point each time. A nation’s currency (in a floating fiat currency system at least) should reflect: Currency trader’s confidence in the productive capacity of the nation, confidence in the sitting government to manage the state’s finances successfully and the risk of the nation defaulting on debts and/or devaluing its currency. Also other factors such as the level and likelihood of high(er) inflation.

So. The level of the UK pound will be set by the market, which is of course a tough master.

IT should be remembered that artificially supported currencies allow governments to borrow too cheaply and overspend. Remind you of anyone… Greece maybe?

So I maintain that in the longer term, a true reflection of the value of the pound is a good thing (providing short term volatility can be managed and the whole of the UK economy doesn’t collapse of course).  Basically a floating currency (generally) keeps a government more honest and constrains excessive borrowing (I know, I know).

When the pound dropped out of the ERM (Exchange Rate Mechanism) in 1992 after being pegged artificially (and too high) against the mighty Deutsch mark, the U.K. Economy recovered nicely, leading to the event becoming known as White Wednesday.  No guarantees of that being repeated in current circumstances of course and the dynamics of the world economy have changed somewhat.

So, problems all around, UK economy not looking great but neither does the EU27 (as I might now refer to the remaining member states after Brexit if it happens) particularly if you include unemployment levels, especially youth unemployment . Any conclusion we can draw?

YES. Who wants to impair the economy of either the UK or the EU by unreasonable trade conditions after Brexit?

The truth is, neither party can afford it.

One last point. A particularly rich piece of irony.

I again quote from the blog post I have been referring to: “Not trade that exploits their natural resources and dumps unwanted manufactured goods”

Substitute agriculture products for manufactured goods in the quoted text and who could we talking about? Yes, our friendly supranational state in the making who dumps subsidised food on the world market harming developing nations, particularly Africa. (See earlier references)

Another Gem. (It’s really worth reading the whole of his blog and I am by no means stating that all of it is wrong. Here’s the link again if you need it.)

“EEA countries follow EU rules, pay for the privilege, and don’t vote for any of it.”  Oh dear, a variation on the ‘Still pay, no say’ fallacy.

Well here is one of my absolute favourite blog posts, along with the text that I quote when I (frequently) post it on Twitter:

Norway, “Has more power than any member state”

Also a post from White Wednesday’s blog (named after the ERM lucky escape mentioned above) about Norway’s position, rebuttal and list of links at the end.


This is a variation on ‘we buy more from them than they buy from us’.
The deficit (difference) in goods and services in favour of the EU is not really the figure we need to be looking at.
The important figure is actually UK sales into Europe. The £230 billion of goods and services to other EU member states Source HoC Briefing Paper, In brief: UK-EU economic relations.
Now picture the damage done to the U.K. Economy by the application of the aforementioned tariffs. So what if applying tariffs damages UK economy, that doesn’t harm EU member states’ economies, you may think, if you haven’t thought about it at all.
Picture the impairment to the EU’s ‘biggest customer’.  Add in apocalyptic warnings about trucks backing up the M20 because we don’t have a formalised goods inspection regime (Mutual Recognition Agreement) which means goods need to be inspected on entry to the EU (actually the EEA). Mountains of ‘paperwork’, delays, costs etc.  Those delays will impact shipments both ways, basically the whole system could, in extremis, snarl up completely!
We are talking about incalculable damage to the British economy. Therefore we are talking about significant damage to the £289 Billion (~365 Billion Euro) of sales that the EU member states make to the UK.
No one can afford to have a recession caused by intransigence on the part of the EU, so talk of a take it or leave it deal that the UK may ultimately reject, is nonsense of the highest order.  Using an analogy that is often used by EUpeons… Why would the EU shoot itself in the foot in such a way?
With the fragile state of economies across Europe including UK, I believe this is the compelling reason that the EU and UK will come to a comprehensive agreement on trade and the U.K. will not fail to agree a deal and revert to WTO default arrangements with all the dire consequences that entails.
As to the exact nature of the trade agreement? Well that’s a different discussion. The options are spelled out in the only comprehensive plan for Brexit, see Flexcit on the Leave Alliance site.

That’s all.

Hopefully the information provided here can prompt some thought about how UK and Europe can come to an accommodation to the benefit of both parties following Brexit because it is certainly required.

Lastly, I’d like to thank Brexit blogger Paul Reynolds at the euquestion blog, (Twitter @paulrey99) for supplying many of the links and images used in this blog post. Also thanks to the bloggers who I have linked to for other material.

Thank you for reading.

8 thoughts on “Trade Wars (3000+ Words)

  1. And the prize for quoting other bloggers out of context goes to…

    Milton Friedman famously said:”No such thing as a free lunch”

    Kippers and associated Tory Eurosceptics like to think they can get ‘for free’ what prior to a possible brexit the UK paid for, what indeed Norway and Switzerland pay for just as much per head of their much smaller population. The indirect damage that the EU’s common external tariff (automatically imposed so it would seem after a brexit) would do to the UK economy is a new and novel excuse I have not come across before. But it has its roots in the same fallacy that all marriages are amicable and warring spouses always put the interest of their kids first. Can you imagine the stink caused in the Netherlands, if the Brits got for free what the Dutch pay for in hard earned Euros?

    In the words of that kipper economic genius Ruth Lea: “They’ll trade alright” but boy, will we make the UK squirm. (I’m Dutch by the way, not French as kippers presume)

    And bet your sweet bottom dollar that the contribution the UK will be made to pay won’t be much below that of Norway or the Swiss. The EU has absolutely no incentive to encourage the next defection after Britain. After all according to Article 50 it only has to be ‘fair’ and treating the UK under Most Favorited Nation rules sounds imminently fair. And the funny thing is that the UK can’t retaliate: a) it would go against the principles of ‘free trade’ we get bored to death with in this blog and b) unless with brexit UK also proposes to leave the World Trade Organisation, WTO rules forbid it.

    UK after brexit will be caught between a EU rock and a global hard place. Make no mistake.


    1. “No such thing as a free lunch”

      Who’s asking for a free lunch? There’ll be a price for both sides to pay. Like many that argue against Brexit, you’re arguing a point no-one is making.

      The idea that the EU will churlishly punish the UK is baffling. As is the notion that the UK would expect some special status above that of the likes of Norway or Switzerland. And whether the break-up is amicable or not, it’s the end results that matter not whether we were fluffy to each other while it took place.

      UK imports from the EU equate to something between 7 and 8 million EU jobs. Frankie and Mutti could not easily get away with instigating paying that price, particularly as the larger chunk of those losses will be in their own countries.

      Pragmatism will win out.


  2. Firstly, thanks for the comment. Good, bad or indifferent it’s a range of views being aired that allows us all to increase our understanding of the issues and the range of possible outcomes.
    Many of your points however are leveling criticism at claims that I didn’t make. As we know each other via Twitter, I’m a little surprised at this but then you have attacked a post that in your words ‘Kippers and associated Tory Eurosceptics’ might have made rather than the content of my actual post.

    Anyway, here’s a response on each of the points you raise in your comment.

    >get ‘for free’ what prior to a possible brexit the UK paid for, what indeed Norway and Switzerland pay for just as much per head of their much smaller population.

    I’m well aware that market access attracts a cost and I didn’t claim once that UK wouldn’t pay and I don’t claim that at all. If payments were the same as Norway/Switzerland they might be less than the UK currently pays but that that would be subject to the negotiations that I refer to in the post.

    >The indirect damage that the EU’s common external tariffs, automatically imposed

    Automatically imposed if there is no agreement to limit/eliminate tariffs. Not by any means a given.

    > after a brexit, (the harm the external tariff) would do to the UK economy is a new and novel excuse I have not heard before.

    Just read the post again, it’s quite clear. Trade benefits both partners in modern advanced economies and as you know and I refer to in the post, it is not just an issue of tariffs.

    >But it has its roots in the same fallacy that all marriages are amicable and warring spouses always put the interest of the kids first

    Normalised international relations are what is required to end this ‘EU is a marriage’ nonsense. EU, from the British perspective at least is not about emotion. A disconnect that has led to the UK misreading our dealings with the EC/EEC/EU from before we even joined.
    But regardless, it is more about not holding a collective foot shooting at a time when economies are delicate. That’s actually the self interest argument.

    >Can you imagine the stink caused in Holland if the Brits got for free what the Dutch pay for in hard earned Euros?

    As stated above, payments would be subject to negotiation but I completely agree that payments would very likely be required.

    >In the words of that kipper economic genius Ruth Lea: “They’ll trade alright” but boy will we make the UK squirm.

    That’s the negotiation part. Of course there will be some hard ball played, wouldn’t expect anything else. If you think the EU gets nothing from its relationship with UK then of course UK has zero leverage and you are right.

    I knew you were not French but I’m guessing that comment is for the benefit of others. I’m Welsh by the way, not English as many EU supporters assume.

    >And bet your sweet bottom dollar that the contribution the UK will be made to pay won’t be much below that of Norway or the Swiss.

    Actual Market Access is a modest amount, look up EFTA budget that runs to just a few million. It is the payments toward the other programs and the direct grants that add up. UK should have no issues continuing to fund programs from which it receives benefits but discretionary payments would be subject to negotiation. This is the ‘cost’ of market access and of course EU will want to extract as much from the UK as possible.

    >The EU has absolutely no incentive to encourage the next defection. After all it only has to be fair and treating the UK under Most Favoured* (typo corrected) Nation rules sounds imminently fair.

    The EU certainly is interested in making it look like UK has not got a favourable deal. That could be as little as painting the picture that the UK ‘has gained nothing’ from leaving.

    >And the funny thing is that the UK can’t retaliate: a) it would go against the principles of ‘free trade’ we get bored to death with in this blog and b) unless with brexit UK also proposes to leave the World Trade Organisation WTO rules forbid it.

    Yes, know all of that and again, I make no claims to the contrary. I of course acknowledge that it is a point that many brexit supporters don’t understand.

    >UK after brexit will be caught between a EU rock and a global hard place.

    There are other mechanisms to prevent application of Tariffs under WTO non-discrimination rules if it comes to it. In terms of MRA for conformity inspection.. Ask yourself this: how ideally placed is UK to maintain concurrence of the current inspection regime, giving no serious obstacle to current arrangements being carried over? (This is required to prevent the ‘lorries backing up the M20′ scenario) I don’t believe UK would impose such restrictions on EU sourced goods but in theory, an MRA is Mutual so agreement needed by both sides. If it comes to this (and your scenario implies that it might) then the situation from an international relations perspective is dire. Don’t forget, the EU doesn’t operate in a vacuum and the world would be watching.

    Finally, I will never claim to have all the answers but this is a discussion worth having. Putting the thought process into writing my post was worth it for me. As per your response, it wasn’t clear that you were responding specifically to my points but just generally to the idea that the UK can ‘get something for free’ that other EU members can’t, even though I’m not claiming this. You might also want to bear in mind that ‘special’ opt outs made for the UK have in the past been clarified as not being available to all Member States. The UK is widely recognised as being a special/awkward/reluctant (insert favoured term) member of the EU and that could well be reflected in terms agreed upon its leaving, should it happen.


  3. I only want to dig deeper into one comment you made otherwise this gets tedious. You and many kippers ( I use the term widely for self harming Eurosceptics) keep hammering on this fruitless point that some sort of trade deal will be made that goes well beyond the Norway, the Swiss and the so called WTO option. Here you say again: “That’s actually the self interest argument.”

    I just keep pointing out ad nauseam that the UK has no bargaining chip in this particular negotiation. The fact UK buys more from EU, apart from being wrong in percentage terms) is not under threat, so it’s worth nothing as a bargaining point. For EU car manufacturers on #brexit nothing will change. They’re not leaving a customs union and the EU does not levy tariffs on exports that go outside the EU.

    So the only way the trade deficit might become a bargaining point is if in retaliation the UK would threaten to create these new punitative import tariffs ( in which case I imagine the EU would take you to the WTO arbitration court) or British consumers spontaneously would have to start ‘buying British’, which in my opinion would be a good thing and help restore some balance in your abysmal current account. The other way would be to take exporting more serious, start exporting more goods and services to EU rather than pound notes.

    So think about this for one minute longer. You’ve just left the biggest trade block on your doorstep and the first thing you do is start the negotiations by threatening a trade war? When you say you’re leaving because you want ‘free trade with the world’? That really isn’t a coherent position and the EU would just shrug it off and sit tight on WTO agreements IMHO.


    1. >trade deal will be made that goes well beyond the Norway, the Swiss and the so called WTO option.

      I don’t subscribe to that. A ‘better deal’ is one that is relatively neutral but delivers a UK absent EU membership.

      >Here you say again: “That’s actually the self interest argument.”

      That is intended to mean that it is in the interest of both parties not to have trade disrupted. If you go full apocalyptic with no MRA, ROO agreement reached then that indeed harms both parties directly.

      >.. first thing you do is start the negotiations by threatening a trade war?

      Who wants to start a trade war? Not me certainly and again I don’t suggest it. The whole tenor of the post is to stress the mutual interest angle.

      >When you say you’re leaving because you want ‘free trade with the world’?

      That was simply referring to the UK retaking its ‘normal’ place in the world.

      >That really isn’t a coherent position and the EU would just shrug it off and sit tight on WTO agreements IMHO.

      I honestly think it is simplistic to think that EU will just ‘shrug and revert to WTO agreements’. It would be seen as a massive diplomatic failure if the EU appeared unwilling to negotiate a mutually advantageous deal with the large economic entity that sits just 21 miles off its shoreline. It might also be seen as a snub to the democratic choice expressed by the British people. As long as UK wasn’t making onerous demands and the EU could extract it’s pound of flesh, there’s plenty of scope for a deal.


  4. Alan this is just like on Twitter, you want to have the last word? But if you add nothing new to the discussion it’s pointless. I repeat one more time: The UK has no bargaining chips after a brexit. the tariff on UK exports to EU is automatic and self inflicted. UK can’t retaliate because of WTO rules. Don’t expect sympathy just because UK wants to shoot itself in the foot.


    1. The medium is irrelevant. I simply responded to your comment.

      You avoid the point I have made about the behaviour of the EU and the likely desire to avoid interrupting trade. I have not once claimed that the UK has some supposed ‘bargaining chip’. I have not claimed once that UK can retaliate.

      It seems you want to have an argument about points I haven’t made.


    2. Thinking about the comments you have been making. Is it the title of the post that is making you think I believe UK could retaliate via selective application of Tariffs? After various Twitter conversations that we have had it should be clear that I know this is not the case, based on WTO MFN rules.
      If the post title is misleading, I can change it but the content is intended to show why there would be Article 50 negotiations leading to an agreement to continue to provide tariff free access. The post doesn’t explore the specific nature of the deal as that was not the subject but the reference to Flexcit near the end of the post gives a clue.
      As you will know if you are familiar with Flexcit it is not prescriptive on a fixed outcome over Trade. It’s not possible to be (except actually for the plain WTO option) as any agreement with the EU is subject to negotiation.

      I give reasons why there will be a negotiation, from continuance of payments toward EU programs, replacement of contributions with voluntary grants, security (Military) cooperation and importantly to avoid impact on fragile economies on both sides. I have also added in my comment responses the diplomatic impact of EU intransigence on its image as a force for bringing peace, advancing global cooperation and promoting free trade for mutual benefit.

      However, you ignore any point that doesn’t relate to the WTO non discrimination rule.

      If that is based on a misunderstanding due to the title of the post then fine but hopefully now clarified. If it is a simple line of attack that you want to make based on the ‘usual kipper shouting’ to use your terms then it is indeed tedious as you aver in a previous comment.


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