30 Truths About Leaving on WTO Terms


The best way out of the current impasse over the draft Withdrawal Agreement with the EU

would be to accept President Tusk’s offer, made in March and repeated as recently as

October, of a Free Trade Agreement involving zero tariffs and including services – extended

to the whole UK. That would involve replacing the Irish Protocol in the draft agreement by

a commitment by Ireland, the EU and UK that they will retain an invisible border between

Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic, as all have pledged to do if there is no Withdrawal



As Donald Tusk rightly stated, this is the only potential agreement with the EU compatible

with the UK leaving the Single Market and Customs Union – as promised during the

referendum and in the Conservative manifesto pledge.


Such an agreement should be relatively simple to negotiate since we start even more closely

aligned – with zero tariffs and identical regulations – than Canada and the EU were when

they finished negotiating their Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement.

However, in case the EU refuse any substantive renegotiation of the draft agreement, the

government should simultaneously complete preparations for leaving without a withdrawal

agreement on WTO terms.


Ever since the referendum the Brexit-opposing media have been demonising what they call

“No Deal” but should be called WTO +++. The pluses of moving to WTO terms after 29th

March are explained in the following chapters: