I'm going to skip out on attacking the waffle of Lord Rose. We've taken his tiresome propaganda apart before and the rest of our work speaks to his empty rhetoric. This comes under "Europhile says europhile things". What bothers us is the pathetic showing by both of the leave campaigns in response.
However, Vote Leave used research from Civitas to support its case. Civitas studied official trade statistics and said that Britain had recorded slower export growth than any of the other founding nations of Europe's single market. Michael Burrage, who wrote the report, said: "While the single market cannot be counted a success in export terms for the EU as a whole, for the UK it must be counted at the very least a massive disappointment, and not far short of a disaster."First off this gets us deep into Top Trumps territory, with each side soon to be firing off salvos of meaningless statistics, losing half of the public who don't know what trade figures really mean, don't really care and don't really know who to believe.
Vote Leave chief executive Matthew Elliott said: "The unquestioning mantra that the single market has been good for British trade is wrong and should be challenged as this research makes crystal clear."
Then to say that the single market is "not far short of disaster" is objectively insane. We've been in it for a long time, the worst of the transitional pain was over in the mid-nineties and an unmolested supply chain within Europe could not by any measure be viewed as a bad thing in our modern economy. As much as removal of tariffs is good, so is the harmonsiation of regulation and the removal of barriers to trade.
Our argument is that the EU stands in the way of more harmonisation and is an obstacle to growing such trading freedoms. Instead, Vote Leave apparently wants to send that process into reverse, which is exactly the same idiocy we complained about earlier today from Leave.eu.
Attacking the single market though, rules out any possibility of claiming you are selling a risk free soft-landing Brexit. Vote Leave is telling business to prepare for a single market exit right about the time when we have seen softened rhetoric from them; offering the nuanced view that Britain would not suffer greatly if single market membership were continued. This is lunacy.
Moreover, why is Matthew Elliott even speaking to this? His main skill is sweet-talking old men out of large amounts of money and hiring Toryboy interns to hand out helium balloons. What in gods name is Vote Leave doing letting the man out in public?
The BBC then notes that "Other opponents to EU membership also argue that the UK's trade position with the EU would not change much in the event of a vote to leave. "The Leave.eu organisation said "given that we buy more from the EU than it buys from us" the EU would be unlikely to change Britain's trade terms."
You know who makes that argument? Morons, that's who. That's the stock answer given by wafflers who don't know very much about EU trade when they're in a tight spot against more clued up europhiles. That is no basis for saying trade terms would not change. It is entirely dependent on the method of leaving - and by inference, their own dismal memery also implies leaving the single market - so yes, it monumentally changes the terms of trade.
From this, when the europhiles say eurosceptics want to turn back the clock and isolate ourselves, they are absolutely right. There are no prominent voices among the eurosceptics making any other case.
Since any exporters will have to conform to international standards, they are by default complying with EU rules and so there is no regulatory divergence to be had, nor is there any value in having different domestic codes since producers and suppliers of physical goods and vendors of digital services will opt for the highest available standards anyway - not least as part of their sales pitch.
We have been over this time and again with both of the Leave campaigns, and how crucial it is to understand that a single market is more than just a mere "free trade area" - which to their minds simply means zero tariffs. Regulation and standards are central to this debate - in that they are becoming ever more globalised without democratic oversight in a way even the EU is ill-equipped to tackle. Our campaign is not even on the right page. They are trapped in 1992.
In the end this vote comes down to voters making a choice between two products on display. One is what we have now and the relative safety and predictability that offers - or what the collective product of the Leave campaign is. What they are offering is risk, turmoil and no incentive - all on their rather vague assurance that it will probably be all right. Would you vote for that? Of course not.
Moreover, this is also complete insanity in that we are chasing a political impossibility. Our own civil servants would tell the government that something akin with the Norway Option is the only safe means of exit and that's all we're going to get if we do vote out. In effect the Leave campaign is demanding something that won't win the referendum and is not on offer under any realistic circumstances. Talk about snatching a defeat from the jaws of victory!
Given that both Leave campaigns have set course for the rocks, with Vote Leave being wholly malevolent and Leave.eu producing issue-illiterate gibberish, there is zero likelihood we can sell Brexit. The case for leaving will be taken apart in the crucible of public debate, after which we will be ridiculed. Once that happens, the vibe is impossible to recapture and we won't be able to shake the stench of failure. And though the British electorate make some questionable choices at times, they have shown a resolute wisdom in rejecting the politics of losers.