Roundup: Top advisor to Thatcher says Britain should walk away from EU now

(160703) -- LONDON, July 3, 2016 (Xinhua) -- People take part in a march against the outcome of the recent EU referendum, in London, Britain, July 2, 2016. Around 40,000 people attended the anti-Brexit march after a petition with 4 million signatures was submitted to the parliament, calling for a second referendum. (Xinhua)

People take part in a march against the outcome of the recent EU referendum, in London, Britain, July 2, 2016. (Xinhua)

LONDON, Aug. 6 (Xinhua) — The economic guru who acted as an advisor to former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher says new premier Theresa May should walk away “lock, stock and barrel” from the EU without negotiating an exit deal.

The new department set up by May to work out an exit strategy insisted Saturday that the mechanism for London and Brussels parting company will not be triggered before the end of this year.

The call by Professor Patrick Minford has won backing from one veteran Conservative politician, the Daily Express newspaper reported Saturday.

Former cabinet minister John Redwood MP supported the call for Britain to make a rapid exit from the EU.

He told the newspaper: “I don’t want our 10 billion pounds (13 billion U.S. dollars) annual contribution to Brussels to continue a moment longer than it has to.”

Minford, professor of applied economics at the University of Cardiff, said recent surveys showing a rise in growth in Britain were being “conveniently forgotten by doom-mongers”.

Minford said: “The reality is that the situation of ordinary households today has never been better: real disposable incomes are rising at more than 3 percent and employment levels are at a record.”

“Credit is easily available; and the Bank of England has (with the interest rate cut to 0.25 pct) made that easier still. The pound has dropped around 15 percent, as it usually does when the UK hits a bump in the road, and this represents a far bigger monetary stimulus than the Bank’s 0.25 percent cut in interest rates,” Minford said.

Minford welcomed progress by new International Trade Secretary Liam Fox for “getting off to a strong start in negotiating draft free trade agreements (FTAs) with countries around the world.”

“These countries will then lower their tariffs and trade barriers against us, and we ours against them,” suggested Minford.

“Once these high-visibility trade agreements are signed we should make sure we trade freely with all the rest of the world. Our ultimate aim should be to achieve unilateral free trade with all countries,” said Minford.

Describing the EU single market as highly protectionist, Minford claims it raises the prices of both food and manufactures by around 20 percent for UK consumers, adding: “When we leave the EU, protected prices will be replaced by world prices.”

He called on the “Ministry of Brexit” to withdraw Britain from Europe’s single market and move to unilateral free trade.

He said Theresa May should “save us all time and policy delays by simply walking away from the EU, lock, stock and barrel”.

A spokesman for the Department for Exiting the European Union said: “As the Prime Minister has previously said we will not trigger Article 50 before the end of 2016. We first want to have a UK-wide approach and clear objectives for negotiations settled. That’s the best way to get the best deal for Britain and make a success of Brexit.”

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