Boris Johnson’s biggest lie about Europe is finally coming home to roost | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED X-Frame-Options: DENY X-Frame-Options: SAMEORIGIN

Boris Johnson’s biggest lie about Europe is finally coming home to roost

It was the big Brexit lie. No, not the £350m a week to spend on the NHS or the “bonfire” of red tape. The lie was that the shambles now enveloping British trade with Europe was an unavoidable price worth paying to leave the EU. That was rubbish.

In order to further his chances of becoming Tory leader Boris Johnson made two commitments. One was to resign from the EU, the other was to depart Europe’s customs union and single market, aspects of which embrace other non-EU states such as Norway. The second decision was an almost casual gesture to make him look macho to the party’s hardline Brexiters. It was not put to referendum and was beyond stupid.

No news item today is free of the consequences. Earlier this year, the effects of leaving the single market could be seen in plummeting trade with the continent, even accounting for the pandemic. Additional red tape is awesome. HMRC estimates traders will be handling 215m more import/export documents a year, at an estimated bureaucratic cost of £7.5bn a year. Tariffs may not apply but rules of origin and health standards do. Every truck, every cargo requires inspection.

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