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Candidate One:  Jeremy Hunt

  • According to Jeremy Hunt, Brexit deal can happen by end of September 2019He plans to keep the insurance policy already agreed by Theresa May and EU to avoid a hard Irish border after Brexit, and to maintain a close trading alliance between UK and EU in order to prevent border checks.  This sounds more like a tweak to Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement.  Anyways, whatever happens, the EU has said that they weren’t prepared to reopen discussions around the existing withdrawal agreement.
  • He agrees that 80% of the country voted for Brexit parties.  Hence, he has now suddenly become a Brexiteer! Once a remainer, always a remainer – the truth be told.
  • For Jeremy Hunt, additional 1.5% economic rate will give us an extra £20bn to spend. This is based on the US economic growth information.  According to him, the US is now growing twice the UK rate – about 3%, which if introduced into the UK economy will give the £20bn spend mentioned above. However, there are assumptions that this is very unlikely when tax rates have been cut. For instance, everything we currently produce in our economy is about £2.2tn a year.  1.5% of that is £3.3bn. If we increase this by 1.5%, we will get an extra £33bn of produce, given us £20bn in government revenue.  However, what he has failed to note is that the tax take is currently at 37% of GDP, while £20bn is 61% of the £33bn.
  • Mr Hunt has secured an extra 2obn a year, which he said was ‘the biggest single increase’.  Although, NHS won’t get this extra £20bn a year until 2023-24.  However, if we look at the increase percent until the date, which is 3.4%, this is lower than the post war average increase of 4.1%. 

Candidate 2: Boris Johnson

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  • As Mayor of London, Boris Johnson cuts crime by 20%, and plans to replicate this in his role as Prime Minister.  However, this percentage has been compared to the 26% fall in crime in the whole of England and Wales. It could also be argued that his 20% was part of a longer and wider trend across the country.
  • Boris believes that the Irish Border deal be removed from the withdrawal agreement and should form part of a separate negotiation discussion after Brexit. The EU has reiterated severally that they will not accept a withdrawal agreement without the backstop in it. Best of luck to Boris Johnson on this one!
  • He thinks it might be possible to agree General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) 24 paragraph 5B, as we Brexit that allows both UK and EU to continue to do a free trade deal. This will give them time to negotiate a permanent trade deal. As we’ve heard, this will only happen after a trade deal between UK and EU has been agreed in principle, and both UK and EU were happy to proceed with the Article 24. Also, Brexit negotiations can only go-ahead once issues such as the UK’s financial obligations etc are sorted. Furthermore, even with the Article 24, we would have only solved the taxes on imports (tariff issue).  It doesn’t resolve other blockades to trade such as: the standard product check, which requires UK to leave the single market.
  • Another one of Boris’s argument is that the EU has a substantial trade deal with the UK, which he feels they won’t be willing to jeopardise. Indeed, the EU had an overall trade excess in goods and services of £64bn with the UK in 2018. However, it is said that as a percentage of trade overall, the EU/UK trade is vital to the UK than to the EU.
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