LETTER: Associate with rising markets

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From recent WSCT letters, some still seem under the illusion that many jobs in Sussex rely on trading links with Europe - when many countries trade successfully via the World Trade Organisation (WTO), without political union.

The fact is that creeping EU regulations, such as the the Temporary Agency Work Directive and recent changes to VAT reporting, have made SMEs (Small to Medium Sized Enterprises) less competitive and thus more likely to lose us jobs.

On 4th Feb, the Telegraph reported that 79 per cent of businesses believe that the current level of regulation is harming our economy, whereas we need regulations, which suit the UK and which we can influence directly. For now we can’t negotiate (or influence) our own TAs with countries beyond the EU, but have to rely on the Brussels politburo to second-guess our interests, even though over 90 per cent of UK companies don’t even sell to the single market.

EU countries export around £50 billion pa net to us and clearly they would not want that to stop - if we moved to a Free Trade Agreement (FTA). Indeed, when the USSR broke up, trade agreements were established within a matter of weeks.

As the EU economic decline continues we need to associate ourselves increasingly more with rising markets beyond the EU, including many English-speaking countries.

The 6th largest economy in the world is big enough to look after itself and if Iceland can negotiate its own TA with China, then surely we can.

STUART ALDRIDGE

Two Mile Ash Road, Horsham