Leaving the EU and trade

We are a global trading nation, a G7 country, the world’s fifth largest economy. The UK is the fourth largest exporter of goods worldwide; the seventh largest manufacturing nation; a permanent member of the UN Security Council; a founder-member of the World Bank and the Commonwealth of Nations; one of the major players in NATO. English is the most widely-spoken business language and London the world’s leading international financial centre. Is it astonishing how many politicians claim we are ‘too small’ to go it alone. These blinkered doomsayers are not just unpatriotic, they are very, very wrong.


Prior to joining the EU, Britain struck her own trade deals and traded freely across the globe. We surrendered our trade negotiating rights when we signed up to what was then the EEC and vacated our seat on the World Trade Organisation (WTO). Britain has not negotiated a single trade deal since 1975 and, while we remain in the EU, we will never negotiate one again.

UKIP believes we can trade again, very successfully, by re-activating our seat at the World Trade Organisation, where we can negotiate as a full and independent member.


We do not have to be members of the EU in order to trade with the EU, or any other country. More than sixty non-EU countries have trade deals with the EU. In 2013, the top twenty of these, countries such as Switzerland, Norway, Hong Kong, Canada, Nigeria, Mexico and Australia, together exported goods and services worth €2.593 trillion to EU countries, according to the EU’s own figures, more than our entire economy in the same year.

Moreover, six of the top ten countries that export to the EU do not have a trade agreement with the EU at all: China, Russia, the USA, Japan, India and Brazil. Being in the EU is no guarantee of greater financial rewards than being out in terms of trade: non-EU Switzerland, with an economy one-quarter the size of ours, exports four and a half times more to the EU, per capita, than the UK does. The inconvenient truth for our Europhile political class is that political union offers no advantages to trade, although it may inhibit it. We export more to the USA – some £40 billion annually – than we do to either France or Germany, our largest EU markets, without having to become the fifty-first American state and without the free movement of people between our nations.


Once the UK leaves the EU, we, as a country, regain our ability to take back our vacant seat at the WTO and represent ourselves, negotiating our own trade agreements and advancing our own national trade interests. A first step would be to broker a bespoke UK-EU trade agreement, which we believe is desirable. This is what we will seek and without doubt achieve, possibly within a very short period of time. The UK has been a leader in international trade for centuries, long before the European Union. We will continue to trade internationally after Brexit, enjoying the rights inherent in the WTO’s ‘Most Favoured Nation’ principle. We will regain full autonomy at the World Customs Organisation, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and several of the UN’s constituent bodies – all of which have seen a steady erosion of our voting powers, as the EU has assumed primacy.

With over 100 other international organisations counting the UK as a full member, we will be in a very strong negotiating position when we leave the EU. Suggestions that the EU would refuse to negotiate a trade deal with Britain if we left the Union are nothing more than scaremongering. Britain is the Eurozone’s biggest export market worldwide, the Eurozone’s biggest supplier worldwide, and the country with which the Eurozone has the biggest trade surplus worldwide.

The truth is, the EU cannot afford to snub us: the EU actually needs us far more than we need the EU. It is time to free Britain from the shackles of the EU. We have a choice between a dying Europe and a vibrant, growing world; a choice between staying buried in the bureaucratic nightmare of Brussels, and resuming our proper place in the rest of the world. The common sense answer is to leave.

To read our full manifesto click here