Molly has expressed surprise at the ‘muted’ response from Brexiters to the signing of an EU-Japan trade deal, named JEFTA. The agreement covers almost a third of the global economy and establishes one of the largest liberalized trade zones in the world. The deal will see most bilateral tariffs abolished, especially for Japanese cars and parts sold in the EU and for European wine and dairy products sold in Japan.
“Brexiters have been surprisingly muted over this EU-Japan deal. But surely a deal that sweeps away tariffs and creates one of the largest liberalised trade zones in the world should be music to the ears of these free market ideologues?
“Perhaps their silence is because they realise that the UK will be outside this trade deal post-Brexit and have to negotiate its own less favourable terms with Japan? Or could it be because they have woken up to the fact that Japanese car manufacturers like Honda and Nissan will suddenly find investment in the EU – with tariff free access – far preferable to investing in their UK plants?
“Perhaps the right interpretation of the JEFTA acronym for Brexit marketeers should be Jolly Envious of Full Trade Access.”
Molly Scott Cato has been critical of the EU-Japan deal which contains many controversial elements contained in similar trade deals such as TTIP and CETA. She said:
“There is a serious democratic deficit surrounding negotiations of EU trade deals, but this is nothing compared to Liam Fox’s proposals that parliament should not even get a vote. As an MEP, I will get to vote on JEFTA and am likely to oppose it for a variety of reasons, not least of which, the negative environmental impacts of increasing trade with Japan and the attempt to persuade the Japanese to adopt a more damaging diet.”