Mrs Clegg tells us about Brexit - and gets it entirely wrong

One of the mystifications of the Brexit process is how many very clever people can end up believing things which are just simply not so. For example, Mrs. Clegg takes to The Guardian to tell us about negotiations over trade following our blessed exit:

It is easy to see why this government would be mesmerised by Legatum. It is keen on unilaterally removing tariffs and quotas on agriculture products (farmers, take note) in exchange for services agreements all over the world.

A lawyer should know the meaning of the word unilaterally. It means without being in exchange for something. We've no particular relationship with Legatum ourselves, although we obviously know them. And we too think that unilateral free trade is the way to go. As we did in 1846 with the Corn Laws. For imports are the purpose of trade, they're the very things that we conduct trade in order to gain access to. Taxing ourselves for the temerity to like Argentinian beef is simply ludicrous from the word go. Thus we shouldn't do it.

But it is worse than that:

The effect of this on food security and food prices was highlighted this week in a report published by the University of Sussex.

That's the report by Tim Lang et al which insists (no, not just assumes, insists) that we will have to impose "WTO tariffs" on food imports as we leave. This is to miss that there are no such things as WTO tariffs. What there are are maximum tariff levels that a WTO member may impose upon imports from another WTO member. Further, every WTO member is entirely at liberty to charge themselves anything they like less than these maximums. We did actually check this at source, Britain can indeed decide not to tax itself for access to French cheese. 

Lang's report insists that reversion to WTO terms means we must impose import tariffs, Lang is wrong. Given that it is this error which leads to his prediction of higher food prices Ms. Gonzalez Durantes is also wrong. Not that this is unusual in her circles as Mr. Clegg also suffers under the same delusion.

Brexit will not increase food prices, it will reduce them as we will be able to buy the best and cheapest food from the world, not have to cower behind the EU's protective barriers to trade.

What worries here of course is that these people, both Cleggs, Tim Lang and pals, various others, they insist that they are the Great and the Good who really know this stuff and we should just shut up and do as they say. The problem being that they're simply wrong, they believe things which ain't so.

 I have negotiated myself for the EU on many occasions on trade,

No wonder that EU trade system is such a crock, eh?