We are warned these days that we must be most careful about fake news. Indeed, that we must vigilantly fight back against the purveyors of it. What is meant is that anyone who states that Donald Trump might have a point must be mercilessly mocked and banished from public life, but the actual effect of taking the injunction seriously is that we will all end up exposing the usual political falsehoods.
Yea, even from former Cabinet Ministers. Such as this from Nicky Morgan:
Its consequences would be very dangerous: this would be an extremely perilous economic path. Leaving the EU with no deal means Britain would default to World Trade Organisation rules with our biggest trading partner. The resulting tariffs on imports and exports would raise prices for British consumers buying imported goods,
The problem with this is that reversion to WTO rules doesn't mean that Britain must impose import tariffs. That's fake news. If Ms Morgan knows that it is untrue then she's being economical with the actualite. If she doesn't know then she's remarkably ill informed on the subject she wishes to pontificate about.
This isn't unusual, Nick Clegg has been wandering around spreading the same fake news.
WTO terms means that there is a maximum tariff schedule that other people can charge against our exports. There's also a maximum that we're allowed to impose upon imports into the UK. But it is a maximum. We are entirely at liberty to impose any rate we like below those various maximums as long as the same product from different sources is equally treated. That includes imposing rates of 0%.
We did in fact go and check this at the source, the WTO itself in Geneva. We can move, as Patrick Minford has been saying we should, to unilateral free trade under WTO rules. There is absolutely no insistence whatsoever that we should or must impost import tariffs.
To claim that Britain must impose import tariffs is incorrect, it is not true, it is fake news. Yea even though we're told we must by an ex-Cabinet Minister who should know better.
A little offer to Ms. Morgan. If she'd care to tell us whether she's being economical or merely ill informed we will publish the answer she gives us.