In response to the Government paper on Brexit , UKIP Trade spokesman William Dartmouth MEP said: "A Cabinet Office report has examined several arrangements for trading outside the EU and claims that these alternatives would lead to higher tariffs than those faced by the UK as an EU member - and that such tariffs could be passed on to British consumers as higher prices.
"But the facts are the opposite of what this report suggests. On joining the then European Economic Community in 1973, the UK had to cancel pre-existing trade agreements that it enjoyed with the countries of the Commonwealth - which allowed the UK to enjoy low food prices. Their cancellation via EU membership forced the UK to apply the EU's Common External Tariff - and as a result, drastically raised UK food prices. Over the period 1973-2004, the price of flour in the UK rose 360%; sugar 650%; and butter 660%.
"So long as the UK is an EU member, British consumers cannot purchase goods at world prices. On BREXIT, as Professor Sir Patrick Minford has demonstrated in a simulation, there would be an almost immediate 8% reduction in the UK cost of living. This fact demolishes the Cabinet Office report's argument, which is probably why the report neglects to mention it.
"Leaving the EU would free up the roughly £190 billion per year that EU membership is costing the UK. Business for Britain has found that, without violating WTO rules, the UK Government could allocate the £7.4 billion needed to reimburse exporters for higher tariffs faced in the EU and other countries - and it could get that money by drawing from the net £11.3 billion 'membership fee' it would no longer owe to the EU.
"The Cabinet Office report seeks to condemn certain alternatives to EU membership while ignoring the strongest alternative: that the UK would have the clout to negotiate its own tailor-made trade relationships with the EU and the rest of the world, suiting the needs of its own economy.
"The UK has the fifth-largest economy in the world. It is the second-largest exporter of services in the world and the world's number one international financial centre. Switzerland, which is not in the EU, has an economy one-quarter the size of the UK's economy but exports to the EU roughly 4.5 times per head what the UK manages annually - and Switzerland has trade agreements with China and Japan, which the EU does not. Outside the EU, the UK can attain even more in international trade than Switzerland."