Daily Mail Commentary: Deal could guide our trading future

Daily Mail Commentary: Deal could guide our trading future

Daily Mail Commentary: Deal could guide our trading future

The UK joining a trading bloc of 11 countries with a combined population of 500 million and generating 13 per cent of global income should certainly be a cause for celebration.

Unless, of course, you’re such an antisocial remnant that bitterness has made you blind to, or even actively hostile to, any benefits Brexit might bring.

Listening to Labor and the BBC droning on yesterday, anyone might have thought our entry into the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership was a bad thing.

The gains would be small, they said. We’re giving more trade discounts than we’re getting back. Such a deal will never make up for what we have sacrificed in lost trade with Europe.

These people completely miss the point. They like to describe Brexit voters as inward-looking ‘Little Englanders’ but they can’t see that the world is changing around them.

Business Secretary Kemi Badenoch during the signing of British membership of the CPTPP

While the EU is eroding both economically and politically, smarter countries – including many in this partnership – are moving forward.

True, in the short term the deal is expected to increase national income by about 1 percent over the next ten years. But it still equates to £1.8bn a year in extra GDP and, if British business grabs the opportunity with both hands, could be much more.

More importantly, it sets a marker that post-Brexit Britain is looking outward to the wider world and is very open for business. It is a beginning, not an end.

Arch-Remainer Sir Tony Blair said yesterday that he wanted to reverse Brexit but that Britain was ‘on its knees’ and therefore ‘too weak’ to rejoin now.

Has he visited Europe recently? France in chaos, Germany in recession, the far right because of the EU’s failure to control immigration.

Why on earth would we want to submit ourselves to the rule of that decadent empire again?

A chink in the UK’s armour

Britain’s defense procurement has long been synonymous with waste, inefficiency and incompetence.

From rifles that don’t work when hot to fighter jets that can’t land on our aircraft carriers, it’s been an inglorious catalog of errors. Even when new kit or hardware works, it always arrives late and over budget.

So the Defense Select Committee’s scathing verdict that the procurement system is ‘broken’ is not entirely surprising. But it doesn’t matter.

Taxpayers are not getting value for money by aggregating telephone numbers for elements critical to the nation’s defense against a formidable array of global threats.

One of the key issues highlighted in yesterday’s report is the woeful lack of political direction. The average tenure of a defense procurement minister as of 2016 is nine months.

They rarely put their feet under the table rather than move on to pastures new. This must change.

Unless the government treats the procurement of necessary military equipment with the seriousness it deserves, nothing will improve. And the state’s defenses will continue to weaken.

With an average debt of more than £45,000 upon graduation, students deserve better than qualifications with little or no value in the world of work. So the Mail welcomes government plans to crack down on ‘rip-off’ university degrees.

As Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said: ‘Many young people are being sold a false dream.’ By exercising strict control over courses with high drop-out rates and poor employment prospects, he can begin to correct a cruel fraud that has long persisted.

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