Liam Fox’s encomium to global free trade, delivered recently in Manchester, the original home of the idea (https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/sep/30/globalisation-poverty-corruption-free-trade-liam-fox), gives me an excuse to re-post this blog of mine from April this year, on the early Victorian version of the ideology, which Fox appears to have disinterred wholesale; and without having learned any of the practical lessons against it of the past 150 years. https://bernardjporter.com/2016/04/30/global-utopia/. Take a look.
He’s right, however, to regard the European single market as an intrinsically anti-globalising institution in many respects. Theoretically, a country delivered from its protectionist rules should be able to trade more ‘freely’ in the world. That’s my worry.
The Brexiteers are much more confident about UK’s competitive advantage than they should be, and exposure to a full blast of globalisation, in contrast to the theory, will probably be painful.