Many Brexiteers don't want to be part of an economic bloc run from Brussels. Instead, some want to be part of TPP, an economic bloc run from New Zealand. What reasons have those Brexiteers given for wanting to join TPP (while being opposed to being an EU customs union member)?

Specifically, what does TPP do right that the EU customs union does wrong?


The obvious answer is that the European Union requires free movement of labor and the Trans-Pacific Partnership does not. Note that generally, the United Kingdom does want a free trade agreement with Europe. It's the free movement of labor clause of the European Union that has been the sticking point. A lot of the current negotiating between the UK and EU is over how trade will be managed going forward. In particular, the question of a customs union is critical.

See Wikipedia as an example source for reasons to leave.

  • 2
    That's an interesting answer. UK employers actually struggle to fill vacancies. – JJ for Transparency and Monica Oct 19 '18 at 1:05
  • Your answer doesn't make sense. Freedom of movement is a core part of a free trade deal, as companies need to move staff around and visas are non-tariff barriers. In other words the UK doesn't want a free trade deal, it wants a limited trade deal. – user Oct 19 '18 at 8:00
  • @user You can write visa rules that make it just as easy for a company to send a representative as a delivery of goods, but that isn't "free movement of labor". – Caleth Oct 19 '18 at 9:08

Brexiteers oppose free trade because it includes things they don't like.

For example, freedom of movement of workers. Companies need to move staff around and hire across borders, and having barriers like a strict visa system based on quotas or points creates a barrier to trade.

Another key aspect of a free trade deal is a customs union that removes customs barriers for goods. This requires both parties to agree to common customs rules for goods coming from outside the union, which is something they oppose with the EU customs union.

In other words Brexieers prefer a limited deal with barriers to restrict trade, for ideological reasons.

  • Most free-trade deals only specify goods and services, not labor. It's only the EU that is lumping goods, services, capital and labor together, and even then, they don't label the collection of those "free trade", but "freedom of movement" – Caleth Oct 19 '18 at 9:11
  • @Caleth that is incorrect, free trade deals typically include things like not needing a visa for short visits and a preferential system for permanent workers. In fact India has indicated that in order to do such a deal with the UK it would want freedom of movement rights to be included. What you describe is a basic trade deal that just removes tariffs and maybe agrees some common standards, the latter being something Brexiteers also don't want. – user Oct 19 '18 at 11:07
  • There's a big difference between visas that allow you to enter a country for the purpose of conducting trade and visas that allow you to settle, gain local employment, etc. Free movement of labor is the second kind. You are confusing it with a form of free movement of people – Caleth Oct 19 '18 at 11:12
  • @Caleth freedom of movement is what India is asking for. Companies want to be able to move staff around. They want them to be able to work in the other country, which requires a visa even if it is temporary. See the deal that the EU did with Canada for an example of a normal trade deal that isn't free trade because it only covers goods and some services. – user Oct 19 '18 at 11:29

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .