Sean O'Grady: What gruesome deal was behind this betrayal?
Thursday 03 December 2009
Like the tale of Cinderella's delicate glass slipper and the ugly sisters, the EU seems to have difficulty trying to find a policy on footwear that fits.
It would be no surprise at all to discover that the move is part of some gruesome and deeply obscure Brussels horse-trading. Such nationally self- interested manoeuvrings are nothing new, so we needn't be shocked. It is just a reminder that, while the EU is dedicated to the perfection of its single market, it rarely applies the same market zeal outside its borders.
Which brings us to the criminally neglected Doha world trade talks – almost a decade old now – and the danger, more potent than at any time since the Second World War, of a fresh wave of protectionism. The World Trade Organisation has listed hundreds of new protectionist measures – including selective state aid and bank finance returning "home", as well as the more familiar tariffs and quotas. Politicians find it hard to justify "helping foreign workers" at times of distress. Many US congressmen and women regard free trade as a sort of foreign aid.
Yet if – and it is an unrealistic "if" – the Doha Round were completed it would boost world growth by perhaps 1 or 2 per cent of world GDP, sufficient to repair much of the damage inflicted by the recession. Free trade is the first casualty of recession; about the best that can be said is that at least the EU didn't deliver free trade an even bigger kick in the teeth.
Presents unwrapped, turkey gobbled... it's time to relax
- 1 Exodus Gods and Kings casting controversy: Ridley Scott would never cast 'Mohammad so-and-so from such-and-such' in lead role
- 2 This letter from a reader explains why women can’t play football
- 3 'You should come to my house and eat cheeses with me': 4-year-old sends adorable love letter to girl at school
- 4 Scientists predict green energy revolution after incredible new graphene discoveries
- 5 Michael Buerk wishes he killed Jimmy Savile when he had the chance - by pushing him overboard a cruise ship
Black Friday 2014: Opening times for Asda, John Lewis, GAME, PC World and Argos
Sean Abbott: Messages of support flood in for bowler after death of Phil Hughes
Plebgate: Andrew Mitchell’s reputation in tatters as judge rules he used the word ‘pleb’
Dr Lam Hoe Yeoh: Voyeur doctor jailed for eight years after using network of hidden cameras to film patients, colleagues and friends on the toilet
'You should come to my house and eat cheeses with me': 4-year-old sends adorable love letter to girl at school
Ukip says babies born to immigrants in the UK should be classed as migrants – which would include Nigel Farage’s own children
Obama: The only people with the right to object to immigration are Native Americans
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
Ukip mocked after mistaking Westminster Cathedral – for a mosque
Sarah Vine criticises lesbian mother Jack Monroe: 'If she was unsure about her sexuality, she should have taken greater precautions'
iJobs Money & Business
£Attractive Package: Citifocus Ltd: Prestigious asset management house seeks a...
£Negotiable: Citifocus Ltd: This is a varied role focusing on the firm's mutua...
£90000 - £140000 per annum + benefits: h2 Recruit Ltd: Are you a high achievin...
£25000 - £37000 per annum + benefits: h2 Recruit Ltd: Are you seeking to furth...