Why obscure trade measure is not the magic Brexit bullet Boris believes

Politics explained: What is Gatt 24 and why might its paragraph 5c dash the Tory leadership frontrunner’s plans for no-deal departure from the EU?

Andrew Woodcock
Political Editor
Saturday 13 July 2019 18:00
Boris Johnson gets grilled on Gatt 24 by Andrew Neil

Boris Johnson has come unstuck on one of the key elements of his Brexit plan, after being forced to admit he did not know the detail of trade rules which he claimed would allow the UK to avoid tariffs following a no-deal departure from the EU.

Gatt 24 – or more formally, Article 24 of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, signed by countries including the UK in 1948 – has been used as a trump card over the past three years by Brexiteers trying to play down the potential damage a no-deal Brexit could do to the UK.

They frequently claim that the provision would allow the UK and EU to continue trading goods on a zero-tariff basis for up to 10 years after Brexit, while a long-term free trade agreement (FTA) is negotiated.

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