James O'Brien Tells Brexiter Why Article 24 Is Not An Option

24 January 2019, 15:26

This caller insisted Article 24 could be the way we can solve the Brexit deadlock. But James O'Brien explained exactly why it's simply not an option.

The ERG has suggested that Article 24 of the WTO rules allows countries to follow the same trade rules as they previously enjoyed for 10 years - allowing for a smooth transition while we thrash out a trade deal.

The idea has been gaining traction among Brexiters, but James gave him an explanation of exactly what the article actually says.

Correcting Paul in Bristol, he said: "It's not part of the European Union, it's part of the international trade group that preceded the WTO. It's utterly irrelevant to Brexit. It's nonsense.

"Article 24 is part of GATT, which preceded the WTO and allows for two people who have a trading agreement, if they both mutually agree, to renegotiate that trading agreement and leave the current terms and conditions in place for the period of that negotiation, which should not be allowed to exceed 10 years.

"So who's going to agree to that?

James O'Brien in the LBC studio
James O'Brien in the LBC studio. Picture: LBC

"Nobody involved in the WTO recognises the description that the ERG are putting forward about what the WTO actually is.

"Pascal Lamy, the former head of the WTO, said that for us to do this is like going from the Premier League to the Fourth Division.

"This Article 24 thing is just another Brexit means Brexit. It's something that people who don't understand anything can say to people who do understand something in the hope of sounding balanced. As you've just proved."