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Free marketeers' plan for post-Brexit US trade deal is entirely ‘divorced from economic reality’

Global Justice Now says the plan, which includes auctioning off all of Britain’s public services, would be ‘very bad news for ordinary citizens’

A GROUP of right-wing free marketeers have drawn up a “model" post-Brexit trade deal with the United States which opponents warned will wreck Britain’s economy and lay waste to public services.

Among the proposed plans by the 11 think tanks today include opening a bidding auction for all of Britain’s public services.

The villains of the piece are the Initiative for Free Trade (IFT) and the US-based Cato Institute, with input from the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), the Adam Smith Institute, the Heritage Foundation, and the American Enterprise Institute (AEI).

Other proposals include no controls on the flow of personal online information across national borders, freedom for multinational corporations to invest where they want — effectively enabling them to take over vast sections of Britain’s economy and abolishing tariffs and regulations that protect standards of imported goods such as food and medicines.

Campaigners warn that the think tanks are hoping the Tory government will betray the people of the Britain by adopting the deal as its blueprint for trade when Britain leaves the European Union.

Eurosceptic Tory Euro-MEP Daniel Hannan has taken a leading role in promoting the document.

Social justice campaign group Global Justice Now said the proposed deal was “entirely divorced from economic reality.”

Global Justice Now director Nick Dearden said: “The measures supported in this paper represent a free trade utopia, entirely divorced from economic reality.

“The authors view good government as ‘getting out of the way’ of business, and letting profit drive every aspect of our society.

“The policies in this ‘deal’ are a recipe for bad food, NHS privatisation and financial deregulation.

“Whatever the claims made by the authors, be in no doubt that this would be a boon for big business, especially the big financial corporations that created the financial crash 10 years ago, but it would be very bad news indeed for ordinary citizens.”

He said that many right-wing economic think tanks were close to the government’s Trade Secretary Liam Fox, who has “near regal” powers over trade deals.

A Department for International Trade spokesman said: “We are committed to forging new trading relationships that create jobs, boost our vital industries and benefit people across the whole of the UK.

“We are currently seeking a wide range of views about four potential free trade agreements, including with the USA, and we encourage all interested organisations and members of the public to make their voices heard through our online consultations.”

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