The UK's proposals for a trade deal with the EU include stamping the words 'Made in Britain' on car parts from Japan or South Korea, a move about as honest as the rest of the Leave campaign.
According to the Independent, the idea is one way the government is considering side-stepping the heavy trade tariffs that could hit car companies in the UK, including Nissan and Toyota.
The documentation proposes that if a product is assembled in the UK -- even if all the pieces were manufactured abroad -- they should be exempt from tariffs in the same way the government is hoping goods made here will continue to be. This would apply not only to cars but also other manufactured products and even food.
If you need an analogy, this is basically me putting together a flatpack chest of drawers from Ikea and pretending I manufactured the whole thing. It's not so bad when you're passing Deliveroo food off as your own, but it's not the kind of behaviour you expect from an entire country.
As you might expect, trade discussions between the UK and EU are not going well, with the most recent talks breaking up early even though we don't actually have much time left to sort this mess out. The UK has been accused of "effectively asking the EU for the benefits of a customs union," which is a bit of an about-face from TAKING BACK CONTROL and GOING IT ALONE and all that bobbins.
Economist Dr Peter Holmes explains:
"What the UK government is seeking from the EU on rules of origin is unprecedented.
To the average Brexit supporter this approach may sound ridiculous and not part of any deal they voted for, but without it Japanese car plants risk facing 10 per cent tariffs on cars made in the UK if they use engines, gearboxes or other components made in Japan."
Current rules state that parts from the UK or EU must make up a minimum of 55 per cent of the finished product's value to qualify for a tariff reduction. The car industry was worth £18 billion and hundreds of thousands of jobs to this country's economy in '18, so it's definitely not a big deal if we ruin it by ballsing up a trade deal at the last minute. Nope. Not at all. [Independent]