1/ I see Australia's former Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, had waded into the fray once more with another enlightened take in the Spectator.

Being Australian gives me a sense of responsibility here, so I'll wade through it so that you don't have to. https://www.spectator.co.uk/2019/03/no-deal-no-problem/
2/ "No Deal? No problem," opens Mr Abbott, before immediately listing just a tiny selection of the anticipated problems. Then straight to Hitler and Napoleon as he attempts to frame this not as a policy debate but as some challenge to Britain's manhood.

3/ "Perhaps some modest transition costs" to No-Deal concedes Mr Abbott.

Maybe he means the DExEU report saying compliance costs to business of new customs declarations alone will be £13bn p/a.

For a PM who doubled our national deficit, I guess that's "modest,"
4/ Here he argues the UK should have aimed for No-Deal from the start.

This is a a policy position, I suppose. It's not a good one, but it's a position. Not sure it's one that would have won the referendum, but that's unknowable and not my department anyway.
5/ So, based on the Australian experience of selling coal, gold and oil seeds to the EU from 25 days by ship away, all Britain would have to do to 'take No-Deal in its stride' is recognize all EU standards and violate the bedrock principle of the WTO: MFN treatment

6/ There is literally nothing accurate in this paragraph.

Even if the UK and EU signed an FTA tomorrow waiving all tariffs, there would still need to be significant documentary checks at EU/UK borders, including NI.

That's what you get at borders between two trading regimes.
7/ Australia does indeed do $70bn in annual trade with Europe. Of that, about half is our exports.

Let's see what that's comprised of.

Oh, fantastic. The only two of any significant size are gold and coal. Bulk commodities with 0% tariffs.

I hope all you Brits like mining.
8/ The EU's WTO Schedules (I see we love the WTO again, Mr Abbott. Welcome back!) do indeed keep tariffs in most products low.

However, as I have written elsewhere this is not universally true and there are products like beef and lamb where UK exporters face virtual lockout.
9/ On that subject, perhaps Mr Abbott recalls that when Australia (and others) suddenly faced trading with Europe without our imperial preferences (or "deal" as it were), we all freaked the hell out.
10/ Mr Abbott generously concedes hard borders are an inconvenience, but argues they are a surmountable one.

But if you're building a modern manufacturing supply chain or services hub, might you not decide to build it in an EU27 Member where you don't face that inconvenience?
11/ Mr Abbott's prescription for a smooth No-Deal:

1. Violate MFN by granting the EU tariff free access;
2. Recognize all EU standards (taking back control!)
3. Pray the EU reciprocates;
4. Introduce FoM;
5. Ignore how borders work.

Why didn't ya'll think of that?
12/ Mr Abbott argues the problem is fear.

I would argue it's people assuring the British public that there were no consequences to tearing up the world's most advanced trade arrangement with ones nearest neighbors, and rejecting any compromise which suggested there might be.
13/ I can only close with my thoughts from the last time Mr Abbott shared his views on this debate.
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