LibertyWorks members caught up with Daniel Hannan when he briefly stopped over in Brisbane as part of a two week visit to Australia. Hannan was a key member of the official Brexit leave campaign and is the author of ‘Why Vote Leave’. He also has worked as a Journalist for the Daily Telegraph and the Spectator. In addition to his role in Brexit Daniel Hannan has used the power of the internet to spread the positive message of liberty and free trade to a global audience. He continues to be an articulate and ethical defence of liberty.
LibertyWorks members had the opportunity to ask Hannan about his thoughts on Brexit, the future for global trade the relation between Brexit and the election of Trump. From his answers it was obvious that he is passionate about the cause of global trade and the moral argument for it. He rightly pointed out that there hasn’t been a significant break through in trade negotiations since the late 90s and the Doha Round of World Trade Organisation negotiation. However, Hannan believes that the trade negotiations following Brexit could reinvigorate free trade by providing an example to the world.
When asked about the negotiations with the European Union Hannan said that the status quo is already free trade with Europe. Quoting Milton Friedman’s tyranny of the status quo, he said unlike in other trade negotiations where there are established vested interests in protection this is not the case between Britain and the EU. In this particular cases the vested interests will lobby to continue free trade. He believes that negotiations will almost write themselves and the real opportunity is in the trade deals that can be negotiated with the 175 other countries outside the EU.
Another interesting idea Hannan raised was that in his opinion free trade is more important than deregulation. He said that while Trump’s policies on deregulation are good this is outbalanced by the negative impacts of protectionists policies directed at Mexico and China. Hannan believes that deregulation will follow free trade, because, exposure to competition will lead to industry lobbying for less regulation in a bid too be more competitive, describing old regulations as abandoned Mayan temples. He also said that it’s not necessary to repeal exisiting regulations because innovation will make them obsolete and that it is only necessary to slow down or stop new regulations from being created. We’ve seen this in media industry where regulations that prevented a free market in radio and television have been obsolete by innovation.
In conclusion Daniel Hannan did not disappoint and proved to be an inspiration for everyone who was present. I suspect everyone in attendance felt empowered to go out and spread the positive message of liberty and free trade.
LibertyWorks would like to again thank Daniel Hannan for sharing his time with us on his short trip to Brisbane.