"Indeed. Last time I checked, the fastest growing economy in the world was Cote D'Ivoire, GDP 32 billion dollars."
Impressive. Isnt the EU still trying to make deals with China, India, the rest of the growing world?
"The empire is gone and, without it, there's no obligation on the commonwealth to trade with us except if our economic interests align."
The good news being that as soon as we voted leave the doom prophecy was proven wrong and people suddenly came asking for trade deals as soon as we are out. Including China if I remember right.
"One, if we want to trade with the EU all our exports there will have to conform with the European rules"
And anyone trading with them already does. But the rest (majority) wont have to. Reducing the number of rules and regulations on our own businesses. Hell the EU even dictates what can be called jam the nutters.
"Two, if we get rid of employment protections and things like environmental regulations and product safety, more fool us"
Things we did before and apparently provided a lot of the inspiration for the current rules.
" Three, if we leave the customs union we've just added a motherlode of red tape every time anyone wants to sell something to the single market."
And of course nobody outside the EU trades with them. Except all those that do. Even when the EU cant even agree on a trade deal (or take forever doing what they claim to be their competence).
"We already trade with those parts of the rest of the world that are prepared to trade with us and are worth trading with. The remainder are either protectionist in whole or in part (good luck selling services to India) or simply too small to bother with."
This is interesting as a comment. The EU cartel (that is what it is) imposes high tariffs because it is protectionist and so locks out countries which provide better or cheaper goods. While the remain campaign cried that food prices would rocket there was confusion as the prices would actually fall. By not imposing high tariffs to protect EU countries we could be better off by rejecting the cartel and protectionism.
"And, in any event, why would a country be desperate to sign a trade deal with the UK, population 60 million GDP less than 3 trillion, when it wouldn't with the EU, population 450 million GDP 13 trillion?"
Go ahead and ask them. The ones asking us for trade deals that it. Even offering us negotiators to help get us out of the EU sooner.