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Welcome to the Free Trade League website.

Founded in 1905

The League was founded in 1905 to fight resurgent protectionism led from Birmingham by Joseph Chamberlain.

Fighting Protectionism

Since the end of the 1939-45 war, it fought hard against the severe protectionism that then crippled British trade and industry. The whole scene was then changed by Britain's entry into the Common Market. This imposed protection on food for the first time since the hated Corn Laws were abolished in the 1840's. It also meant that control of trade policy was handed over by Government and Parliament to the politicians and bureaucrats of Brussels.

 

"Free Trade benefits all but gives advantage to none."

Now that roughly half British voters wish to leave the European Union, as the Common Market had become, British politicians have yet to chart what kind of economy they believe the UK should have post-Brexit and there is a risk that many will turn to seeking “protection” for favoured industries with tariffs, quotas and regulatory obstacles to imports just as the EU did.

The House of Commons Chamber where we hope that 60 percent of Britain's laws, including Britain's Trade policy will again be made rather than in Brussels.

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