Most free traders in Britain wish to see Free Trade re-established in Britain, not to impose freedom on protectionist countries such as France. Their first aim has therefore been to see the independence of this country restored.
Only if we achieve that, can import duties and subsidies to vested interests be removed completely.
These are burdens on the British people because:
1. Britons have to pay the additional taxes and the prices of food, goods and in some cases services.
2. They divert British investment into activities which would not exist without subsidy or tariff barriers, at the expense of investment in naturally profitable businesses.
3. They stop the restoration of Britain as the world's market place.
The immediate battle
The cat is out of the bag. The proposed new EU Lisbon Treaty (aka as the previously rejected EU Constitution) will describe the EU as being based on a "social market economy" (as against the wording of a "free market economy" in previous treaties).
This switch pays homage to the appealing concept that the state can "protect" jobs. In truth all state action can do is to delay the inevitable, but at the expense of making the change when it comes ultimately more expensive.
German Chancellor Engela Merkel played a key part in spear-heading this shift. Given the past history of a German Zollverein (Customs Union) perhaps we should not be surprised.
The EU's concept of Free Trade has never been other than for internal purposes. For external trade Brussels has pursued policies based on bureaucratic negotiation of multilateral arrangements - something which "advantages" particular sectors and is therefore anathema to us true believers in unilateral Free Trade.