Re: Wishful thinking
I wonder what would happen if the UK is simply forced out on WTO MFN trading rules. (Will, if the EU is even more stupid than even I think). Tarriff barriers work both ways. So that's an incentive for UK consumers to buy cars etc. from other countries that we can negotiate trade deals with, rather than the EU. Also a new source of income for the UK Treasury.
The reason that it shouldn't happen is that it'll hurt both of us, but it'll hurt the EU more than the UK, and Germany more than other parts of the EU. Biggest single loser? Probably VAG (Volkswagen Autogruppe).
Anything other than free trade is a negative-sum game in the long term, but in the short term it hurts the country with the trade surplus more than the one with the deficit.