The list of things that might be caused by Brexit – from sexual incontinence to sexual impotence to believe some people – continues to grow but this specific idea that it will lead to rising dairy prices does seem more than a little absurd. For some decades now European Union policy has been to artificially restrict the production of milk in these isles so as to offer export opportunities for farmers in other areas of the bloc. The idea of leaving such a system making milk and derived products more expensive is more than a little odd:
European dairy cooperative Arla Foods says Brexit could leave UK consumers with less choice and higher prices, turning everyday staples, like butter, yogurts, cheese and infant formula, into occasional luxuries, and making speciality cheeses ‘very scarce.’
Hmm, well, that might be large exporter to us worrying about being able to make fewer exports rather than anything else.
European dairy heavyweight Arla Foods has painted a bleak picture of the situation that could face UK consumers post-Brexit.
The cooperative says border breakdown could leave UK consumers with less choice and higher prices when it comes to dairy produce.
That’s going to be the result of lifting restrictions upon domestic production? But then we get to the details of their report:
If the UK crashes out of the EU with no deal and defaults to World Trading Organisation rules, prices will almost certainly rise as dairy products, along with meat, attract high tariffs.
Food prices would soar after no-deal Brexit, warns major dairy boss
A milk product with a fat content of 3% to 6% has a tariff of 74%, while fresh mozzarella is rated at 41% and unripened cheese at 68%.
Even if a deal were struck and there were no tariffs,
This is to substantially misunderstand what WTO terms mean. They are not tariffs which must be applied to imports into the UK. They are maximum tariffs which may be applied. We can have any tariff level we like up to those maximums, the only restriction being that what we charge to goods from one place must be the rate we charge to goods from all places. As I’ve explained before:
We have all long known that the CAP makes food more expensive in Europe. Being outside the CAP will therefore make food cheaper. And no one is going to insist that we do something as blitheringly idiotic as raise import tariffs to prevent this from happening, most certainly not the WTO, whatever Nick Clegg might think.
The basis of the report is drivel. As with so much about the costs of Brexit our only real question remaining is why are the bastard bastards bastard lying to us?