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But We Want To Screw The British Farmers With Brexit

The Guardian treats us to a complaint about Brexit. That if we go to free trade then that will mean screwing the British farmer. Good, that’s what we want to do, screw the British farmer. That’s one of the points of having Brexit:

[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””] All this plays to my very real fear that we will be sold out as the British government desperately seeks trade deals with anyone who will have us. I believe they would happily open up our highly regulated food sector to all-comers if they’ll buy our financial services. Selling out British farming could end up being the legacy of Brexit. My fear is that free-trading ministers, who are frustrated by what they dismiss as the “red tape” of the EU, could sacrifice rural Britain in a heartbeat if it meant a trade deal with the US. We cannot let that happen. Instead of discussing just how many billions of pounds will be needed to mitigate the effects of a no-deal Brexit, politicians should be discussing their vision of what the future of British farming and food production looks like. We need to be thinking further than just 31 October. [/perfectpullquote]

There are some 30,000 farmers in the UK. And there are 65 million or so food consumers. Free trade would mean benefits for said consumers and would entirely screw those farmers. Good, let’s have free trade and screw the farmers.

No, spouting about how people want those higher food standards doesn’t work. For those who do want them will continue to buy that higher priced food. We’ll see how many people actually do want it by looking at how many British farmers stay in business after we’ve got free trade.

Entirely shafting the British farmer isn’t a problem with Brexit, it’s the point.

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Leo Savantt
Leo Savantt
5 years ago

Brexit won’t screw UK farmers, it will free them from being screwed by the CAP, which prevents farmers from producing foods that UK customers want to buy, and forcing those customers to buy from other member states. Brexit offers huge opportunities for UK agriculture.

The NFU maybe against Brexit, their members quite rightly are not (as is the case with fishermen/fisherwomen/fishernon-binaries).

Quentin Vole
Quentin Vole
5 years ago
Reply to  Leo Savantt

Yes, let us never forget our heroic deep-sea fisherwomen community!

thammond
thammond
5 years ago

The sheer hypocrisy of Remainers continues to startle. We have years of moaning about food prices for the poor, yet threaten to do something about that and we have to defend the landowners! We literally have the Left saying landowners should keep their profits and screw the poor.

The Guardian doesn’t care about rural Britain or farmers, it just cares about staying in the EU. But it doesn’t seem to have any actual arguments to make about that, so we have this drivel.

swannypol
swannypol
5 years ago

Here is an interesting viewpoint which I am not capable of puzzling through however you might Tim:

That there are farming subsidies available increases the value of land to the point where it can be marginally farmed. Thus removing the subsidies might not have much medium term effect on the actual farmers. It would have more of an impact on the landowners and decrease the price of land.

In your parlance, it may well simply be the reverse of business rates…

timworstall
timworstall
5 years ago
Reply to  swannypol

Entirely correct that subsidies themselves just raise the price of land. Getting rid of them will reduce it again.

But there’s also those import tariffs n stuff. Those do benefit the actual farmer.

swannypol
swannypol
5 years ago
Reply to  timworstall

Well they also help to increase the amount that can be charged for the output of farming.

If land is a limiting factor then the price paid to lease some land to use for agri reflects that it is the scarcest resource. In the UK it looks like 70% of land is farmed, so must be close to maximum useage. Hence we may well find that even reducing tariffs will more directly affect the landowners (who in this model are Rent Seeking), than the farmers. Food for thought.

Pat
Pat
5 years ago

My guess is that British farming will need restructuring, which is always a pain, but will be better after that.
The news here is that the G cares even one not for farmers or rural folk in general.

Andrew Carey
Andrew Carey
5 years ago

The fledgling wine industry of Great Britain does rather show that un-coerced people are prepared to pay more sterlings for a tipple produced here. Likewise, no-one holds a gun to anyone’s head to make them buy free range eggs or go to farmers’ markets.
The free market system has this covered. People will voluntarily pay higher prices for local produce.

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