The Great British Agriculture Stitch Up!
Posted on May 15, 2020
I was speaking to a chap at our cricket club yesterday who is a local farmer. He is also a Tory but otherwise he is alright really. I had contacted him to find out his thoughts on a law that was defeated on Wednesday. This is part of a process to not have British food & agriculture restrictions on imported goods.
The bill, put before parliament by Tory rebels, was a ‘Common Agricultural Policy’ to ensure imported food met British food standards. It was defeated by 328 to 277, despite MP’s like Rishi Sunak pushing the wrong button and voting for the bill by mistake. He apologised which is nice, as who wants a level playing field with American imports?
Well, my friend the farmer, had been following the debate with great interest. He was, shall I say, incandescent with rage at the outcome. So incandescent, he is never going to vote Conservative again whilst Johnson is in charge.
His assumption is that he will now have to compete against cheap food that would be illegal for him to produce. I think he is right, although what I do not know is if in the future, they will reduce British standards so our farmers can compete, or just let them go bust. Either way, it is not good.
The easiest thing to say is “Oh well, as long as it is clearly marked as coming from the US, we don’t have to buy it”. Fair enough.
However, there are two issues here. Firstly, we are about to head into a recession that will make the banking crash look like a picnic, so money will be tight for millions of people. Secondly, if British farmers decide to just pack it all in, there will be no choices. This, as you know, is called ‘A race to the bottom’.
So, why would a responsible government look to do such a thing to farmers who are part of their traditional voter base? And why would they want to jeopardise the health of the nation with low quality imported food?
It’s Brexit, Stupid
Well, it is Brexit of course. Post EU, we are out in the big wide world looking for trade deals. One that we are desperate for is of course, America. Any trade deal with them is going to be on their terms, not ours. Hence a vote to protect agriculture getting defeated.
If anyone thought that Brexit was about protecting British agriculture and manufacturing, they need to wake up, go down to the kitchen, sniff the air and realise it is coffee they can smell.
It is a stitch up by billionaires trying to save themselves from EU tax avoidance regulations and millions of mugs have fallen for it. Swathes of the population have voted to save the bacon (not British) of a bunch of crooks who have taken over the Tory Party.
Still, at least we won the war and liberated Europe, our new common enemy.