Try not to laugh but the Independent have run a headline today claiming that cheese and butter will be luxury items after Brexit because (they claim) dairy products will be more expensive to import from the EU.
We’re something like the 10th largest producer of dairy products in the world but because we export such a lot we have the second largest dairy trade deficit in the world. As a consequence, the UK is one of the world’s most valuable dairy markets and around 20% of EU dairy exports go to the UK. Where the UK buys its milk and cheese makes or breaks a country’s dairy industry and the EU as usual stands to lose most by punitive restrictions on trade with the UK. The overnight withdrawal of the average 36% tariffs on dairy imports from outside the EU will certainly see buyers looking outside the EU for their butter and cheese on independence day and there is no shortage of countries on our doorstep producing dairy at relatively low cost who will no longer be priced out of the market by EU tariffs.
Dairy production in the UK has decreased over the last couple of decades because it is unprofitable on anything but an industrial scale thanks to supermarkets paying below cost price for their milk. If the cost of importing dairy products from the EU does go up (and it’s a big if) then that will make imports less economically viable for large retailers and domestically produced products more profitable for them. They will buy more UK produced dairy which will grow the domestic industry and drive up exports as we have already seen with the manufacturing sector following the drop in the value of the pound.
It was the threat of importing cheap Polish milk that helped Tesco break the dairy farmers when they played hardball over wholesale milk prices a few years ago. If Polish milk becomes more expensive to import then that leverage disappears and UK dairy farmers could end up turning a profit on their dairy produce. The supermarkets of course tell us that paying a fair price for milk will drive up prices for consumers but it is in reality an investment in the dairy industry that will allow producers to benefit from economy of scale and reduce costs.
Leaving the EU isn’t going to result in a shortage of cheese and butter, nor is it likely to make it more expensive to the consumer. This is just more ridiculous Remainer scaremongering.
In order to bring to a close the two years of crying, wailing, sour grapes and vexatious legal challenges from democracy hating bad losers I am prepared to support a second Brexit referendum on the following conditions:
- The British government issues another leaflet detailing all the claims they made in their first leaflet and how each one was wrong. A proportion of the £9m cost of this leaflet will be deducted from the Remain campaign’s budget pro-rated by the number of true/false claims.
- The legislation providing for the second referendum includes a clause that will abolish the BBC’s licence fee if an independent panel concludes at any time during the campaign that its reporting is not impartial.
- Universities joining the campaign will not be permitted to charge tuition fees for the next year. If they want to put resources into politicking instead of education then let a Remainer billionaire like Soros or Branson pay for it, not the students.
- Any company, organisation or politician that campaigns for either side must declare any links to political parties or the EU with financial penalties for non-compliance. Their intention to campaign must be pre-registered and the information provided to every household at the start of the campaign.
- Both Leave and Remain campaigns will have the same budget.
All reasonable conditions I’m sure you’ll agree which would ensure a fair referendum campaign and deliver an even bigger crushing blow to the pro-EU establishment.
Theresa May took her majority Remain-supporting cabinet to Chequers at the weekend and would you believe, they agreed to support a Brexit position paper that keeps us as members of the EU in all but name.
I know. Shocker, right?
This paper sets out Theresa May’s opening offer to the EU on our future relationship with them and represents complete capitulation. It proposes to keep the jurisdiction of the EU courts, the adoption of every EU present and future law on trade and maintains privileged immigration rules for EU citizens.
This proposal is just the opening gambit which the EU will reject and as we get closer to what should have been independence day will use as the basis for a much worse deal. The bulk of MPs have already ruled out a no-deal Brexit and will vote for whatever last minute deal is offered. And it will be a bad deal. Much worse than what is being proposed now.
There have been several resignations over the Brexit betrayal starting last night with the Brexit Secretary, David Davis. His resignation was quickly followed by Steve Baker and Suella Braverman who were junior ministers in the same department. Today Boris Johnson resigned as Foreign Secretary and Chris Green has resigned as private secretary to the Department for Transport. It is believed that the 1922 Committee that is responsible for leadership elections in the Conservative Party has received 42 of the required 48 signatures to call a vote of no confidence in Theresa May. A meeting of the committee was held this evening with conflicting stories emerging about what actually happened in there. Theresa May has survived this meeting but the publishing of the paper has been delayed by a week following it which would suggest she has been given an ultimatum by her backbenchers. She may survive the week after all but she is still on borrowed time.
There is only one good deal and that is no deal. Nothing the EU offers us will be in our national interest. The EU’s negotiators are petty, vindictive and have delusions of adequacy. They would rather the UK leaves with no deal which would be seriously damaging to the EU economy than come to a mutually beneficial agreement. With a no-deal Brexit forecast to provide a big boost to the UK economy we should have the strongest negotiating position but we are being led by a Remainer Prime Minister who has willingly given all that advantage away.
Theresa May has to go and sadly the future of Brexit is in the hands of 320 Tory MPs, most of whom are Remainers. It’s looking pretty bleak.