Bollocks, complete, unmitigated, bollocks

The chief executive of Chapel Down, an official wine supplier to 10 Downing Street, has said Britons will “starve” if the door is closed to foreign fruit pickers after Brexit.

England’s biggest winemaker, based in Kent, relies on EU workers to pick grapes for its drinks, which also include beer, cider and gin.

In comments that are likely to cause embarrassment for No 10, the Chapel Down boss, Frazer Thompson, said: “The biggest potential impact of Brexit is on agricultural labour. Kent has had eastern Europeans picking fruit in recent years, but we’ll all starve if the labour issue is not sorted after Brexit.”

Trade.

Imports of food are actually the import of the labour used to grow the food.

He’s spouting complete bollocks.

33 comments on “Bollocks, complete, unmitigated, bollocks

  1. Bollocks, yes, but brave bollocks down in Kent which is one of the most solidly no-voting counties in the UK.

    It’s also ill-informed or intentionally misleading, since the UK can import seasonal workers after Brexit should if want to.

  2. Firstly why should we care about British agriculture? Very low wage sector which relies on endless government subsidies just to survive and prevents significant amounts of land being converted into housing or natural countryside.

    Secondly if we really are desperate to prop the system up, I am sure we can import plenty of cheap labourers from outside the EU once we have control of our own borders and are able to allow immigration to rebalance towards the RoW.

  3. What Tim Newman said. Man doing very well selling his expensive product to people in the top 1% of global incomes squeals at thought of having to pay wages commensurate with living in a very rich country, rather than import cheap labour from poor ones.

  4. It’s as if the remainiacs genuinely believe history only started when we joined the EEC.

  5. Tim N nails it. If he believes his own words, Frazer Thompson is thick, inflexible and unimaginative as well.

  6. What happens to the cost of Australian, South African, Chillean Wine etc when UK comes out of the customs union?

    The price or availability (same thing) of wine won’t be affected by how much or how little can be harvested in Kent by eastenders or easteuros.

  7. “Firstly why should we care about British agriculture? Very low wage sector which relies on endless government subsidies…”

    Security of supply? Animal welfare? Quality and flavour of local produce? (I prefer British beef and British strawberries.) That said, the gargantuan subsidies need to be phased out.

  8. ‘Britons will “starve”’

    I’m reminded of a teenager calling his mommy after school and telling her, “I’m STARVING!”

  9. How was it done pre-EU?

    When I were a young lad (many decades back – say mid-60’s) in the summer hols I’d pick fruit around Harwell. The folk who were really in charge of it seemed to be some form of (what were then called) Travellers. Itinerant workers. Spoke real English, though.

    It was hard work, so I eventually gave it up and became a temporary taxi driver in Didcot.

  10. There was a programme recently with David Essex (‘old me close don’t ever let me go) reminiscing about his childhood days hop picking in Kent. Come summer half the East End would decamp to Kent for the seasonal work.

  11. Late seventies, the future MrsBud persuaded me to go pea pulling with her family in West Yorkshire. I did it once. I’m not frightened of hard work, but I expect to be rewarded for it and, as I recall, the pay amounted to about a pound an hour. Before heading oop North, I was earning £4.50 an hour in a green grocer as a school job.

  12. “England’s biggest winemaker, based in Kent, relies on EU workers to pick grapes for its drinks, which also include beer, cider and gin.”

    I’m not drinking his beer if he’s making it with grapes.

  13. allthegoodnamesaretaken said: “It’s as if the remainiacs genuinely believe history only started when we joined the EEC.”

    Probably a significant population overlap with those who believe there was no healthcare before the NHS.

  14. “Probably a significant population overlap with those who believe there was no healthcare before the NHS.”

    And also a significant overlap with those who believe the UK was doing just fine until 1979…

  15. If the Kriegsmarine didn’t manage to starve the UK I highly doubt restricting the numbers of Slovenian fruit-pickers is going to.

  16. We see a fairly high spec Defender or two round our way, with Chapel Down livery.

    They never seem to get any mud on them.

    I suspect that Frazer Thompson may be a twat.

  17. He knows his market though, I expect his intervention will boost his sales, as intended. Your standard Remainiac wanker will pile in.

  18. Julia–“If I were in charge of provisioning, that would read ‘the former official wine supplier to 10 Downing Street’…”

    Let me fix that for you:

    “The former official wine supplier to 10 Downing Street now on remand charged with Treason and Sedition…”

  19. Ian Reid:
    > Come summer half the East End would decamp to Kent for the seasonal work.

    I can imagine that was the case when the East End was English. Is it halaal to pick grapes for non-halaal wine?

  20. Wouldn’t you know, but it’s incredibly difficult to track down actual concrete figures for EU Customs Union import tariffs, but this states “tobacco and beverages” have a 20% import tariff. So, by leaving the EUCU we would be entirely free to drop that to zero, meaning things would become *cheaper*, not more expensive.

  21. I wonder what the average income generated is of land under agriculture versus land not.
    I suspect that 4 sq km of Stately Home, with a few fountains and walled ornamental gardens, café , shop and a horse-riding estate is low value for non-ag land but still worth more than the same land area under polymer. It would depend on supply and demand.

  22. “Imports of food are actually the import of the labour used to grow the food.”

    Yes, and protectionist barriers to the import of labour have the same effect as protectionist barriers to the import of food. The consumer pays the higher price.

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