Why would this be a problem?

The prime minister will warn that Britain’s exit from Europe would harm lamb and beef farmers, costing them an extra £330m a year to export their goods.

“If we left this single market and, as some suggest, relied on World Trade Organisation rules, the extra costs of exporting British beef would be £240m a year. An extra £90m would be added to the cost of British lamb exports,” he will say on Friday.

“British agriculture, British farmers and British jobs could suffer enormously if we were to leave the single market.”

I thought we were being told that beef and sheep farmers were losing money on every animal? Thus, if they sell less, they’ll lose less money?

22 thoughts on “Why would this be a problem?”

  1. So Much For Subtlety

    Those Welsh Hill farmers would be really hurting. All six of them.

    Meanwhile there are a few tens of millions of us who eat lamb and beef regularly. So this story, told accurately, is that lamb and beef consumers would save £330 million or whatever made up figure they are trying to get us to swallow today.

  2. My, that’s nearly a 30th of the Foreign Aid Budget. The ring fenced one that goes to Mr Cameron’s friends in the NGOs. Shocking.

  3. So Much For Subtlety

    In fairness I don’t think “Dave” has any friends in any NGOs. Some friends’ children perhaps.

    I think he was bullied and brow beaten into fully funding a bunch of corrupt and incompetent NGOs because he wanted to avoid being called the Nasty Party any more. He was too gutless to put forward the obvious case for cutting aid – it helps neither British people nor Third World people. So he continued the flow of money.

  4. The Meissen Bison

    It’s also nearly a 30th of our net contribution to the EU so we could redeploy that amount to the poor farmers.

    By the same token, I’ve stopped feeling guilty about not even trying to read Stephen Hawking who maintains that leaving the EU would be cataclysmic for science in the UK.

    Money UK pays EU > Money EU pays UK

    The man can’t get his head around simple arithmetic.

  5. SMFS-

    Dave’s Class (whatever you want to call it, the New Middle, the Islingtonians, the Friends Of Sam, the Establishment) are infested with NGO wallahs. And their kids. People, even Prime Ministers, get their values (yes, that thing again) from those with whom they mix. The description of a “Westminster Village” is apt, psychologically it is.

    I remember discussing this a while back at the Libertarian Alliance blog; the institutions (parliament, think tanks, third sector etc) in that village are the equivalent of the coal mine to the mining village. More than just a source of income. More than a job. A way of life, a community, with clubs and brass bands and choirs and a rhythm of life.

    Like the miners, they will think of their “coal mine” first, and cannot imagine life without it. It’s not just an income, it’s a way of being.

  6. SE

    I was in Madrid on business yesterday and walked up a bit of the Castellana and there it was, next to the Hard Rock Café; Margaret Thatcher Plaza!!!

    Couldn’t believe it! Hadn’t heard anything about it.

    You can Google it and even read the street sign! There for all to see. Won’t last long, I don’t expect, with the current City Council.

  7. John77 – it’s a seasonal/cyclical thing so one can’t entirely match UK imports and exports. On top of that, exports are mainly live animals.

    The beef numbers may also include genetics rather than meat destined for the table, I suspect.

    All in all it’s just project fear opening up a new front.

  8. “By the same token, I’ve stopped feeling guilty about not even trying to read Stephen Hawking who maintains that leaving the EU would be cataclysmic for science in the UK.
    Money UK pays EU > Money EU pays UK
    The man can’t get his head around simple arithmetic.”

    They understand that. What they’re really worried about is that the money that currently goes to them may not go to them if Britain leaves.

    (In academia the EU does a good job of bribing, er, I mean funding, important people who have influence.)

  9. Given that, as noted above, Money to EU > Money from EU, the bleating you hear about the damage to X if we leave is all just special pleading.

    I’m heartily sick of it already, and there’s still months to go.

  10. @ The Meissen Bison
    Agreed – *but* £1.43 per head (rounding the UK population to 63 million) is less than one lamb chop per person per year.

  11. “No tariffs, no barriers, no bogus health and safety rules designed to keep our products out.”

    In the case of the UK real safety rules were needed.. And “british beef” still has the stigma.

  12. The Meissen Bison

    @ john77
    Quite so – I should like to nominate you as chief number-cruncher for the yet-to-be-formed “project so-what?”.

  13. Remember how our ‘friends’ in Europe kept out British beef even though it was illegal? Those are your friends, Dave.

  14. This seems to be a common theme (like climate so-called science) X terrible thing will happen, but no details why and how… just ‘cos we say so.

    So it would be interesting to know exactly what these costs to UK farmers would be and why they would fall on the exporter rather than the importer.

    As someone whose business activity was importing as well as exporting medical/pharma products – a regulation rich environment) from/to EU and elsewhere, compliance was legally and practically a matter for the importer.

    Any costs we as an exporter incurred by customising product was factored into the ex works price to the importer, and any customising of product we as importers required was in the price to us from the exporter.

    Alternatively we took product ‘as is’ and made the necessary changes after import at our cost.

  15. The PM is getting delusional. Firstly the UK is not in a ‘single market’ at the moment – it is in a free trade area. To be in a single market it has to be as easy for a UK farmer to sell in France as it is for a French farmer. Heck even the UK isn’t a single market – just try being English and getting a contract to provide school dinners in a Glasgow school and the purchasing manager will ask you if it is Scottish beef on the menu.
    And PM Cameron, it is a referendum on EU membership. It is not currently a referendum on farm support or what trade area we are in next – that’s your team’s job to decide after the out vote has taken place.

  16. Bloke in Germany in Hong Kong

    “I thought we were being told that beef and sheep farmers were losing money on every animal? Thus, if they sell less, they’ll lose less money?”

    Come on Tim! Surely even a first-semester economics (or even accountancy, ahem) undergraduate noze that a change in the number of units sold might result in an increase or decrease in the profit (or loss) per unit and the gross profit (or loss), and indeed any combination of the two.

  17. Presumably we will be in a position to provide some transitional support for our farmers anyway, given the income from the tarriffs we will be able to impose on imports of Danish butter and bacon, German cars, French wines and cheeses, Italian hams, etc, etc.

  18. “If we left this single market”

    Well nobody’s proposing that we do that, are they?

    So why doesn’t the fella shut up?

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