Timmy elsewhere

At Capx:

We have all long known that the CAP makes food more expensive in Europe. Being outside the CAP will therefore make food cheaper. And no one is going to insist that we do something as blitheringly idiotic as raise import tariffs to prevent this from happening, most certainly not the WTO, whatever Nick Clegg might think.

Cleggie and the Lib Dems have got Brexit and the WTO effects on tariffs entirely wrong.

21 thoughts on “Timmy elsewhere”

  1. You think the British government, if it pulls out of CAP, isn’t going to institute a similar system of subsidies and tarriffs? The tories in particular, who are likely to be in charge for some time, need to buy those rural votes.

    And still, it’s basically a big crisis insurance policy. Without it there would be minimal European agriculture, which would be a bad place to find yourself if shit hit the fan big time.

  2. The tories in particular, who are likely to be in charge for some time, need to buy those rural votes.

    You don’t think the Tories already have those rural votes sewn up?

  3. Mal Reynolds (Serenity)

    We should be able to remove the subsidies and tariffs for farmers but what BiG suggests isn’t completely unfathomable. Not even to sew up rural votes but just because many of the Tory MPs themselves are rural landowners. When it comes to agricultural/rural policy I don’t trust the Tories all that much; any free-market credentials they claim to have are thrown out the window.

  4. I don’t actually know…..the traffic counter is now entirely borked and has been all weekend. I can see I’ve a piece with a hundred or so comments, so I must have had some traffic, but how much?

  5. CapX definitely presents better than Forbes. Hope there’s money in it for you.

    I’d be interested in your thoughts on the “agriculture is worth subsidising as insurance”.

  6. I’m pretty free trade liberal even if I rarely come across as such (mainly because Tim is more extreme than I am and I like playing devil’s advocate). However once you institute even the most libertarian government, whose only role is to defend the country and keep the peace within it, you find that peacekeeping involves a bit more than having cops and judges.

    So you end up with, even in libertardistan, among other things, food security measures (which is basically how CAP started). We don’t have bread riots any more and don’t want them, so government is going to be involved in some way in making sure they don’t (or happen far less frequently). If there were another option for food security in high labour-cost countries, I’d like to hear it.

  7. Mal Reynolds (Serenity)

    I personally am not a fan of the “subsidised agriculture as insurance” idea. Getting our food from many different places is a much better insurance policy than getting our food from one place (i.e. the British Isles). A bad harvest when we import food from many places? Import from somewhere else, some (minor) price impacts. Grow all our own food? No food.

    The German U-boats have not been attacking our shipments for a few years.

  8. Mal Reynolds (Serenity)

    BiG not sure what you are talking about. Government involvement to stop bread riots? Seems to me that the places that experience bread shortages are the places where the government is involved in the supply of bread. Or have I missed your point?

  9. BiG: You think the British government, if it pulls out of CAP, isn’t going to institute a similar system of subsidies and tarriffs?

    While UK agriculture supplies only a fraction of food consumed in the UK, subsidies to producers make better sense than tarriffs paid for by consumers on imports. The CAP was designed for a system in which agriculture played a more important role in the overall economy so not really suited to the UK.

    The Rome Treaty §39 sets out the five principal objectives of the CAP one of which – to ensure reasonable prices in supplies to consumers – has never met with much attention or success. A home-grown UK system of interventions is likely to pay greater attention to this aspect.

  10. Land is not going to stop being around if subsidies are removed. Crops will still be grown. Maybe less per acre, but they not going to just stop farming it.

    What losing subsidies does is give a massive loss in value of their land to farmers. That’s a big deal, and I doubt the Tories have the balls.

  11. Bloke in North Dorset

    “You don’t think the Tories already have those rural votes sewn up?”

    Yep, the only meaningful debate round here was which Tory donkey was going to replace the Tory donkey who had been MP for 18 years and had the ignominy of getting less than 50% of the vote on a couple of occasions.

  12. Bloke in North Dorset

    By pulling out of CAP we will allow more land to go in to production, and that isn’t marginal land either, so no subsidies needed. No that that means they won’t happen.

    We also want our farmers to be more innovative and productive, as we know subsidies and CAP kill the incentives.

  13. @Mal Reynolds,

    You get bread riots in places where the government controls the supply chain, sets the prices, that kind of thing. And in the past, in Europe, when the government had nothing whatsoever to do with the food supply chain. For sure subs and tariffs are a kind of price fixing but clearly one that does not lead to undersupply.

  14. Philip Scott Thomas

    BiG

    For sure subs and tariffs are a kind of price fixing but clearly one that does not lead to undersupply.

    You mean like the Corn Laws tariffs that didn’t lead to undersupply and didn’t lead to the Peterloo Massacre? That kind of thing?

  15. that was tariff without subsidy. enriching the landowners at the expense of the peasants. are the peasants short of food today or is the biggest worry the “obesity epidemic”?

  16. Both ! We have an obesity epidemic AND record use of food banks.

    Clearly food banks cause obesity and should be banned.

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