Brexit is a time machine

Oh, yes, of course, I missed this:

But, as I noted, putting these two issues together creates a third consequential risk. If we simultaneously suffer a second wave of coronavirus that is, like the first, worse than those of our European neighbours, and at the same time lose the advantages of free trade, then I fear that real obstacles to the free movement of food between the EU and this country will be put in place. Given that we import (depending upon the basis of estimate) between 50% and 80% of all our food, most of which arrives through the EU, the consequence of this is almost impossible to imagine.

In March I suggested that food rationing might be necessary as a consequence of coronavirus, thinking that such breakdown of free movement was likely at that time. I was wrong then, but think the chance is greater now. If the government is not planning for food rationing by Christmas then it is grossly negligent, because the need is easy to foresee.

Any new trading arrangements, whatever they are, come in on Jan 1. How this will cause food shortages by Dec 25th is not obvious.

6 thoughts on “Brexit is a time machine”

  1. and at the same time lose the advantages of free trade,

    But you can’t lose the advantages of free trade as long as *you* trade freely – it doesn’t matter what other countries do.

    I was wrong then, but think the chance is greater now.

    Because you reread the Bible and realized that you didn’t include a passage in your numerology? So you *definitely* have the date of the end of the world now?

  2. In real life, if the EU were ever to try to stop the peasant farmers of Spain, Netherlands, France, Czechia etc exporting to the UK, there would be a pandemic of smuggling. Would the EU dare to stop free passage of trucks from Turkey to the UK?

  3. Bloke in North Dorset

    I get the feeling that there’s quite of lot of people out there desperate for a 2nd wave so they can have a go at Boris, Dom and Brexit.

    Anyway, on the matter to hand, if it became public that the government was even contemplating rationing there’d be riots as our supermarkets were stripped faster than US looters in a Nike store.

  4. @ Diogenes
    Yes, but they would say it was just the French farmers as usual, nothing to do with the Brussels bueaucrats.

  5. As far as actual deaths of healthy people purely from CCPvirus goes there was no First Wave never mind a second one.

  6. Given that we import (depending upon the basis of estimate) between 50% and 80% of all our food, most of which arrives through the EU, the consequence of this is almost impossible to imagine.

    No, the consequences are obvious. Food will be imported from non-EU countries to fill the gap.

    Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, Canada, the dread US (boo! hiss!), Kenya, etc will all be more than happy. Really, really happy to sell you anything you need.

    Most food comes from inside the EU, because it has to by EU rules and regulations. Once you leave (yay!!!) the whole basis changes. Britain will get much cheaper food even without changing its tariffs, because cheaper suppliers will be able to compete on fair terms.

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