So Murph doesn’t understand tariffs either

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.

But, knowing this government, the likelihood that what is required is being anticipated is low. As a result the phoney war will continue until it doesn’t, and then the consequences might be very grim indeed. Serious food shortages are a very real possibility as a consequence of this disastrous coincidence of circumstances.

He’s still not got it, has he?

The EU is talking about tariffs upon our exports of food to them. Something that would increase the supply of food domestically in the UK of course. Whether we put tariffs upon food imported into the UK is something that we now get to decide. A logical thing to do being not to have any such tariffs, as we did in 1846.

Or even, say we didn’t do that and we also started to have food shortages. What should we do then? Abolish tariffs on the import of food of course…..

6 thoughts on “So Murph doesn’t understand tariffs either”

  1. Firstly the estimates of UK food self-sufficiency range from a little over 50% to 80%, depending on whether you look at all food or just food that can be grown in the UK. If I look up links I find first imports 48% (ignoring UK food exports) and 61% overall self-sufficiency https://www.countrysideonline.co.uk/back-british-farming/back-british-farming-our-latest-activity/what-does-british-food-self-sufficiency-mean/ and then a fall from 78% self-sufficiency as a result of, inter alia, EU-dictated set-aside https://www.nfuonline.com/back-british-farming/campaign-news/self-sufficiency-day-2019-coverage-and-impact/ which can be reversed at a stroke of a HoC vote.
    It seems that Murphy has, as usual, ghot everything topsy-turvey – it is not estimate of imports but of “self-sufficiency” that range from 50% to 80%.
    Murphy wants the EU to blockade the UK preventing imports of food (and ruining the Irish Republic as a side-effect) purely out of spite.

  2. The EU is talking about tariffs upon our exports of food to them. Something that would increase the supply of food domestically in the UK of course.

    At a higher price and at the further cost of diverting resources and employment from what we are good at to what we are not – Rip Off Britain it was called and there is even a further cost of protectionism in that it prevents reform and advance.

    Whether we put tariffs upon food imported into the UK is something that we now get to decide.

    Firstly there is no ” We” and secondly we can only adjust tariffs with the whole WTO membership. In other words if we retain the current low EU tariffs we will have to apply them to the rest of the world to the destruction of UK farming .The Brexit State has already made specific promises that it will not do this. In any case non tariff barriers such as food standards are more important and if we are going to let a lot of raw bat shit in, it has not, as yet been advertised.

    I don`t see a modern Robert Peel supporting the most protectionist government this country has ever seen so as to curry favour with cultural conservatives bigots and general grumblers. I think he would have supported the City Services creative and media industries , high tech and just about every growing sector this country has and objected strongly to prioritising ethnic purity over wealth services and employment.

  3. At a higher price and at the further cost of diverting resources and employment from what we are good at…

    What is being considered is tariffs on products currently grown and profitably exported to the EU – which in turn would indicate that the UK is actually rather good at producing those particular products. Please try to keep up.

  4. If Spud’s post was stupid and incoherent, Newmy manages to do even worse.

    Do we have a single example of a subject where Captain Spud gets something right?

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