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Sunday, 17 March 2019

After Brexit

Too many Remainers are thinking that after the shambles of Brexit, the lack of trade deals and the fall in the economy, will teach Brexiters what a bad decision we made.

But it won't.

There will be trade deals, because the government will be so desperate to sign deals, they will take poor bargains and pretend that they are great. To do a deal with the USA, we're going to have to accept their Chlorinated chicken. (for example).

Chlorination isn't the problem, the problem is that even after chlorination, the chicken is so dodgy that salmonella causes about 1.2 million illnesses, 23,000 hospitalizations, and 450 deaths in the United States every year. 

In England and Wales in 2015, 8451 cases; our chicken is safer. 

Post-Brexit, I shall be carefully avoiding US chicken, not because it's chlorinated, but because of the salmonella risk.

But I doubt if you'll hear much about this. Because of the importance of pretending that the trade deal is good.

It isn't just the US, though. Most other countries are in no hurry to sign trade deals with the UK, because it's obvious that post-Brexit, we're going to be desperate, and desperate negotiators are easy meat.

And there will be considerable job losses.

But.

This will be blamed on the horrible foreigners, not our fault at all. Expecially on the EU, which will be portrayed as punishing the UK.

I don't find it possible to be optimistic.

1 comment:

  1. Would we be given the choice to avoid US chicken? I doubt it.

    A few years back Ben & Jerry made a moral decision that their ice cream company would not use milk from cattle which had been given a hormone to boost milk production.

    Although there was no evidence of a risk to humans (although it is notoriously hard to prove a negative, and one can question how hard researchers look when they're industry-funded), the hormone indisputably caused the cattle to develop tumours. So there were legitimate animal welfare grounds for Ben & Jerry's decision.

    Naturally, this being the land of the free, they were sued by the full might of industrial dairy industry and crushed.

    The same thing will surely happen if we ever sign a trade deal with the US. Agriculture is their biggest and most powerful export sector, with huge government subsidies & support to dump their over-production onto foreign markets.

    The US would force us to change our labelling laws and ban labelling foods as being of US origin, on the grounds that it would discriminatory against the US farmers.

    The UK government will say they'll relax standards, but to continue access to our largest & nearest market (the EU) they will have to follow EU standards. In any case, although they may grumble about EU rules & bureaucracy, there is no appetite among UK farmers to adopt the low standards & industrialised methods of the US. The effect of much of the EU's animal welfare regulations was to bring the rest of the EU up towards UK standards. Even now UK agriculture has higher standards for animals than the rest of the EU. In France, Germany, Spain, Italy and just about every other EU country it is still normal practice to raise livestock (cattle in particular) entirely indoors. But here in the UK cattle and sheep will almost certainly be raised outdoors eating mostly grass, generally being brought inside only for the winter.

    So our farmers would continue to be obliged to follow higher food production standards than the US. And with such an unequal playing field, will be put out of business en mass (the government already having made clear that it will be prioritising low food prices for consumers/voters).

    This has already happened to numerous other countries. Jamaica onceonce a thriving dairy industry, until about 30 years ago when the conditions of IMF loans required them to remove import barriers to US agriculture. Since then virtually all 'fresh' milk sold in Jamaica has actually been reconstituted powdered milk from heavily subsidised US producers, dumped into the market at far below cost price.

    That will be our future.


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