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Boris Johnson's deciet on Brexit.

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3/11/2016 4:22:54 PM
Posted: 8 months ago
I was just listening to a speech made by Boris Johnson about Brexit - and he said:

'...and I put it to you, all those who believe there would be barriers to trade with Europe if we were to do a Brexit, do you seriously believe that they would put up tariffs to UK produce of any kind?'

As Mayor of London, who resided over the Thameslink episode in which British firm Bombardier complained vociferously when the contract for "1.6 billion worth of train carriages went to Siemens in Germany - it's difficult to escape the conclusion that this argument is intellectually dishonest. Boris Johnson is deliberately deceiving the British public.
He didn't lie as such. At least initially, it wouldn't be Europe imposing tariffs on us. It would be British firms demanding protections from foreign competition - leaving Europe with little option but to respond in kind. Immediately, upon news of a Brexit, British farmers would almost certainly demand protections - because they would no longer be receiving subsidies that European farmers would continue to receive. And every sector of the British economy would see the opportunity and follow suit.

Perhaps he sees himself as a bigger fish in a relatively smaller pond following a Brexit; but it beggars belief he can honestly hold that view.
Vox_Veritas
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3/11/2016 6:02:32 PM
Posted: 8 months ago
Leaving a free trade zone doesn't necessarily mean that they'll impose tariffs. The rest of the EU and the UK might just...I don't know, NOT do tariffs because everyone realizes how this would be a bad thing?
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beng100
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3/12/2016 12:43:00 AM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 3/11/2016 4:22:54 PM, autocorrect wrote:
I was just listening to a speech made by Boris Johnson about Brexit - and he said:

'...and I put it to you, all those who believe there would be barriers to trade with Europe if we were to do a Brexit, do you seriously believe that they would put up tariffs to UK produce of any kind?'

As Mayor of London, who resided over the Thameslink episode in which British firm Bombardier complained vociferously when the contract for "1.6 billion worth of train carriages went to Siemens in Germany - it's difficult to escape the conclusion that this argument is intellectually dishonest. Boris Johnson is deliberately deceiving the British public.
He didn't lie as such. At least initially, it wouldn't be Europe imposing tariffs on us. It would be British firms demanding protections from foreign competition - leaving Europe with little option but to respond in kind. Immediately, upon news of a Brexit, British farmers would almost certainly demand protections - because they would no longer be receiving subsidies that European farmers would continue to receive. And every sector of the British economy would see the opportunity and follow suit.

Perhaps he sees himself as a bigger fish in a relatively smaller pond following a Brexit; but it beggars belief he can honestly hold that view.

I don't really see your argument. British firms are not currently protected from eu competitors through tariffs so why would brexit mean that they would need to be?

It's also false to suggest subsidies to UK farmers would entirely stop. Payments of some kind would continue at least in the short term. I work as a farmer and know firsthand the absurdity and stupidity of how the current subsidies are paid. Wealthy landowners receive huge sums of money for doing nothing while hard working tenant farmers receive nothing and have to put up with absurd environmental regulations that significantly impede production. The subsidies in their current form are a penalty for hard work and a reward for laziness. People who own vast estates worth millions of pounds are paid subsidies of hundreds of thousands of pounds a year. It's just ridiculous.

Britain should leave the eu. Vote leave!
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3/12/2016 3:19:40 AM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 3/12/2016 12:43:00 AM, beng100 wrote:
At 3/11/2016 4:22:54 PM, autocorrect wrote:
I was just listening to a speech made by Boris Johnson about Brexit - and he said:

'...and I put it to you, all those who believe there would be barriers to trade with Europe if we were to do a Brexit, do you seriously believe that they would put up tariffs to UK produce of any kind?'

As Mayor of London, who resided over the Thameslink episode in which British firm Bombardier complained vociferously when the contract for "1.6 billion worth of train carriages went to Siemens in Germany - it's difficult to escape the conclusion that this argument is intellectually dishonest. Boris Johnson is deliberately deceiving the British public.
He didn't lie as such. At least initially, it wouldn't be Europe imposing tariffs on us. It would be British firms demanding protections from foreign competition - leaving Europe with little option but to respond in kind. Immediately, upon news of a Brexit, British farmers would almost certainly demand protections - because they would no longer be receiving subsidies that European farmers would continue to receive. And every sector of the British economy would see the opportunity and follow suit.

Perhaps he sees himself as a bigger fish in a relatively smaller pond following a Brexit; but it beggars belief he can honestly hold that view.

I don't really see your argument. British firms are not currently protected from eu competitors through tariffs so why would brexit mean that they would need to be?

If we were suddenly no longer part of the EU - I think that politically, it would be very difficult to resist calls for protections from a British industry - in competition with European industries, if that industry found itself in difficulties. I imagine the atmosphere would be quite nationalist and bullish - the Union flag would be plastered on every available surface as we celebrated our newly sovereign independence - so it would be very difficult to refuse to use our powers clawed back from Brussels - to protect British jobs for British workers in Britain. and so on ad nauseum!

It's also false to suggest subsidies to UK farmers would entirely stop.

Would they not?

Payments of some kind would continue at least in the short term. I work as a farmer and know firsthand the absurdity and stupidity of how the current subsidies are paid. Wealthy landowners receive huge sums of money for doing nothing while hard working tenant farmers receive nothing and have to put up with absurd environmental regulations that significantly impede production.

No doubt the CAP is far from ideal, but I remember butter mountains and wine lakes - where now we've got butterfly meadows and holiday cottages.

The subsidies in their current form are a penalty for hard work and a reward for laziness. People who own vast estates worth millions of pounds are paid subsidies of hundreds of thousands of pounds a year. It's just ridiculous.

And other than stopping these subsides - or not stopping them you say, how would leaving the EU change anything? Are you not relying on protectionism from foreign imports - because surely, if European produce continues to be subsidized while yours isn't, you'll go out of business.
beng100
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3/12/2016 9:46:21 AM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 3/12/2016 3:19:40 AM, autocorrect wrote:
At 3/12/2016 12:43:00 AM, beng100 wrote:
At 3/11/2016 4:22:54 PM, autocorrect wrote:
I was just listening to a speech made by Boris Johnson about Brexit - and he said:

'...and I put it to you, all those who believe there would be barriers to trade with Europe if we were to do a Brexit, do you seriously believe that they would put up tariffs to UK produce of any kind?'

As Mayor of London, who resided over the Thameslink episode in which British firm Bombardier complained vociferously when the contract for "1.6 billion worth of train carriages went to Siemens in Germany - it's difficult to escape the conclusion that this argument is intellectually dishonest. Boris Johnson is deliberately deceiving the British public.
He didn't lie as such. At least initially, it wouldn't be Europe imposing tariffs on us. It would be British firms demanding protections from foreign competition - leaving Europe with little option but to respond in kind. Immediately, upon news of a Brexit, British farmers would almost certainly demand protections - because they would no longer be receiving subsidies that European farmers would continue to receive. And every sector of the British economy would see the opportunity and follow suit.

Perhaps he sees himself as a bigger fish in a relatively smaller pond following a Brexit; but it beggars belief he can honestly hold that view.

I don't really see your argument. British firms are not currently protected from eu competitors through tariffs so why would brexit mean that they would need to be?

If we were suddenly no longer part of the EU - I think that politically, it would be very difficult to resist calls for protections from a British industry - in competition with European industries, if that industry found itself in difficulties. I imagine the atmosphere would be quite nationalist and bullish - the Union flag would be plastered on every available surface as we celebrated our newly sovereign independence - so it would be very difficult to refuse to use our powers clawed back from Brussels - to protect British jobs for British workers in Britain. and so on ad nauseum!

I don't see nationalists pushing for tariffs and protections. The vast majority want a continuation of free trade. I don't see what basis you have for your claims. We buy more off the eu than it buys off us so I see no reason for it to want to enforce tariffs for UK exports. There would be no change in the competitive environment.

It's also false to suggest subsidies to UK farmers would entirely stop.

Would they not?

No the government is not stupid enough to entirely stop subsidies. It would either continue them or slowly water them down over 10 years or so until the industry has adapted to manage without them. What makes you think the government would take such a drastic instant measure?

Payments of some kind would continue at least in the short term. I work as a farmer and know firsthand the absurdity and stupidity of how the current subsidies are paid. Wealthy landowners receive huge sums of money for doing nothing while hard working tenant farmers receive nothing and have to put up with absurd environmental regulations that significantly impede production.

No doubt the CAP is far from ideal, but I remember butter mountains and wine lakes - where now we've got butterfly meadows and holiday cottages.

The cap is anything but ideal. Why pay any money at all if it is not to increase production? If production is high enough anyway the payments are pointless. The current regulations are ridiculous. A series of silly fiddly regulations that impede upon production. I would prefer an end to the subsidies and a proper competitive industry. Too many people make a living off these payments for doing nothing. The payments prop up inefficient businesses and inflate land values. Butterfly meadows and holiday cottages have always existed. The new regulations do nothing to help the environment. It's a huge waste of money.

The subsidies in their current form are a penalty for hard work and a reward for laziness. People who own vast estates worth millions of pounds are paid subsidies of hundreds of thousands of pounds a year. It's just ridiculous.

And other than stopping these subsides - or not stopping them you say, how would leaving the EU change anything? Are you not relying on protectionism from foreign imports - because surely, if European produce continues to be subsidized while yours isn't, you'll go out of business.

The government is not going to instantly stop payments. I doubt it would stop them entirely but if it did it would be over a long time period. If say it cut them from current levels to nothing over ten years and removed all of the red tape and regulations British agriculture could compete fairly with European competitors as we would not be subject to the production hindering regulations. Agriculture does not need subsidies. If you run a good business and work hard the end of subsidized production will be an opportunity not a problem. Around 68% of British farmers agree with me that quitting the eu is the best option. We hate with a passion it's beaurocracy and regulations.
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3/12/2016 2:18:41 PM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 3/12/2016 9:46:21 AM, beng100 wrote:
At 3/12/2016 3:19:40 AM, autocorrect wrote:
At 3/12/2016 12:43:00 AM, beng100 wrote:
At 3/11/2016 4:22:54 PM, autocorrect wrote:
I was just listening to a speech made by Boris Johnson about Brexit - and he said:

'...and I put it to you, all those who believe there would be barriers to trade with Europe if we were to do a Brexit, do you seriously believe that they would put up tariffs to UK produce of any kind?'

As Mayor of London, who resided over the Thameslink episode in which British firm Bombardier complained vociferously when the contract for "1.6 billion worth of train carriages went to Siemens in Germany - it's difficult to escape the conclusion that this argument is intellectually dishonest. Boris Johnson is deliberately deceiving the British public.
He didn't lie as such. At least initially, it wouldn't be Europe imposing tariffs on us. It would be British firms demanding protections from foreign competition - leaving Europe with little option but to respond in kind. Immediately, upon news of a Brexit, British farmers would almost certainly demand protections - because they would no longer be receiving subsidies that European farmers would continue to receive. And every sector of the British economy would see the opportunity and follow suit.

Perhaps he sees himself as a bigger fish in a relatively smaller pond following a Brexit; but it beggars belief he can honestly hold that view.

I don't really see your argument. British firms are not currently protected from eu competitors through tariffs so why would brexit mean that they would need to be?

If we were suddenly no longer part of the EU - I think that politically, it would be very difficult to resist calls for protections from a British industry - in competition with European industries, if that industry found itself in difficulties. I imagine the atmosphere would be quite nationalist and bullish - the Union flag would be plastered on every available surface as we celebrated our newly sovereign independence - so it would be very difficult to refuse to use our powers clawed back from Brussels - to protect British jobs for British workers in Britain. and so on ad nauseum!

I don't see nationalists pushing for tariffs and protections. The vast majority want a continuation of free trade. I don't see what basis you have for your claims. We buy more off the eu than it buys off us so I see no reason for it to want to enforce tariffs for UK exports. There would be no change in the competitive environment.

It's also false to suggest subsidies to UK farmers would entirely stop.

Would they not?

No the government is not stupid enough to entirely stop subsidies. It would either continue them or slowly water them down over 10 years or so until the industry has adapted to manage without them. What makes you think the government would take such a drastic instant measure?

Payments of some kind would continue at least in the short term. I work as a farmer and know firsthand the absurdity and stupidity of how the current subsidies are paid. Wealthy landowners receive huge sums of money for doing nothing while hard working tenant farmers receive nothing and have to put up with absurd environmental regulations that significantly impede production.

No doubt the CAP is far from ideal, but I remember butter mountains and wine lakes - where now we've got butterfly meadows and holiday cottages.

The cap is anything but ideal. Why pay any money at all if it is not to increase production? If production is high enough anyway the payments are pointless. The current regulations are ridiculous. A series of silly fiddly regulations that impede upon production. I would prefer an end to the subsidies and a proper competitive industry. Too many people make a living off these payments for doing nothing. The payments prop up inefficient businesses and inflate land values. Butterfly meadows and holiday cottages have always existed. The new regulations do nothing to help the environment. It's a huge waste of money.

The subsidies in their current form are a penalty for hard work and a reward for laziness. People who own vast estates worth millions of pounds are paid subsidies of hundreds of thousands of pounds a year. It's just ridiculous.

And other than stopping these subsides - or not stopping them you say, how would leaving the EU change anything? Are you not relying on protectionism from foreign imports - because surely, if European produce continues to be subsidized while yours isn't, you'll go out of business.

The government is not going to instantly stop payments. I doubt it would stop them entirely but if it did it would be over a long time period. If say it cut them from current levels to nothing over ten years and removed all of the red tape and regulations British agriculture could compete fairly with European competitors as we would not be subject to the production hindering regulations. Agriculture does not need subsidies. If you run a good business and work hard the end of subsidized production will be an opportunity not a problem. Around 68% of British farmers agree with me that quitting the eu is the best option. We hate with a passion it's beaurocracy and regulations.

I'm a city dweller - so I don't know much about farming; but I believe the purpose of the CAP - after significant reforms in the late 1980's, was to impede over-production, and promote environmentally conscious land use. I do know a bit about politics, and your idea to keep taking subsidies while ripping up the rule book sounds unlikely to me - precisely because of the problem I was talking about. Protectionism is not only import tariffs, but subsidies and common rules for production. They are all part of the same thing - the cost of doing business. French and German farmers would complain of unfair competition, and their governments would have to respond. The subsidies would go - for starters; and then we'd respond with import duties - and we'd be back to the Corn Laws of the early 19th century.
I don't doubt you hate government of any kind telling you how to farm, but those who'd encourage you to leave the EU owe you a realistic scenario in which you can continue to do business.
beng100
Posts: 1,055
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3/13/2016 12:32:19 AM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 3/12/2016 2:18:41 PM, autocorrect wrote:
At 3/12/2016 9:46:21 AM, beng100 wroteoverproduction yt 3/12/2016 3:19:40 AM, autocorrect wrote:
At 3/12/2016 12:43:00 AM, beng100 wrote:
At 3/11/2016 4:22:54 PM, autocorrect wrote:
I was just listening to a speech made by Boris Johnson about Brexit - and he said:

'...and I put it to you, all those who believe there would be barriers to trade with Europe if we were to do a Brexit, do you seriously believe that they would put up tariffs to UK produce of any kind?'

As Mayor of London, who resided over the Thameslink episode in which British firm Bombardier complained vociferously when the contract for "1.6 billion worth of train carriages went to Siemens in Germany - it's difficult to escape the conclusion that this argument is intellectually dishonest. Boris Johnson is deliberately deceiving the British public.
He didn't lie as such. At least initially, it wouldn't be Europe imposing tariffs on us. It would be British firms demanding protections from foreign competition - leaving Europe with little option but to respond in kind. Immediately, upon news of a Brexit, British farmers would almost certainly demand protections - because they would no longer be receiving subsidies that European farmers would continue to receive. And every sector of the British economy would see the opportunity and follow suit.

Perhaps he sees himself as a bigger fish in a relatively smaller pond following a Brexit; but it beggars belief he can honestly hold that view.

I don't really see your argument. British firms are not currently protected from eu competitors through tariffs so why would brexit mean that they would need to be?

If we were suddenly no longer part of the EU - I think that politically, it would be very difficult to resist calls for protections from a British industry - in competition with European industries, if that industry found itself in difficulties. I imagine the atmosphere would be quite nationalist and bullish - the Union flag would be plastered on every available surface as we celebrated our newly sovereign independence - so it would be very difficult to refuse to use our powers clawed back from Brussels - to protect British jobs for British workers in Britain. and so on ad nauseum!

I don't see nationalists pushing for tariffs and protections. The vast majority want a continuation of free trade. I don't see what basis you have for your claims. We buy more off the eu than it buys off us so I see no reason for it to want to enforce tariffs for UK exports. There would be no change in the competitive environment.

It's also false to suggest subsidies to UK farmers would entirely stop.

Would they not?

No the government is not stupid enough to entirely stop subsidies. It would either continue them or slowly water them down over 10 years or so until the industry has adapted to manage without them. What makes you think the government would take such a drastic instant measure?

Payments of some kind would continue at least in the short term. I work as a farmer and know firsthand the absurdity and stupidity of how the current subsidies are paid. Wealthy landowners receive huge sums of money for doing nothing while hard working tenant farmers receive nothing and have to put up with absurd environmental regulations that significantly impede production.

No doubt the CAP is far from ideal, but I remember butter mountains and wine lakes - where now we've got butterfly meadows and holiday cottages.

The cap is anything but ideal. Why pay any money at all if it is not to increase production? If production is high enough anyway the payments are pointless. The current regulations are ridiculous. A series of silly fiddly regulations that impede upon production. I would prefer an end to the subsidies and a proper competitive industry. Too many people make a living off these payments for doing nothing. The payments prop up inefficient businesses and inflate land values. Butterfly meadows and holiday cottages have always existed. The new regulations do nothing to help the environment. It's a huge waste of money.

The subsidies in their current form are a penalty for hard work and a reward for laziness. People who own vast estates worth millions of pounds are paid subsidies of hundreds of thousands of pounds a year. It's just ridiculous.

And other than stopping these subsides - or not stopping them you say, how would leaving the EU change anything? Are you not relying on protectionism from foreign imports - because surely, if European produce continues to be subsidized while yours isn't, you'll go out of business.

The government is not going to instantly stop payments. I doubt it would stop them entirely but if it did it would be over a long time period. If say it cut them from current levels to nothing over ten years and removed all of the red tape and regulations British agriculture could compete fairly with European competitors as we would not be subject to the production hindering regulations. Agriculture does not need subsidies. If you run a good business and work hard the end of subsidized production will be an opportunity not a problem. Around 68% of British farmers agree with me that quitting the eu is the best option. We hate with a passion it's beaurocracy and regulations.

I'm a city dweller - so I don't know much about farming; but I believe the purpose of the CAP - after significant reforms in the late 1980's, was to impede over-production, and promote environmentally conscious land use.

Yes prior to the reforms governments paid farmers to maximise production leading to the overproduction you mentioned. The whole point of subsidies was to boost the competiveness of British agriculture while reducing food prices for consumers. The current payments fail to achieve these goals. Like all farmers I see regulations aimed at protecting the environment as simply red tape and barriers to production. The average person would be amazed that these regulations actually do nothing to preserve the environment. The current payments are a waste of money. I oppose wasting any Money on environment schemes. They are a beaurocratic exercise that achieve nothing. Taxpayers money could be spent in far better ways. The extent to which the government regulates and hinders agriculture is ridiculous.

know a bit about politics, and your idea to keep taking subsidies while ripping up the rule book sounds unlikely to me - precisely because of the problem I was talking about. Protectionism is not only import tariffs, but subsidies and common rules for production. They are all part of the same thing - the cost of doing business. French and German farmers would complain of unfair competition, and their governments would have to respond. The subsidies would go - for starters; and then we'd respond with import duties - and we'd be back to the Corn Laws of the early 19th century.
I don't doubt you hate government of any kind telling you how to farm, but those who'd encourage you to leave the EU owe you a realistic scenario in which you can continue to do business.

French and German governments would be restricted by eu law and unless they too quit the eu would not be able to deregulate agriculture.

I see absolutely no reason to put in place any tariffs. It's not in the economic interest of the eu or the uk to do so. Without doubt free trade will continue.

However from a personal point of view the tariffs would be an advantage to farming as Britain's low self sufficiency means more food is imported then exported by a considerable margin. The tariffs would actually benefit me personally.
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3/13/2016 3:20:35 PM
Posted: 8 months ago
Sorry it took so long to reply - beng100,

You wrote:
Yes prior to the reforms governments paid farmers to maximise production leading to the overproduction you mentioned. The whole point of subsidies was to boost the competiveness of British agriculture while reducing food prices for consumers. The current payments fail to achieve these goals...

That's right. The original aim of the CAP was to promote agricultural production - and while we might agree that ultimately proved unnecessary, French farmers particularly are not about to give up those subsidies. France generally does quite well out of agricultural subsidies - so that, even after the scheme proved rather too successful at promoting production, the subsidies remained - while the reasons for which they are paid changed. Now they inhibit over-production and seek to promote environmentally sound land use. Not in itself a mad idea - even if the implementation is ineffective to some degree. Prices have to be maintained in order to provide the incentive to produce and distribute food - therefore supply has to be restricted.

It's said that no society is more than three meals from revolution - so this is an important matter that could go south very quickly indeed. As an island nation with no fishing fleet to speak of, and farming currently oriented more toward the picturesque than the practical - we are hugely dependent on food imports, much of it from, or via Europe. I'm sure you'll be okay, beng100, whatever happens - but I live in a city of 9 million people. If there's a Brexit and relations with Europe go sour, and you can't stock the supermarkets - there will be big trouble.

And the problem is that no-one wants tariffs - they are a collective insanity - like a traffic jam; where everyone in the traffic jam is acting rationally, just trying to get where they are going, but the overall result is insane. No doubt, you are acting rationally, wanting subsidies to continue - while ripping up the rule book that deliberately restricts production, but that's exactly what's going to induce others to impose tariffs. Again, that might serve your particular interest nicely, but the 9 million people in the city paying double for half as much would not be happy at all.

I don't know how it's going to play out - obviously. It could be worked out, but it hasn't been. And that's my point. Boris Johnson's claim there's no possibility, or danger of an outbreak of tariffs is nonsense - and I don't accept a man of his intellect can sincerely believe that. I think it's merely a means of dismissing a very real danger - and he owes us all a better explanation of how these issues will be addressed if he is to advocate a drastic change to a tolerable, if imperfect status quo.
beng100
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3/15/2016 9:42:13 PM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 3/13/2016 3:20:35 PM, autocorrect wrote:
Sorry it took so long to reply - beng100,

You wrote:
Yes prior to the reforms governments paid farmers to maximise production leading to the overproduction you mentioned. The whole point of subsidies was to boost the competiveness of British agriculture while reducing food prices for consumers. The current payments fail to achieve these goals...

That's right. The original aim of the CAP was to promote agricultural production - and while we might agree that ultimately proved unnecessary, French farmers particularly are not about to give up those subsidies. France generally does quite well out of agricultural subsidies - so that, even after the scheme proved rather too successful at promoting production, the subsidies remained - while the reasons for which they are paid changed. Now they inhibit over-production and seek to promote environmentally sound land use. Not in itself a mad idea - even if the implementation is ineffective to some degree. Prices have to be maintained in order to provide the incentive to produce and distribute food - therefore supply has to be restricted.

I disagree. If restrictions on production are removed the fall in prices will remove any incentive for further production increases. Farmers make more money without having to tolerate some truly ridiculous rules and consumers buy cheaper food in the shops. A win win scenario. The reality is the regulation of agriculture creates significant (unnecessary ) employment and by removing the red tape many jobs would be cut. The reality is these jobs are entirely pointless. The government could employ much needed doctors or teachers instead. It's such a waste of money. Supply does not need restricting. Simply remove the payments and the problem of over supply goes away. If something is not viable in a free market economy people stop doing it. The subsidies are the root cause of the overproduction problem. Artificial subsidies allow inefficient unviable business models to be propped up.

It's said that no society is more than three meals from revolution - so this is an important matter that could go south very quickly indeed. As an island nation with no fishing fleet to speak of, and farming currently oriented more toward the picturesque than the practical - we are hugely dependent on food imports, much of it from, or via Europe. I'm sure you'll be okay, beng100, whatever happens - but I live in a city of 9 million people. If there's a Brexit and relations with Europe go sour, and you can't stock the supermarkets - there will be big trouble.


Leaving the eu would actually revolutionize the fishing industry in the uk. Eu treaties give other eu countries rights to British waters. If we quit we would have substantially more fishing resources and the industry would undoubtedly increase dramatically in size. We have significant fishing resources, it's the parasitic eu stealing them from us. Absolutely no chance supermarket shelves will go empty. It's not as if we don't trade with the rest of the world. There is simply no reason for the eu to be hostile in terms of trade towards the UK. Anything they do to hurt us is irrational as it hurts them too. In terms of trade the status quo will continue unimpeded.

And the problem is that no-one wants tariffs - they are a collective insanity - like a traffic jam; where everyone in the traffic jam is acting rationally, just trying to get where they are going, but the overall result is insane. No doubt, you are acting rationally, wanting subsidies to continue - while ripping up the rule book that deliberately restricts production, but that's exactly what's going to induce others to impose tariffs. Again, that might serve your particular interest nicely, but the 9 million people in the city paying double for half as much would not be happy at all.

I actually oppose subsidies for farmers. I would prefer a low regulation natural competitive business environment where the better run modern businesses prosper while the inefficient wasteful ones propped up by subsidies go under. The subsidies re wars and promote mediocrity and provide no incentive to work hard. Many landowners are too lazy to do any work so rent out often inherited land while receiving government subsidies. These people make a living doing nothing. Meanwhile the tenant works hard with no subsidies competing against those who get them on top of paying rent. No one is putting in place any tariffs. Eu governments have the wider economy in question. They would not hinder their entire economy because of some lazy French farmers moaning about British farmers having less regulations.

I don't know how it's going to play out - obviously. It could be worked out, but it hasn't been. And that's my point. Boris Johnson's claim there's no possibility, or danger of an outbreak of tariffs is nonsense - and I don't accept a man of his intellect can sincerely believe that. I think it's merely a means of dismissing a very real danger - and he owes us all a better explanation of how these issues will be addressed if he is to advocate a drastic change to a tolerable, if imperfect status quo.

I am not going to claim the chances of tariffs are O%, but it's very clear they are incredibly unlikely and would only occur if the uk had an unforeseen spectacular fall out with the eu at some point. The reality is that maintaining free trade benefits the UK and the eu so neither party has any interest to change it.