Thursday, 30 June 2016

No Professor Lang, Brexit won't lead to food riots...


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Tim Lang, Emeritus Professor of Food Policy at City University thinks Brexit could lead to food riots:

But given that the WTO rules are “the lowest common denominator” and the Codex Alimentarius is determined in meetings that are “dominated by big business and lobbies [making] the EU look like the most democratic organisation in the world”, this is far from ideal. The result would be food riots, says professor Lang.

Yes folks, this eminent food 'expert' thinks there'll be food shortages, huge price hikes and general chaos because we'll be outside the CAP and subject to the 'common external tariff'. Here's a sample:

The immediate impact of the decision to quit the 28-member state bloc looks like rising food prices in a country that produces and grows less than 60% of the food it eats and is particularly reliant on imports from the EU for fruit and vegetables.

Speaking to FoodNavigator yesterday, Tim Lang predicted it could take five to 10 years for the UK to become food self-sufficient in food products, if that extreme scenario ever arose. And in the meantime? “People will pay more for food. The British people have voted to raise the food prices," he said simply.

Now, given that Prof. Lang and his pals have been agitating for more expensive food for ages, you'd have thought they'd have loved all this but let's take them at their word. Do they really think those Spanish tomato growers, Italian orange farmers and French wheat barons are suddenly going to whack up the price of the stuff they're selling into one of their biggest markets? Or - as Professor Lang seems to hint - stop selling to us entirely. For a Professor of Food Policy this seems incredibly ill-informed on the basics of trade.

There might be an impact on prices if the pound falls against the Euro. But set against that the UK having better access to non-EU markets in Latin America, the Middle East and Africa - all of which grow the same crops as those Spaniards, Italians and French farmers - and it might be that us having more choice will actually drive prices down for the fruit and vegetables Professor Lang is so bothered about.

We have no need at all - none - to become self-sufficient in food because leaving the EU increases the security of our food supplies by taking us outside the anti-trade restrictions of the CAP and other EU controls. That a Professor of Food Policy doesn't see this should worry us. But then it's Tim Lang and he's nearly always wrong.

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3 comments:

Invicta said...

City University.......

The same institution that employs the "0.2 Prof" of Practice in International Political Economy.

Nuff said

Radical Rodent said...

My understanding is that this country has not been self-sufficient in food since the 17th century - so, this professor promising that us leaving the EU will soon make us self-sufficient in food is yet another bonus for leaving!

Anonymous said...

A lower pound will make imports from everywhere more expensive, but riots what rubbish. The issue will be one of enabling UK farming to change and whether price signals can stimulate domestic production in a timely manner. For beef the production cycle is 3 years, for crops a year.