Green policies and producing food

Defra is keen that our new farming policy should  be ultra green. If that means we value and look after our fields and farmland, and protect our forests and wild areas, I am all in favour. The good news is we can do that at the same time as expanding the food we produce and meeting more of our own food needs.

I trust the Defra Secretary will take on board from his current consultations a strong feeling in the rural community that we need a farming policy that puts food production into a more central role than it achieved during the years of the Common Agricultural Policy. There are good environmental reasons to cut down the food miles, as well as good economic reasons why it would be better to cut the balance of payments deficit.

Over the last winter I was pleased to find I could largely rely on home produce. There were good home grown potatoes, carrots, cauliflowers, leeks and onions available most of the time. For much of the winter there were excellent English coxes and  varieties of pears. More recently I have turned to New Zealand for their fruit when English has not been available.

It was difficult to find oranges from anywhere other than Spain thanks to EU tariffs, though some citrus fruits from Israel, North Africa and South Africa did find their way to UK supermarkets. A new agriculture and tariff policy after we leave could be a big boost for our farms and a bonus for our consumers.

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158 Comments

  1. Posted May 25, 2018 at 5:36 am | Permalink

    With a Conservative PM determined to keep the UK in the EU I doubt your wishes will be entertained, recognised or sanctified

    Free trade deals with non-EU nations is simply not going to happen and therefore cheaper produce imports is not an option for British consumers

    It is important to understand that while you express irritation about the downside of our country’s membership of the EU it is you and your colleagues that elected this current PM to lead our party. You elected the current PM in the full knowledge that she was a vehemently pro-EU.

    If we are looking to blame anyone for the impasse in which we find ourselves it is you Mr Redwood and your fellow MPs in my party.

    The decision to elect May as our party’s leader will haunt this country. Why you did what you did is known only to Tory MPs. Petty, pathetic in-party jealousies may have prevented the UK from ever escaping the sclerotic, stupefying carcass that is the EU

    I for one will abstain from voting for a party I have voted for all my adult until May is deposed.

    Cheap vegetables from South Africa? There’s a daily fresh supply of cheap vegetables at Westminster

    • Posted May 25, 2018 at 5:46 am | Permalink

      I certainly don’t know enough about the power struggles within the Conservative party.

      The party seems determined to ignore the referendum vote.

      Maybe MPs think they should just stay in power and hope that they can persuade the electorate that a Labour government would be a worse prospect?

      • Posted May 25, 2018 at 8:34 am | Permalink

        You may just have hit the nail on the head, Peter. Labour don’t do themselves any favours at the moment – so perhaps the Tories are just hoping that the Opposition will maintain the status quo for a couple more years.
        And if not….?

        Why oh why can’t the Conservatives pull themselves back from the brink? Perhaps a new leader would indeed achieve that – but sooner, not later, or it may be TOO late.

        • Posted May 25, 2018 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

          L Jones

          Nope, The Conservative Party has had many many opportunities to pull itself back from the brink, to show leadership, to innovate and to grasp the future. Sadly as of 1995 the Tories ceased being a party of freedom, individual responsibility , low tax and free markets

          Nothing will happen until someone who understands Direct Democracy and the opportunity it brings, who has the courage to lead from the front and who makes a stand against left/right and the outdated systems we have, appears to lead a popular change

        • Posted May 25, 2018 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

          Duncan is correct. May has a terrible record the EAW, mass immigration, open borders that led to terrorism and gay marriage were truly appaling.the serious increase of murders rests with May cutting numbers by 20,000 and a culture not to stop and search people.

          Barnier claims there is no merit for any claim for money from Galileo as the U.K. left the EU on its own accord. Therefore it is difficult to understand why this does not apply the other way around to the blackmail ransom of £100 billion May has agreed to pay before any trade deal is agreed. May claimed on several occasions nothing is agreed until everything is agreed, even after Davis hinted otherwise at a select committee and made it clear at another the £40 billion estimate did not include UK assets taking it up to about £100 billion, Davis’s answer to Priti Patel in parliament. JR, when are you going to hold May to account for repeating this lie to the public? Or the line by line examination of the ransom she is paying form our taxes.
          Your govt no longer has any democratic legitimacy. Corbyn was correct he won the last election, by May’s standards. Apparently under May you can self declare what an election result was and do as you please irrespective of the outcome.

      • Posted May 25, 2018 at 10:57 am | Permalink

        Corbyn/SNP would be even worse but May and Hammond are appalling big government, remoaner fools.

        • Posted May 25, 2018 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

          No, I don’t think is. The Tories put that scare story together with Miliband. If May is going to ignore the electorate then it is time for Corbyn to have a go. He willo be a disaster but it will force the Tories to change.

          There is no trust in May she is completely untrustworthy, you cannot beleive a word she says and is actively trying to overthrow the referendum vote by deceit and lies. She must be an usted by whatever means. She has rendered the ballot box null and void.

          • Posted May 25, 2018 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

            Whether Labour or Tory in office either will have to act under EU competences and parameters. It is a puppet parliament. I loathe what Corbyn stands for but between him and May he gets my vote next time around if Brexit is not delivered. Unless Farage is back of course.

        • Posted May 25, 2018 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

          I rather like Mrs May. She is leading a hard right government for pensioners.

          Some of us believed such a government would be unpleasant and incompetent.

          Turns out we were correct.

          • Posted May 25, 2018 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

            Andy
            Sadly your posts are now descended to trolling rather than worthwhile political comments.
            Can do better.

          • Posted May 25, 2018 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

            Nonsense, May is a daft, PC socialist running the highest tax burden for 40 year, a bloated and largely incompetent government delivering dross public services, a police force who have largely given up, a Home office that are totally incompetent, an NHS that kills thousands and keeps thousands more waiting in pain, very poor infrastructure, uncompetitive banks, endless daft new regulations, a bonkers & expensive green crap energy policy and absurd and totally halfwitted tax complexity.

            Moronic virtue signalling over the non existent gender pay gap, open door un-selective immigration for years to come and she caves in to the EU at every single turn. She attacks the self employed, taxes landlords on profits they are not even making, attacks pensions pots, personal allowances, child benefit, anyone who takes insurance ….. She even wants to build on EU workers rights.

            Wrong on every single issue she touches! She even going into an election with a punishment manifesto. She is slightly better than Corbyn, Lammy, Mc Donnall, Abbot and the rest of the joke opposition – but she is essentially a useless socialist just like they are but with the advantage of a sensible wing to slightly pull her back.

          • Posted May 25, 2018 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

            Andy

            Your parents must be very proud of you

            If you think this government is hard right you must have led a very sheltered life.

    • Posted May 25, 2018 at 5:58 am | Permalink

      I often criticise our kind host when he says something that is quite plainly wrong. But we cannot criticise him for electing “weak and wobblely” Teresa May MP.

      Unfortunately no one, and thus includes our kind host, have the guts to bring her down and she knows it. Her grip on power is complete despite all that you rightly say.

      • Posted May 25, 2018 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

        JR’s blogs over past few days are omitting the EU competence over these U.K. Departments who willingly and blindly enact whatever they are told. Perhaps JR could send a letter to the EU and ask pretty please could they change the CAP as Blaire did give them back a large chunk of money for the change.

        Perhaps he could ask to withdraw the U.K. From the Paris agreement, Climate Change Act crippling our economy, or lobby the EU to change its envirment competence because the U.K. Taxpayernis now paying for the EA at £1.3 billion plus two add ons in the community charge and a whopping 5.6 percent hike in the overall bill! Hunt says we want to pay more tax for the NHS! Another minister to have lost the plot this week. Gove is way out front with Hammond, damage our economy and fleece us with tax for an EU directive for diesel omissions when all have turned a blind eye to Germany and VW! Bring on Corbyn these nutters have lost it. After all he will have to do what the EU tells him. There’s is no difference, it is a puppet parliament.

    • Posted May 25, 2018 at 6:08 am | Permalink

      “There’s a daily fresh supply of cheap vegetables at Westminster”

      Do you refer to most of the MPs or the heavily subsidised restaurants? Gove was the main reason we got May and he lost me my bet on Boris!

      May was and it seems still is a remainer, she even lied to voters during the referendum that we had control of our borders by being out of Schengen in order to trick them to vote remain. Even now cannot bring herself to say Brexit is a good thing. Worse still she and Hammond are economic illiterates and lefties. They thing more tax, regulation and more government are the solution to everything – they are actually the main problem.

      Furthermore they are electoral liabilities who thing punishment manifestos are a great idea. They even seem to think the NHS is just great as it is!

    • Posted May 25, 2018 at 6:11 am | Permalink

      John did not vote for TM.

      I share your frustration and disgust at the antics of the remainers and euphiles however I don’t see the point or profit in berating John. Wouldn’t a better route be to encourage additional effective means to pressure government.

      Perhaps we need additional parties that don’t act like a box of frogs.

      • Posted May 25, 2018 at 8:53 am | Permalink

        We need Nigel Farage, as well as our host.

        • Posted May 25, 2018 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

          Alison

          No WE dont. Farage is a buffoon and has nothing to offer the future

          • Posted May 25, 2018 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

            Nonsense Fararge would be massively better than May and more popular electorally. He has a working compass, is consistently proved right and is a proper Conservative.

            Then again almost anyone would be better than social justice warrior and robototic dope T May.

          • Posted May 26, 2018 at 9:40 am | Permalink

            He may be. However, he speaks clearly, coherently, concisely, and with great punch. You might not want him in an executive role – I don’t know – but he is excellent in discussions. he doesn’t stand any nonsense.
            There’s another person who is excellent at communicating, and a super exemplar in herself, and that is Gisela Stuart.
            Both are still working hard – and effectively in their very different ways, as far as I can see, and to the extent that they ca – for Brexit.

          • Posted May 27, 2018 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

            Lifelogic

            If Farage was more popular electorally he would have won one of the seven seats he stood for in general elections.

            Undoubtably he’s a tub thumping rabble rouser. However he couldn’t run a whelk stall

            If he had been left to run the Leave Campaign we would still be members of the EU

    • Posted May 25, 2018 at 6:30 am | Permalink

      Alas, if green farming implies inefficiencies, it means expensive food. We’ve had a cheap food policy since the war and it has given us obesity and diabetes crises, desperate farmers topping the suicide statistics and 30% of food wasted and thrown away, so dear food may be no bad thing.

      Nonetheless, it’s a brave government that tells the masses they’ll have to pay more to eat.

      One example of green farming costs: we Brits love our farm hedgerows with their may blossoms and little singing birds. You can flail them into submission, but laying them properly costs £15-20 a metre, and even a small farm has miles of hedges.

    • Posted May 25, 2018 at 6:45 am | Permalink

      DUNCAN..well said- I can see you’re mad as hell, JR talks about produce from South Africa and New Zealand as if these countries were just around the corner..but if we take into account transport and shipping costs together with ports administration and refrigeration including energy over such vast distances of ocean and with all of these associated costs I don’t think the retail price for the consumer is going to be much different than it is at present, the produce freshness certainly won’t be the same

      • Posted May 25, 2018 at 7:57 am | Permalink

        BartD

        Extra miles doesn’t always equate into dearer produce.

        Well, I live in Scotland and I have to pay twice the price for lamb as I do for lamb from NZ so not always the case

      • Posted May 26, 2018 at 9:51 am | Permalink

        Shipping is very cheap: that’s why we get so many imports from China. Before the EU, New Zealand lamb was a cheap source of supply, despite coming half way around the world. The technology for shipping many foods over long distances was developed in the 20th century, with e.g. banana boats having special nitrogen rich atmospheres in the holds to slow ripening (also used in onshore storage).

        Air freight is a different matter, although that too has become much cheaper with advent of larger aircraft. Colombia exports cut flowers all over the world by air freight: I recall buying a bunch for my dinner hostess in Kuwait – half a world away again – in the 1980s.

      • Posted May 26, 2018 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

        Then why do the EU use tariffs to protect domestic EU producers?

        Costs can be managed down per unit, when done at scale? Example abound at your supermarket and elsewhere even with tariffs. Wine.Fruits.Nuts.Coffee.

        Imports would be at a large scale hence the need for EU protectionist tariff wall as above.

    • Posted May 25, 2018 at 7:31 am | Permalink

      I wholeheartedly agree with you, Duncan, and I too will not be voting for them unless there is new leadership and the Party honours the Referendum result (no sophistry here) and espouses Conservative values. Apparently a huge ask in the current situation.

    • Posted May 25, 2018 at 7:38 am | Permalink

      Ditto, Mrs.May gets worse week by week, to call her indecisive is a compliment.

      • Posted May 25, 2018 at 8:45 am | Permalink

        I used to be one of Mrs May’s staunchest supporters – I’ve wanted to believe for a long time now that she has been playing ‘the long game’. Sadly, I’ve come to fear that she is letting down us and her country – if much of the media is to be believed.

        Perhaps her present stalwart supporters in the Government should tell us clearly WHY they still believe in her. At least they could TRY to maintain and encourage people’s loyalty, instead of allowing us, the erstwhile faithful, to seethe and gnash our teeth on the sidelines.

    • Posted May 25, 2018 at 7:43 am | Permalink

      The sharpness of your discontent, Duncan, is focused on the chosen leader.

      Leadership exists only with followers. Members exert influence to control the direction the leader can take. The collective wisdom of the party, including yours, contributes to the best outcome. Conservative MPs exert more leverage via parliament. JR & high calibre others are the more valuable vanguard.

    • Posted May 25, 2018 at 7:43 am | Permalink

      Your comment shows how Brexiteers are totally out of touch with the REAL world and live in a fantasy land, just like your elite, pro-Brexit politicians.

      How come we get vegetables, fruit and products from all over the world, into the Dis-United Kingdom when we are in the EU?

      Why are you Brexiteers throwing your toys out of the pram just because you are not getting the EU withdrawal you want. Answer, because Project Lies had you fooled.

      This is the REAL world, not the days of the British Empire, ‘old boy’. It is the 21st century, not 1950. The world is a different place . Unity with Europe, not division, is needed.

      The utter mess that this country is in is due to the Right wing of the Conservative party. This was an internal party matter that then dragged the rest of us into.

      The boil of the Right wing badly needs lancing. Rest assured, this matter re the EU will not end on 29/03/19.

      • Posted May 25, 2018 at 8:05 am | Permalink

        “How come we get vegetables, fruit and products from all over the world, into the Dis-United Kingdom when we are in the EU?”

        Any produce imported into the UK from outside of the EU has excessive duty added as a result of The Customs Union, for example 7% on processed coffee from Africa and how much on oranges etc from South Africa?

        CAP and The Customs Union is an unnecessary additional cost to imports of produce that we cannot produce here…

      • Posted May 25, 2018 at 8:20 am | Permalink

        Very strange logic B and G.
        You tell us that produce is imported successfully from all over the world to the UK, then you warn us we must rely on the EU to ensure our future survival.

      • Posted May 25, 2018 at 8:47 am | Permalink

        Funny you should say that about unity.

        Just two days ago I was sat in a bar in Rimini with some Italians and Germans. We were totally united in our derision for the EU and our love of Europe.

        • Posted May 25, 2018 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

          Good for you, DaveM.

      • Posted May 25, 2018 at 8:50 am | Permalink

        It is a great pity that you don’t spend time talking UP your beloved and much-revered EU, and stop wasting it talking DOWN your own country.

        I think many of us would genuinely like to know what it is about the EU that inspires the blind loyalty of remainders like you. What is it that makes you wish to denigrate the people (whom you often openly insult) who believe in this country, in its future success in independence?

        Tell us why we should wish to continue being told what to do by what amounts to a ‘foreign power’. That would be a better use of your time.

        • Posted May 25, 2018 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

          Why do we Remainers have to talk up the EU? As you keep pointing out Leave won. We do not have to talk up anything – you do.

          You Brexiteers all need to stop whining at everyone else and get on with delivering the promises that Vote Leave made. That is what people voted for.

          £350m for the NHS. Frictionless trade. An immigration points system. No Turks. All of the benefits of the EU with none of the costs.
          Hard borders which we control – but with no infrastructure, no friction, no bureaucracy, no delays.

          Less red tape. Trade deals galore. Parliamentary sovereignty. You need to deliver on that too. Parliament must decide – it is what the people voted for.

          All of these things were the will of the people on 23 June 2016. On this blog you all seem to be entirely unaware that the electorate expect you to deliver on all of those pledges YOU made.

          You have to fix all of the problems there are with the EU, while making nothing worse.

          For 30+ years Eurosceptics have had a free ride. You have been able to be backseat drivers – criticising the whole journey while not helping out with driving or directions.

          Now you’re driving the car. We’re in the back – and we are simply doing the same to you as you did to us. The difference is that we were safe and competent drivers. You have already proven yourselves to be reckless drunks.

          We do not care if you hurt yourselves in the inevitable crash. We care very much that you will hurt us and plenty of any other inmocent parties.

          • Posted May 27, 2018 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

            Andy

            So what you’re saying is that you know all the reasons to leave the EU but you haven’t got a single logical reason for staying in.

            OK

      • Posted May 25, 2018 at 9:25 am | Permalink

        Forgive me for using the word, but the lies were on the Remain side. For example: No European army. Net annual payment to the EU of £6 billion.

        It also needs to be said that the Remain side severely contravened the rulings of the EU’s own Venice Commission, in particular in the spending of £9 million of the taxpayers’ money by a public authority (the government) for the Remain side. When, oh, when is action going to be taken on this?

        How come we eat fruit and vegetables from the EU .. well, let’s look at apples. Over the decades, through the EU and the European Commission, the utmost has been done to weaken and reduce the UK’s apple industry. you might be too young to know, but in the 1990s the EC (as it was then) offered grants (bribes) to British farmers to dig up their apple orchards/farms. Lots of them did, because it was a struggle to compete on price – the UK market was flooded by cheaper Golden Delicious (in particular) which could be grown apparently more cheaply (I am sure subsidized, but I haven’t time to dig out the evidence), and which produce more uniform fruit, and which have good long storage qualities. Tasteless of course.

        • Posted May 26, 2018 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

          The EU actually graded British Cox apples as second grade, instead of the delicacy that they were, using size as an excuse. That is why modern Cox apples are now quite large and flavourless, having been genetically engineered to meet the EU spec for Grade 1. The standard was established, and the EU were not prepared to grant a fresh one for British produce. Much the same happened to Commonwealth sourced bananas, which again were rated second grade on account of their curvature.

          Those who know there way around street market shopping in France, Spain and Italy know how to find the tastier varieties.

      • Posted May 25, 2018 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

        B&G, In the REAL world most countries are not in the EU. Had you not noticed? Tell us why you think uniquely the UK cannot be independent.

      • Posted May 25, 2018 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

        Blue and Gold

        I love remainers who abuse people that voted to leave telling them they they dont live in the real world and are stupid

        Then the same remainer posts a post showing that they have zero, nil, no, nada knowledge of the real world and are in fact ignorant of how international trade works through a protected market customs union.

        You actually voted for something you have no understanding of B&G LOL

    • Posted May 25, 2018 at 8:14 am | Permalink

      I agree with your comment Duncan. For the life of me I cannot imagine where the Conservative Party thinks it is going to get the votes from next time around.

      They are held fast in the grip of inertia and unless they can break free and take the action they must, we have no hope of leaving the EU. I fear the consequences will be dire.

      • Posted May 25, 2018 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

        They need to take lessons from Donald Trump and fast. Be bold, decisive, radical, and believe in your goal. Of course, one could argue, based on evidence to date, that May’s goal is to stay in the EU. Heaven help us.

        Also Theresa May herself should heed President Trump
        “The best deals you can make are the ones you walk away from…and then get them with better terms” (Trump in 2014)

    • Posted May 25, 2018 at 8:59 am | Permalink

      We do not need free trade deals to lower the price of goods in our shops, we just need to reduce the tarriffs that we currently pay, 80% of which goes straight to Brussels.

      Free trade deals are useful in bargaining away non-tarriff barriers to trade, but they’re not necessary.

    • Posted May 25, 2018 at 9:56 am | Permalink

      Well, as I’ve said before Theresa May has been our local MP since 1997 and I have never seen her as “vehemently” pro-EU. I could say “mildly”, or perhaps “weakly”, rather than “vehemently”. Or maybe even “conventionally”, as she would only hope to get selected as the Tory candidate for what was then a new and on the surface safely Tory seat when John Major was the covert eurofederalist Tory party leader and Prime Minister if she was prepared to follow the party line he dictated and make the right kind of noises about “the benefits of the EU”. Which she duly did, and no doubt would still much prefer to do now, even though her side lost the EU referendum and so she has to at least pretend to support Brexit.

      What I do think is that she is very prone to accepting deliberately bad advice from supporters of the EU, whether that was the disgusting “Let’s treat these decent well-behaved EU citizens who we invited to settle in the UK as bargaining chips” (Sir Ivan Rogers, the UK’s ambassador to the EU), or it was the seductive “Why not hold a snap general election, Theresa, and get yourself a bigger Commons majority to strengthen your bargaining position?” (Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the EU Commission), or it is now “Let’s ignore the obvious, simple solution and stay under EU law in perpetuity to avoid a hard border in Ireland” (her chief Brexit adviser Olly Robbins, who has just issued a rare tweet:

      https://twitter.com/OllyRobbins/status/999904439656828928

      “Very proud of the x-Government team that worked so hard to support technical talks in Brussels this week. UK proposals for a deep relationship, calmly and professionally presented.”

      when he know that the EU has already rubbished those proposals.

  2. Posted May 25, 2018 at 5:40 am | Permalink

    I am more concerned that our dairy farmers struggle to make a living and many are going out of business.

    • Posted May 25, 2018 at 9:50 am | Permalink

      The batty Tories want a free trade deal with the EU so that our farmers will have to compete head on with CAP-subsidised dairy produce. If we relieve our farmers of the artificial production constraints imposed by the French-run CAP, then there will follow surpluses and even lower prices.

      Only WTO rules will give our farmers the break they need from unfair competition (dumping) by French farmers and force them to cut their production.

  3. Posted May 25, 2018 at 5:44 am | Permalink

    Yes the CAP is a Ponzi scheme designed to protect inefficient continental farmers and we have been paying for it twice, through our annual contribution and in higher prices, for too long, another reason I voted to leave.

    From what I read Philip Hammond and the House of Lords don’t agree wanting to remain tied to the EU. No comment yet again from TM?

    • Posted May 25, 2018 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

      T May will certainly cave it. Why else would she have retained Hammond, Carney and the rest. It cannot be for Hammond’s fiscal or economic competence can it.

  4. Posted May 25, 2018 at 5:44 am | Permalink

    Indeed though supermarkets (even the posh ones) do often sell English Apples that are often up to 12 months old and thus not very pleasant at all. Often there are far better apples, pears and cherries on the trees overhanging their car parks than in the shops themselves. I like proper markets (where you can buy just what you need rather then set packs and two for ones offers) and pick your own farms when in season.

    I am all in favour of eating foods when in season – rhubarb, cauliflower, cabbage, asparagus, greens, sprouts, salads, cherries, apples, pears, strawberries, new potatoes, carrots, peas, beans, celeriac, garlic, carrots, swedes, turnips, kiwi, passion fruit, physalis fruit etc.

    Loganberries, blackberries (free), black/white/red currents, gooseberries (and all freeze well too). No shortage of choice in the UK at all. Excellent raw ingredients in the UK (though most UK restaurants tend to be industrial, over prices and rather disappointing in general then again many French and Italian ones are going the same way).

    • Posted May 25, 2018 at 5:58 am | Permalink

      Lovely artichokes, aubergines, pumpkins and cardoons too.

  5. Posted May 25, 2018 at 5:47 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    Looking at the themes from this week I notice that demand and supply of goods and services are set to be out of balance. I think we can all pretty much agree that this is in large due to government policies forced upon it either by the EU or the UN Agenda 21 program.

    So expect less for more.

    The environmental policies are designed to pay land owners for not using their land. A sort of benefits for the rich the middle class and poor will have to pay.

    Of course a compliant media will happily go along with the scam.

    We are the new Kulaks.

  6. Posted May 25, 2018 at 5:55 am | Permalink

    Dominique Lawson on Question Time yesterday:- The two most powerful people in the government (May and Hammond) do not believe in Brexit and that is a disaster. BBC favourite, the insufferable, Anna Soubry on yet again.

    Lawson is surely quite right, but worse still these two have appalling big government, fiscal, economic, PC lunacy, expensive energy, anti-business, anti-self employed, anti-tenant policies too. They even choose to retain proven failure Carney in office!

    Richard Littlejohn is spot on today:-

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-5769361/RICHARD-LITTLEJOHN-Brexit-taking-longer-defeating-Hitler-Nazi-Germany.html

    • Posted May 25, 2018 at 7:55 am | Permalink

      Lifelogic

      Yes viewed Question Time for a while last night, found it utterly depressing.

      The problem is Soubry seems to be right, not enough Conservative MP’s appear to want to dump Mrs May at the moment, and if they did who would stand a chance of being the next leader, if she stood again.

      Real problem with Uk politics at the moment, we do not have a sensible leader in any political Party you could vote for !!!

      • Posted May 25, 2018 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

        Vince Cable. A competent Cabinet minister. Sensible. Sincere. A pensioner but not a nutter.

        But actually my vote will go to the new Renew party. The country is broken. The Tories and Labour have broken it. We must return the favour and break them back.

        • Posted May 25, 2018 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

          Andy

          Ha ha ha ha.. You are definitely a parody account

          Dear old doddery Vince .

          You are going to vote for Renew thats the party whose founder just quit because and I quote “the other members dont believe in democracy”

          Ha ha ha ha …. Come on Andy post some more of your comedy gold. Sacked your staff yet?

        • Posted May 25, 2018 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

          Andy, you have got to be joking. If the Liberals had their way we would all be starving in a year, riding around on horse back and malnourished vegans. I can’t imagine anything worse other than Labour getting in.

        • Posted May 25, 2018 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

          Yes Vince was really competent on the Royal Mail sell off and on the student fees project.
          Hilarious

        • Posted May 26, 2018 at 8:42 am | Permalink

          Vince. As a minister and a libdum with 5% of the vote, he sold the post office to city slickers at a price which then greatly increased and he oversaw the huge increase in student loans to English students. A good ballroom dancer. An academic Mr Bean. Appeals to thick Remainers.

    • Posted May 25, 2018 at 8:52 am | Permalink

      ‘No Deal’ WTO terms is clearly the obvious route to go now. It never gets discussed or mentioned except by the majority of voters who said Leave.

      Any excuse to procrastinate, concede, compromise is grasped eagerly.

      All Barnier has to do is say ‘Non!’

      We – the general public – are being ground down and ignored.

      • Posted May 25, 2018 at 10:28 am | Permalink

        Barnier is at least defending his corner successfully.

        Give nothing away. Make demands. Offer a worse future.

        “Pour encourager les autres” (though Barnier would deny this).

        We need a champion of the nation state. Someone who is determined to take back control.

        • Posted May 25, 2018 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

          You can’t have the nation state and the “rules-based international order” so beloved of -and much mentioned by-Theresa May and her backers.

        • Posted May 25, 2018 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

          Too late Peter..it was a stupid decision in the first place..the British public should never have been allowed to vote on such a serious matter by themselves.. The British people are not conditioned or used to taking decisions for themselves as in times past always deferring to their betters..their betters always knowing best..or so they thought..and now we find ourselves in this fix for which there is so much confusion no one knows how to get out..we can’t hardly blame Barnier or the French on this one..and no thete are no champions out there..what you see is what you get

  7. Posted May 25, 2018 at 6:21 am | Permalink

    On 24 April a debate was held in Westminster Hall to discuss the Dieter Helm Review of UK energy policy.

    At one point, James Heappey (Conservative MP for Wells in Somerset, also on the Advisory Board for Richard Black’s Energy & Climate Intelligence Unit, the lobby group for renewable energy) had this to say:

    It will be very challenging when we have to start telling people that they need to reduce their consumption of meat, milk, cheese and everything else in the interest of decarbonisation, but that conversation is surely coming.

    https://www.theyworkforyou.com/whall/?id=2018-04-24a.308.0

    Is it a logical follow on of Conservative government energy policy that we all convert to veganism?

    • Posted May 25, 2018 at 9:40 am | Permalink

      Elect a bunch of turnips and they are bound to favour their fellow vegetative species.

    • Posted May 25, 2018 at 10:02 am | Permalink

      Veganism is a cult and wholly inappropriate for our climate.
      If the whole country became vegetarian there would be massive food shortages as we would be unable to grow or import enough food.
      It’s a bit like wood burners, encouraged by the PPE students in government and then suddenly realising that they are more polluting than fossil fuels. If everyone switched, there wouldn’t be a tree left in Britain within a year and we would have to resort to burning furniture and old people.

  8. Posted May 25, 2018 at 6:31 am | Permalink

    The government seems to be giving very little consideration to how the rapidly approaching solar grand minimum is likely to hit world food production. For too long it seems they have been in thrall to government scientists and green lobbyists in denial that this is going to have any material impact on temperatures.

    The impact on Northern hemisphere winters is already beginning to be felt. The next few years will be even more interesting.

    • Posted May 25, 2018 at 8:34 am | Permalink

      What are your sources?

      • Posted May 25, 2018 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

        Hefner, One brief news article on the developing solar minimum was in the Grauniad – hardly a hotbed of CAGW scepticism – on 8th April 2018. What about doing your own research?

        • Posted May 25, 2018 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

          Thanks, but there are much more material available on the web, and coming from sources much closer to the actual science than the Guardian’s summary. And not all of them give the same global cooling (from global 0.2 to 1.2 K) nor the same impact (only mesospheric, or stratospheric, or with impact lower down to the surface; with effect only on temperature or on overall meteorological patterns), nor the same potential length of this cooling.
          As so often, I would think it is not so clear-cut, so I thought worth asking for the sources.
          As you might have found yourself (maybe not), when talking about weather, there is like a difference between reports in the Daily Express, in the Guardian or in NASA or NOAA publicly available documents.

          But thank you Nick for answering for Matthu: really appreciated. Not.

          • Posted May 26, 2018 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

            I did actually provide a link in a follow-up – but our host opted not to publish the comment. Sorry.

    • Posted May 25, 2018 at 8:40 am | Permalink

      matthu~~~ “solar grand minimum” I confess I had to look up the term.

      I take it you are talking about cyclical solar “weather”. Please think again on such cosmic predictions.

      Each day I look at my town’s weather forecast from various media sources including direct from the Met Office. Miraculously they all differ… though allegedly based on “sound scientific principles” FROM the Met Office….every single day. The one thing they do hold in common 90% or more of the time is they are wrong! A Met Office “station” is based only a few miles away from me and hourly gets it wrong.
      The sun, is more than a few miles away. I read it somewhere.

      • Posted May 25, 2018 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

        Prigger, You should remember that the great Piers Corbyn bases his weather forecasts on this solar weather. I guess we can expect something from him in the not-too-distant future.

  9. Posted May 25, 2018 at 7:02 am | Permalink

    Out of CAP we coulf at least have a sensible farming policy if we had a sensible gov that is. The best way to be green is probably to eat less meat as growing food to feed to animals then feeding just part of the animal to people is not energy efficient. As much as 99% of the suns energy can be wasted with less than 1% getting to the human as meat.

    • Posted May 25, 2018 at 7:49 am | Permalink

      Though I do like a good rib of beef or steak and kidney pie. What happened to the great government BSE scare?

      The other good news is that the slightly highter CO2 levels each year increases crop yields nicely. The absurd renewable subsidies making no difference other than making energy very expensive unreliable and freezing some unfortunate pensioners.

      • Posted May 25, 2018 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

        BSE was the result of the ‘progressive’ (now strictly prohibited) practice of feeding ‘clean’ animals (herbivores that chew the cud and part the hoof) with processed mammalian protein (the causative agent being a prion – an abnormal form of a neural protein, which could survive normal heat processing, and was thought to have built up in the bovine food chain through the recycling of animal waste into processed cattle rations). Such diseases, which are rare and elusively complex to unravel, tend to be associated with cannibalism, as once seen with ‘kuru’ disease in New Guinea. Thankfully, the problem is now comprehensively solved, and British beef in particular, and grass-fed beef in general, is completely safe. It took many years, and millions of pounds, to restore confidence: an excellent effort by government scientists and employees across the board, not to mention the efforts of a long-suffering livestock industry.

      • Posted May 26, 2018 at 7:26 am | Permalink

        CO2 does not increase the protein and nutritional value of the crop as a human food source. It reduces the Nitrogen fertilizer take up. You need to eat more of it to get your protein ration.

    • Posted May 25, 2018 at 8:59 am | Permalink

      Yes, LL, but you cannot grow lettuces on the hills, whereas the cattle and sheep can roam naturally and feed on the upland grazings, producing much benefit, not least delicious meat. Their offspring are fattened in the lowlands, where the manure improves soil structure, through utilizing the plentiful straw, hay and crop waste. It’s part of a long-established natural cycle, based on topography, and traditional skills. I’m sure you would agree. there are far too many power-freak, ‘greeney’ know-all do-gooders trying to mess this up, many of whom have never done an honest day’s hard work in their lives, and certainly would be absolute flops as farmers.
      For the past 20 years, I’ve grown a lot of the veg and fruit you listed earlier on my allotment – up to 50 different kinds and varieties. But it takes real commitment to do this organically, and many ‘good-lifers give up after a year or two. But its far better than going to the gym, and so satisfying to achieve good results, with optimal health benefits.

      • Posted May 25, 2018 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

        Indeed.

  10. Posted May 25, 2018 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    Duncan – why do you persist with your stupid messages that John Redwood and every other Tory MP “elected” Theresa May as leader of the Conservtive Party? She won the contest in July 2016 after the withdrawal of Andrea Leadsom left Mrs May as the sole candidate so that is how she became the leader.

    From what I recall, John was on record as having supported Andrea Leadsom as had other prominent Conservatives such as ID-S and JR-M, yet you persist with your nonsense. Do your homework! Furthermore I for one I’m heartily sick of your regular rants about “my party”. You don’t possess a party and certainly not the Conservative Party so if you want to claim one then start your own but give the rest of us a break!

    • Posted May 25, 2018 at 8:35 am | Permalink

      Seconded.

    • Posted May 25, 2018 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

      Glenn, Your personal rant against Duncan is ill considered. Mrs May was voted by MPs the clear winner on the first (50.2%) and the second (60.5%) rounds. The third round – between Mrs May and Mrs Leadsom – was to have been put to the party membership, but Mrs Leadsom withdrew. So actually Tory MPs did vote for Mrs May by a majority.

  11. Posted May 25, 2018 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    It’s not going to happen. Both of May’s CU proposals (MaxFac and Customs Partnership) will take years to implement according to HMRC (what they mean is they will make sure they take years to implement), at least five years in the case of May’s favoured Partnership option, so this pushes it to well beyond the next election when I assume Corbyn will be elected (because Brexiters won’t vote for anyone) and cancel the whole thing.

    • Posted May 25, 2018 at 7:58 am | Permalink

      Corbyn and his team of magic money tree dopes (Lammy, Abbott, McDonnall, Starmer and the rest are surely totally unelectable, even against the electoral liabilities of May and Hammond, and they surely will be gone by then.

    • Posted May 25, 2018 at 8:02 am | Permalink

      This is the plan and they have very large funds from foreign sources to pay for propaganda in order to make the dim gammon skinned racists feel good about it.

    • Posted May 25, 2018 at 8:03 am | Permalink

      Every move May makes is designed to keep us enmeshed in the corrupt EU.
      Today I renewed my UKIP membership as it appears we are to be completely shafted.
      The new leader Batten seems to be pulling the party together again.
      It seems the ERG are a busted flush just a lot of hot air.

      • Posted May 25, 2018 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

        Ian,

        You renewing your UKIP membership just says it all. Congratulations with your decision

      • Posted May 25, 2018 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

        Ian

        Yes we have renewed ours too. At least UKIP would take us out if possible unlike this lot. Promise a lot and don’t deliver. We all knew we would never be able to get out and now it is becoming reality. What a load of old cods.

    • Posted May 25, 2018 at 9:11 am | Permalink

      It would be best if the government collapsed.

      It is not delivering anything. We could clear out the dead wood like May, Hammond, Clarke and Soubry. Labour would not be the end of the world either.

      Sir Nigel Farage did so much to win the referendum (at great personal cost). Perhaps he could return to the fray now?

    • Posted May 25, 2018 at 11:42 am | Permalink

      No, it’s not going to happen and we will not be free to grow more home produced food for our requirements. A commenter to an article on Conservative Woman sums it up nicely, in particular the weak argument that we effectively have to accept a fudge because otherwise we will get Corbyn:

      “Mrs May is now holding us hostage to the prospect that we either accept her untrustworthy government’s undefined strategy or risk seeing her replaced by Jeremy Corbyn. There is a problem with this reasoning. Remainers think they have manouvered Brexiteers into a lose-lose situation. Take the faux Brexit May negotiates or get the hardest left Labour government since 1945 – you decide which is the lesser of the evils one of which you are going to get.

      It’s time to confront this challenge. Kick May out now, replace her with a committed Brexiteer and see if the anti-Brexit Tory rebels in the Commons are prepared to run the Corbyn risk themselves. For what it’s worth, I don’t think Corbyn is any more electable that Foot or Kinnock. There is greater danger to a real Brexit in not sacking Mrs May than in keeping her”. (Source: CW. Commenter Pierre Pendre)

  12. Posted May 25, 2018 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    The EU’s Common Agricultural Policy has been a needlessly-expensive nuisance to us for decades. Our freedom from its costs & restrictions enables a brighter future.

    Homegrown produce delivers many benefits. Should our farmers need support, we can decide explicitly how to help them, & provide assistance tailor-made to their needs.

    Doing so seems obvious, yet our previous inability within the EU prevented doing what was right.
    Their notion of ‘common’ sense is:

    You can have what you want
    BUT
    only if everyone else agrees & benefits from it at your expense.

  13. Posted May 25, 2018 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    If the Greens have their way, we will not eat meat. The Downs will be mowed or turned into woodland coppice for woodburners. The fields will be for vegetables and biofuels and we will take food supplements. Children will have to visit zoos to see while arm animals look like and go abroad to see what real meat tastes like. Schoolchildren are already being conditioned by their watermelon teachers for this change. They will learn to enjoy the smell of woodsmoke, as they all sit in their cold homes, wrapped in coir overcoats, applying for a permit to use an electric minibus to visit nearby government approved exercise holiday centres.

    • Posted May 25, 2018 at 10:03 am | Permalink

      My wife’s birthday present from her teacher friend ? A vegan cook book.

      Research has shown the best thing for health, the environment and for animal welfare is a little meat which is well sourced.

    • Posted May 25, 2018 at 11:44 am | Permalink

      Wood burning stoves now off the menu, and of course zoos will be banned.

  14. Posted May 25, 2018 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    We should return to the days when we imported far more from New Zealand. A true friend in the world deserves our support.

    • Posted May 25, 2018 at 8:47 am | Permalink

      Has it ever come to you that Australia and New Zealand might be more interested in maintaining/developing their markets with the countries around the Pacific than going back to strengthening links with the UK which had more or less dumped them in the 70s?
      There are a number of books from various authors with very different points of view on the question. Those I recently read from both sides of the Brexit debate do not seem to see so much growth in trade coming from ANZUK links. It accounts for around 5% now, how much do you expect it to grow to?

      • Posted May 25, 2018 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

        hefner

        I guess you could try asking the NZ people/businesses what they think

        Britain is the third largest investor in New Zealand after the United States and Australia, so the relationship is still very significant. What we have now, maybe, is an opportunity to bring it up to date and place it more in the 21st Century

      • Posted May 25, 2018 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

        Good point well made. What of other countries outside the EU closer to the U.K. which might boost their economies while providing cheaper food to us? Can you think of any?

  15. Posted May 25, 2018 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    If we have the capacity to grow most of our own food, then great – we should concentrate on those items that thrive in our climate – not try and compete with countries that have really hot climates…. there’s nothing to stop us using greenhouse technologies to grow more, but I do agree, the important thing is that we get the food growing to meet our needs, then look at the environment after that….
    There are too many that want to put the physical universe ahead of mankind – a grave mistake, and a total misunderstanding of the nature of man…

  16. Posted May 25, 2018 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    Afraid it all seems like a distant dream at the moment John.

    When I start seeing some real progress in our negotiations with the EU that benefits the UK, then I perhaps will start looking forward with some hope.

    At the moment we seem to have too many Mp’s who simply do not want to have, or want to take control of our own Countries future or destiny they would seem to prefer a foreign power to remain in control.

    The opportunity of a lifetime is going down the drain because the majority of our politicians do not have any faith or vision in our future, and sadly the Prime Minister is a reflection of that view.

    • Posted May 25, 2018 at 8:03 am | Permalink

      It looks like Brexit will take longer that WWII as Littlejohn says.

      So totally useless and obstructive are the government and civil service.

    • Posted May 25, 2018 at 10:05 am | Permalink

      Plan B then: Don’t ever vote again and boycot the BBC.

    • Posted May 25, 2018 at 10:06 am | Permalink

      I’ve just been reading the Irish P.M’s take on the border.
      We adopt the “backstop” which is continued CU and S/M membership until Ireland agrees a suitable position. This he says must be in perpetuity as there is no solution.
      i.e. Britain should agree to the Republics wishes despite voting out.
      WTO beckons.

      • Posted May 25, 2018 at 11:58 am | Permalink

        If the Irish PM were so much as a smidgeon more able he would think of very state-craft ways of making good use of the UK and EU border to its economic advantage instead of joining the EU with his heart rather than his mind

    • Posted May 25, 2018 at 10:19 am | Permalink

      Indeed.

      Frustrating that we got so near and are still so far away. We are in great danger of being tied to the EU with less rights, no say and huge outgoings.

      It could either turn you into Mr. Angry or else a world-weary, phlegmatic but cynical individual.

  17. Posted May 25, 2018 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    Off subject. We are now being told that no systems will be ready until the end or beyond the non transition period and that the EU is assuming that the UK will be paying as usual during this time. £39bn has been offered by May, as a sweetener if we are to get free trade, but now they are saying the EU gets the bribe anyway. £50bn is the sort of money mentioned for the NHS, to be found from extra taxation.

    On the other hand, British and Irish officials have told us that they were implementing a customs system fom 2016 and that this would be finished by 2019.

    Could MPs ask them why a nation which is a leader in space and computing cannot adapt an EU approved customs system to handle tariffs from outside the EU by 2019, especially as the EU already imports much from outside and the Dutch are already taking on staff to accommodate the change?

    Is our Remainer government taking us for a ride?

    • Posted May 25, 2018 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

      In reply to your last question, Yes, Stred, with the support apparently of all the Tory MPs, Brexiters included.

  18. Posted May 25, 2018 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    We could possibly learn something from the Spanish who tend to eat what is in season. Now it is strawberries, next it will be cherries and apricots. In the UK you pay a fortune for insisting on mange tout all the year round, and you pay in quality by not being patient and waiting for Evesham asparagus , incidentally about now.

    When we are out of the EU we can avoid EU protectionist tariffs and buy citrus fruit for instance wherever we wish. Sugar from cane is heavily discouraged with EU tariffs amounting to Euros 339/Tonne, and Euros 419/Tonne on white sugar. All to protect EU sugar which is made from beet. The normal price of white sugar is around $320/340 per tonne, around 270/290 Euros per tonne. In the EU they add a further Euros 419 in duty so we pay Euros 690/710 per tonne. Cannot think of a better argument for leaving.

  19. Posted May 25, 2018 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    Just eating breakfast at work. Aldi have prepared me a lovely fruit salad , very fresh for just £ 1.00. Aldi have a lot of business in the UK . Do they honesty think that this will all go?

  20. Posted May 25, 2018 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    Oranges. I had one in Arizona bought from a store. It was the most tasty gorgeous orange I had experienced in my entire long life, no kidding. I complimented my American host on such a a marvel of fruit. But she blushed and said “Actually, we can grow this kind here but it comes from Mexico as they are cheaper.

    So we should look further than the EU for food. There are wonders out there and cheaper than anything the EU can produce even in the EU’s capital of youth unemployment Spain

  21. Posted May 25, 2018 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    What Defra ought to be keen on is providing for food security, not its own fond notions of green.

    Should we brace ourselves for another stab in the back from quisling civil servants schooled in the warped ways of CAP and ill-directed and controlled by weak and vacillating ministers? If so, I would prefer a Corbyn-led government for that would achieve a wide consensus that in its aftermath, thorough stable-cleaning was essential (as in 1979).

    • Posted May 25, 2018 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

      Your first sentence, formula57, is absolutely right, but Michael Gove will not put us in this direction, I fear. He is making the fatal step of chasing the mythical centre ground and the green lobby groups, and moulding his policies to suit them, rather than formulating policies based on sound Conservative (have they forgotten what that means?) ideology/principles. He will not convince many. The voters have got the “Conservatives” sussed out by now.

  22. Posted May 25, 2018 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    Dear Mr Redwood

    I realise you are reluctant to comment on EU-UK negotiations following every controversial newspaper headline but, from reading the above comments, it’s clear that a lot of people don’t fully understand the problems the government is facing – which I predicted would happen once the 2017 election result became known. Too many pro-Brexit commentators wrapped themselves in the comfort blanket of believing that the Labour party were committed to leaving the EU. Maybe – maybe not , but there was not a snowball’s chance in hell that Labour would not try to undermine Tory negotiations. The Tories were on their own – with a little help from their DUP friends.

    Is Theresa May a “remainer”? Probably – but it’s irrelevant. I know your feelings on how UK negotiations should progress – and I agree with you. But you (& JRM & Boris) know that you could never walk away from the table – because parliament wouldn’t let you.

    The EU knows this. They know how the numbers in the Lords are stacked. Barnier has met with Corbyn, Starmer and pretty much every other Brexit wrecker over the past 12 months and probably knows to within a couple of votes how different scenarios will play out in the Commons.

    The government has been in a difficult position from the off, and in order to make progress in the talks has bound up much of our leverage in the withdrawal agreement. FWIW, I still think the ‘backstop’ option(s) might not be necessary. i.e. there probably will be a free trade agreement but I’ll be surprised if it’s one that’s beneficial to the UK.

    The only option I can see now is concerted action by the public in the form of a mass boycott of EU produce

  23. Posted May 25, 2018 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    Another household name shop is being sold off for one Pound.

    It may be a commercial question of location-location-location and a multitude of other considerations to blame for the failure of some leading stores here. It has to be wondered about. How with a growing population, 250,000 migrants settling here every year and more that massive retail outlets can’t sell household goods much needed by growing families, DIY stuff of all kinds, baby products and, food.

  24. Posted May 25, 2018 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    If we don’t leave the whole political map changes. Nearly 20 million people are not going to stand for it.

    The way I see it is the ” left” is not pro EU and never have been. The liberal new labour party headed by Blair took them there. Many voters left in disgust and joined the Conservatives or UKIP.

    After we won the vote to leave those left wing voters went back to a labour party under Corbyn. Corbyn speaks to them as he gets rid of the Blairites.

    The result of the last election shows this and Conservative voters also came back home.

    If the referendum result is overturned all bets are off. Nearly 20 million people from the left and right are going to have to try and find a new political home.

    Because it will be seen as the Conservative party betrayed everyone because many within the party didn’t even want Brexit. It could easily be destroyed for a generation.

    The real question is where are nearly 20 million people going to go ?

  25. Posted May 25, 2018 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    You have made no mention of Fishing, John. The agreed deal is for the status quo to continue as with about everything else. Implementation period followed by extension. This will allow the EU to further damage the industry and decimate fishing communities. Incredibly, Mr Gove has gone along with this. In all conscience, anyone with his family history would refuse to accept this, but he has.

    Should Mrs May be allowed to continue to the point where she starts to sign documents? If so, I believe we really are in trouble and enormous damage will be done to the country, economically and socially, and democratic credibility destroyed.

  26. Posted May 25, 2018 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    Currently, there are 21 members on the Brexit committee, only 7 of which voted to leave the EU

    • Posted May 25, 2018 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

      DH

      Ref your comment.

      Simply daft to have a minority of those who want to move forward in any committee let alone Brexit..

      Perhaps the above should/may give us the suggestion/impression of a remain fix.

      The cabinet has a similar ratio it would seem.

  27. Posted May 25, 2018 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    I’m not a fan of subsidies of any kind, and agriculture is no different.

    In general, state intervention distorts any market pricing, and this makes economic activity very difficult for anyone who is not is receipt of state handouts.

    New Zealand has a great model that we should be following, i.e. removal of all agricultural subsidies. Yes it was difficult at first, but now NZ has a profitable sector with strong export markets.

    The Tories have also placed a cap on the amount of benefits that people can claim. I certainly feel that agricultural subsidies should fall within this benefit cap – how can the government justify giving an ennobled landowner £300k per annum when a single parent with no assets caps out at a £25k handout?

  28. Posted May 25, 2018 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    I think we need to decide whether green means what it used to mean – good care of the countryside, promoting policies which protect clean air, songbirds bees numbers etc – or does it mean policies aimed at reducing CO2? The two are often mutually exclsuive. Two recent examples are the state-EU directed promotions of diesel and of wood burning. Both these policies were instigated to reduce CO2 and both are now going into reverse due to bad effects on air quality. Both examples show how environmental laws and regs made in haste to signal virtue can be very bad news indeed. Likewise the CAP, which has encouraged heavily chemicalised farming is surely the main reason behind the decline of songbirds and bees. Me Gove should make reversal of this a priority for an independent agricultural policy.

  29. Posted May 25, 2018 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    I also noticed that I can buy British tomatoes almost all year round.

    We need to stop cheap unskilled labour and return to being a post industrialised mechanised country. There are machines that harvest market garden produce, we don’t need low wage eastern Europeans who won’t earn enough to pay any tax.

    We want small businesses to be able to buy and lease/hire out these harvesting machines. Improve productivity and generate taxable income.

  30. Posted May 25, 2018 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    Off-topic, there’s been a lot on TV this morning about GDPR, with BBC Breakfast running five-minute segments, one of which called upon the Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham to provide “a good explanation”. But neither she nor anyone else mentioned that this is an EU law, and moreover over as a Regulation it has direct effect, even though of course she at least is perfectly well aware of that:

    https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/data-protection-act-2018/

    “Data Protection Act 2018”

    “The UK’s third generation of data protection law has now received the Royal Assent and its main provisions will commence on 25 May 2018. The new Act aims to modernise data protection laws to ensure they are effective in the years to come.”

    “What is the difference between the DPA 2018 and the GDPR?”

    “The GDPR has direct effect across all EU member states and has already been passed. This means organisations will still have to comply with this regulation and we will still have to look to the GDPR for most legal obligations. However, the GDPR gives member states limited opportunities to make provisions for how it applies in their country. One element of the DPA 2018 is the details of these. It is therefore important the GDPR and the DPA 2018 are read side by side.”

    In so many ways it’s almost as if we have never had a referendum to decide whether we should remain in the EU or leave the EU, and a majority voted to leave.

    The same old lies and half-truths and factual omissions are still being churned out in the media day after day; none of it ever gets rebutted by the still pro-EU government; and of course we even have an totally unreformed pro-EU Chancellor of the Exchequer who authorises Treasury and Bank of England officials to produce new editions of the same Remain rubbish that they were producing as part of their referendum campaign, so that it can become a widely accepted fact that it will inevitably be an economic disaster to carry out the foolish wishes of the voters as expressed in that referendum.

    • Posted May 25, 2018 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

      Microsoft has notified me that the UK Parliament is now a blocked sender because it has failed to comply with the GDPR requirements … meanwhile the EU’s own enforcer is gearing up to chase down and punish all those who break this EU law, which could include the UK Parliament ….

      https://euobserver.com/justice/141903

      “Andrea Jelinek, a former Austrian police chief, will be in charge of coordinating enforcement of the EU’s general data protection rules as of Friday (25 May) – in a move that has rattled companies worldwide.

      Jelinek chairs a new EU body known as the European data protection board or EDPB which coordinates all the national data protection authorities in a bid to ensure European rights to privacy are uniformly respected throughout member states.

      It comes with the power to slap huge fines on companies that refuse or fail to comply with the regulation.”

  31. Posted May 25, 2018 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    I am told that DEFRA is being asked to increase its work load about 50 fold and such is the demand for anyone who ever worked in the civil services they can name their own Price
    There are not good economic reasons cut down food miles, which means protectionist tariffs, and actually, counter intuitively , there is no environmental gain either
    This all look as promising as the rest of it , higher food prices , subsidised farms and duplicated bureaucracy , loss of exports and a DEFRA swollen to the size of a fast food chomping Brexit voter.
    If we are going to be bankrupted by this Grande Projet can we at least have some cheap toxic chickens and bread with a slave worker actually on the packet . The EU protected agriculture, cheap as chips ..chips is about the only good thing about it .If the rest of us are to be thrown to the wolves the farmers can join us
    I`m not paying for one more Range Rover for an industry that does not pay its way

  32. Posted May 25, 2018 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    Buy your salads at Waitrose. When the weather was bad in Spain and a supply shortage happened, Waitrose decided to build a state of the art salad production facility in Evesham. They produce salad leafs 365 days of year. Top marks for positive thinking.
    Thanet Earth also responded by adding two new state of the art greenhouses for toms, cucumbers and peppers. Production for 11 months of the year.
    Remainers “We will all starve.”
    Leavers “Lets get the investment in and make it in the UK.”

    • Posted May 25, 2018 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

      On a much larger scale obviously,Russia did the same when it introduced counter sanctions against the EU-NATO over Crimea,dramatically reducing it’s food import bill and significantly boosting it’s domestic production across a range of foodstuffs.

      • Posted May 26, 2018 at 10:09 am | Permalink

        One of their reasons for interest in the Ukraine is that it was in Soviet times known as the bread basket of Russia. All sorts of fresh produce came up from Georgia to the Moscow Central Market, grown by the peasant farmers who sold it and travelled by air or train. Outlying towns might have had to rely more on frozen fish and white cabbages. Coffee and sugar came from Cuba. There was also extensive supply from the Balkan countries – who are now mainly in the EU.

    • Posted May 25, 2018 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

      ralphmalph

      Thanet Earth produce approximately 225 million tomatoes, 16 million peppers and 13 million cucumbers a year, equal to roughly 12, 11 and 8 per cent respectively of Britain’s entire annual production of those salad ingredients. They employ 700 people

  33. Posted May 25, 2018 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    If I remember rightly when the EEC was originally established it was France and Germany who laid down the rules and they ensured that the priorities were German manufacturing and French farmers. Nothing much has changed. We gained little by joining and will lose nothing by leaving.

    • Posted May 25, 2018 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

      If you look at the prehistory and earlier history of the “EEC” on Wikipedia, it seems that the situation was more complex than what you have written above. Various reports (the Spaak one in particular) and the earlier decisions were accepted and voted with the unanimity of the original six founding countries. Then later De Gaulle/France was for a while absent of decisions (the “empty chair policy”) because of conflicts around the CAP, a time when there certainly was no agreement between France and the rest.

      Given that all earlier decisions required the unanimity of all six members, for an outside observer, it can certainly look like the German-French couple was dominating all the decisions but for example some decisions concerning wine were very much the occasion for hard talks between Italy, Germany on one side, and the French (with still a lot of wine coming from Algeria) on the other.

  34. Posted May 25, 2018 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    Your vision, Mr Redwood, will not come to pass as long as we have this PM. Theresa May needs to follow President Trump’s advice. She is apparently clueless or wilfully deceitful:

    “Negotiations 101: The best deals you can make are the ones you walk away from…and then get them with better terms” (from 2014 quote)

  35. Posted May 25, 2018 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    Farmers are in a state of flux not knowing what is going to replace the subsidies they get, which are mostly aimed at those who own the land, rather than those actually farming it. I think it is essential that Gove turns his attention in their direction rather sounding off about the environment. Our animals have higher welfare standards than anywhere else. You only have to cross the channel to the Low Countries to see how little biodiversity they are concerned with… so bearing these things in mind… more about farming and less about the environment.

    I buy locally, I even buy British cars, not foreign ones – that is my first priority – the twiddly bits come after…. we all need to be supporting British farming, business and keeping our workforce employed as a priority over those in other countries. Little Englander? Yep… what are you going to do about it? I call it patriotic.

  36. Posted May 25, 2018 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    On the Daily Politics the Labour MP Stephen Kinnock was allowed to repeat his nonsensical proposal that after leaving the EU we should try to join EFTA and use that status to try to stay in the EEA. This would, he said, solve all those intractable problems which have been unnecessarily thrown up through the short-sightedness and extremism and incompetence of the Tory government. He did mention that the EFTA members of the EEA are not in a customs union with the EU, so that’s some progress I suppose, but he didn’t seem to realise that the Irish government has already totally rejected any customs border like that between Sweden, in the EU and EEA, and Norway, in EFTA and the EEA, however “light touch” some may say that is. And that absurd, extreme and intransigent position is not newly adopted, because the Irish government has been saying it for at least six months but apparently Stephen Kinnock and some others have not noticed.

  37. Posted May 25, 2018 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    In this government there is noted lack of interest in small businesses, farmers and consumers. Only the 10% EU connected big businesses are important.
    This government is run by the Establishment for the Establishment.

  38. Posted May 25, 2018 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    John,

    This is all very well, but the farmers and the vegetable growers are very clear on this policy, unless the seasonal workers from the EU can come in or we make a special system for seasonal growers and pickers , there will be no bonanza for UK growers outside the EU, actually the complete opposite.

    So let us not forget that very important aspect before we see more UK products on the shelves. thank you

    • Posted May 25, 2018 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

      Instead of low pay min wage workers perhaps the agricultural industry will now invest in more modern machinery.

    • Posted May 25, 2018 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

      hans

      Producers such as Thanet Earth have established a system that is no longer seasonal it operates 11 months of the year . Maybe thats the way forward. Oh and maybe a British government might want to change the absolutely stupid benefits system to something that actually works and allows people to do a job . Might be worth politicians stop fighting Zero Hour Contracts and find out why 61% of people on them DO NOT want longer hours

      I can assure you farmers and growers couldn’t care less where workers come from… they just want workers …. As I think I may have mentioned, we have massive skills shortages in UK

  39. Posted May 25, 2018 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    Why should a Tory MP have to quit her government role to fight for Brexit?

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-44244395

    Is that because collective responsibility makes it difficult for her to fight for Brexit against the wishes of the Prime Minister and her evil counsellors?

  40. Posted May 25, 2018 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

    If we had a proper Opposition they would request that former Home Secretary Amber Rudd be brought before Parliament and not just a Committee to answer some questions. There does seem to be an outbreak or rather an escalation of violence, stabbings, toxic chemical attacks…use of firearms and even more if local news of such were not downplayed by MSM.
    Of course one cannot mention the fact that it didn’t used to be like this here in the UK. History has gone down the Memory Hole.She has played her part in propagating this Third World Hell.

  41. Posted May 25, 2018 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    What Brexit will actually mean is lower quality food and mass unemployment in British agriculture.

    Frankenstein foods will be imported en masse from the United States with entirely predictable consequences on health.

    This will help the Tories rich friends in the healthcare industry who will flog more expensive drugs to us all.

    Crops will go rotting in British fields – with no one to pick them.

    The British countryside will begin its slow Tory inflicted death. At which point they’ll no doubt legalise fox hunting again. Because posh landowners have been bereft since they were banned from spending their Sunday’s watching animals being ripped to shreds.

    • Posted May 25, 2018 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

      Hilarious project fear post yet again Andy.
      It reads just like a Dave Spart column in Private Eye.

    • Posted May 25, 2018 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

      Andy

      Your posts get more detached from reality by the day.

      How about you show any evidence to back up this drivel

  42. Posted May 25, 2018 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    If we wish to grow more food for our own consumption and for export we should abandon the insane practice of planting trees on perfectly good farm land.

  43. Posted May 25, 2018 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

    Less than a year ago, the EU was persuaded to increase import duties on oranges by 16%. This is very bad news for all EU consumers and also for the citrus exporters of other countries. The only organisations that benefit are Spanish citrus farmers, and of course the EU that stands to collect millions more from the increased tariffs that flow directly to them.

  44. Posted May 25, 2018 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

    I cannot understand why the UK government persists in wanting to be dependent on the EU Galileo satellite navigation system. Are we really going to ask our military to put their lives on the line in a crisis reliant on a system that Brussels are willing to deny them access too in peacetime? What if we had fought Salam Hussein using systems that Jacques Chirac and Gerard Schroeder could have turned off. The madness and niavity of the current government knows no bounds.

    • Posted May 25, 2018 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

      Do you prefer to be dependent on the US GPS or the Russian or the Chinese system? Also remember the UK does not have a launcher: will the UK use one of the US rockets, the Russian Soyuz or the ESA Ariane-5 to launch its own fleet of satellites?
      Also as most huge project, the UK Galileo-type system is very likely to be, if ever it comes into existence, much over budget? Will you want a totally publicly funded program or a public-private partnership to fund it?
      As an informed Queen’s subject, how and what will you choose? Tough, isn’t it?

      Specially about a EU space program that started to be discussed from 1999, with first test satellites in 2005 and 2006, and now some 18 (or is it 22?) operational satellites already in orbit. How quickly do you think the UK is going to be catching up?

    • Posted May 26, 2018 at 9:33 am | Permalink

      By refusing access to a system largely designed and built with British expertise and money, the EU is hoping to capture a successful industry with staff and equipment having to move. We should put a security ban on this and deprive them of the ability to finish this much delayed expensive project. Then perhaps partner with Spacex

      • Posted May 26, 2018 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

        Oh yes, a “British” system started by Germany, Italy and France, taken over around 2000 by the ESA, with Ground Operations Centres in Oberpfaffenhofen, G, and Fucino, I, with Global Security Monitoring Centres in St Germain-en-Laye, F, and Swanwick, UK, with Ground Control Station in Spain, with TTC (telemetry, tracking & control) in Kiruna Sweden, Kourou French Guyana, Noumea New Caled. Sainte-Marie Reunion, Svalbard, Redu Belgium, plus 21 presently working ULS (uplink station) all over the globe, including Ascension, and to be possibly added and not working yet Falklands, Diego Garcia.
        I guess it might be tough to comment on this type of things when one only has information from the red tops. Maybe having worked in a previous life on this type of data products I should not be so tough on some poor souls, but there is a level of ignorance combined with an urge to comment that tends to make me puke. And BTW I put the Chancellor among the poor souls.

  45. Posted May 25, 2018 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

    No, no John: for Defra ‘green’ means not hurting the planet by interfering with its natural course. The ‘Environment’ comes first in Defra’s title, let’s not forget. Food is a secondary consideration – coming well after white wine in the list of needs. Fruit and vegetables should be reassuringly expensive, rationed like water and energy, and who still eats meat?? I mean, Really!
    Landowners should be generously subsidised for their sheer goodness of heart in letting us gaze from afar on the greenness of their (erstwhile) pastures – but without muddying it by walking on rights-of-way. All together say ‘I believe in AGW’ – and clap your hands, children.

  46. Posted May 25, 2018 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

    I recently returned from a trip to Dunkerque and Ypres (leper), where we paid our respects at several war memorials, including the huge CWGC cemetery at Tyne Cot (….A Soldier of the Great War, Known unto God…) and the Menin Gate, wher we heard the Last Post played, as it is every evening at 20:00 hrs

    I noticed that none of the French or Belgian supermarkets that we visited had a single item of British produce. Not one. In fact the French Lidl supermarket in Dunkerque only stocked French produce, mostly from their regions. And their food is ridiculously cheap, I bought a huge Camembert round for 1.35 euro…

    Off topic. When is something going to be done about the constant losses of classified data from missing MoD computers? Official figures suggest that at least 950 computers have been stolen or lost by the Ministry of Defence in the last three years. There are only two reasons for this, either MoD employees are dishonestly selling them to supplement their meagre incomes – or the MoD is riddled with spies working for foreign powers and who are blatantly stealing them. Recently, written questions have been asked of the Secretary of State, see below

    https://ukdefencejournal.org.uk/the-ministry-of-defence-have-lost-almost-1000-computers-in-the-last-three-years/

  47. Posted May 25, 2018 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

    HMG should be in direct contact with Spanish national and regional governments to assure them that only Brussels playing silly b’s will obstruct continuing tariff-free trade in veg and fruit. Yes, we will open our markets to 3rd countries without imposing EU protectionist barriers, but Spain will retain the advantage of proximity and of familiar produce, traders and carriers.

  48. Posted May 25, 2018 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

    Congrat to the Irish electors!

    • Posted May 26, 2018 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

      Yes, they did as they were bidden by their media and their grinning political leaders.
      The unborn have no political representation. The demographic result is sclerotic societies full of ageing people with nobody to care for them or earn their pensions, heavily dependent on young immigrants who may have little or no interest in their continued existence. Worth a thought.

      • Posted May 26, 2018 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

        Agreed – a sad day for Ireland, and very sad our own Government approve the outcome. These so-called liberal trends are really only a symptom of a deeper malaise in Western society. Meanwhile, President Trump addresses a large Pro-Life rally in the US, and is gaining the respect of many over there, and the ire of the liberal left everywhere, especially here in the UK. Whilst Americans are aware of the huge problems in their own society, they see Europe as dying, whose end is rapidly approaching. Question is, are we on the wrong side? All the signs are, we are indeed.

  49. Posted May 26, 2018 at 7:17 am | Permalink

    Gerard Batten has the qualities of a high-performance leader, lacking only the original intent, owing to his earlier wish to retire.

    UKIP’s previous 4m voters may now be looking for some fast action, in contrast to Mrs May’s slower pace. Events can change suddenly, triggered even via a few seconds misspoken on TV.

    Mr Batten has the capability to cause a major effect. A better outcome may not be green, but nearer purple.

  50. Posted May 26, 2018 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    I remain concerned that Gove’s green policies are aimed too much at energy crops rather than food crops. It really is time he woke up to the bad economics and poor real environmentalism of so-called bio energy – and here I mean bioethanol, biodiesel and Drax woodchips, rather than undried wood consumed in domestic woodburners.

  51. Posted May 28, 2018 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

    Mr Redwood – it would be very interesting to hear more of your thoughts. If you’ve written at length on the subject, please post a link.

    I say this because there is a tension in developing a new farming policy. Tariffs protect domestic producers at a cost to consumers. This is clearly demonstrated by Noway and Switzerland, both outside of the CAP but both of which protect their farming sectors with tariffs. Parts of UK agriculture are internationally competitive (wheat being an excellent example) but others are not (upland sheep and cattle farming). If the UK were to reduce tariffs in the less competitive sectors, then subsidies would need to be increased (which I believe would be compatible with WTO rules). Without this, farming in some areas would greatly reduce and the land would either find other uses or return to nature. This would change the landscape.

    The second tension is with regulation. UK consumers are ‘cautious’ (putting it kindly) about technology in farming which restricts farmers’ access to new technologies. This increases their costs and makes it more difficult to compete with high-technology farming such as in the US and Australia. An example are the neo-nics which the UK Government has said it will continue to prohibit but which are available to farmers in other countries outside the EU. Will we give farmers access to these tools, or give subsidies because farmers won’t be allowed to use them?

    Temporary workers are an issue for specific agricultural sectors. I don’t see wages going up enough to attract UK citizens to tough non-permanent jobs in expensive parts of the country. With long-term investment in R&D, robotics might help but a temporary workers scheme is needed in the short term. Without temporary workers, farmers will switch back from soft fruits and salads to broad acre crops like wheat and OSR which need few, skilled, permanent staff.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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