Farm management and more food

The agricultural lobbyists are worried that leaving the EU will mean they can  no longer recruit plenty of low wage labour from the continent to carry out tasks like fruit picking and vegetable harvesting by hand. The government will continue seasonal workers schemes and will make available a sensible number of labour permits. It should also promote productivity enhancing investment in  technology.

There are now various systems to allow mechanised harvesting of everything from vegetables to fruit. Intelligent tractors and farm drones are able to plough, sow, spray and perform many other chores. The farmer will increasingly become the controller of complex systems of AI. He or she from the office will have detailed reports on the state of the crop, the diary for tending and harvesting and details of any problems. He or she will instruct the tractors, drones and other equipment to carry out the work needed at each stage of the development of the crop.

Some of the equipment will be large and expensive. A further move to larger farms would expedite this, but smaller farms can come together with rental agreements or with co-operative approaches, sharing the equipment needed to service their fields. UK farming is often more advanced and better capitalised than many continental farms, where small units lacking in capital characterise big areas. Here in the UK the very high cost of farmland means many farmers are tenants or employee managers. We need to find more ways of incentivising owners of land to work with farmers to put in the capital required.

As an ageing population of tenant farmers retires there is more scope to look at farm amalgamation and at new contract arrangements for younger farmers who cannot afford to buy land. Technology will be a great driver of new ways of farming, and will boost agricultural productivity. Leasing, hiring, and co-operating all offer options for new farmers to earn a good  living alongside farm owners who want to make a decent return.

The UK is a large net importer of food from the rest of the EU as we have lost substantial market share in temperate foods since joining the EEC. and losing tariff protection. If on exit  the EU imposes their high external tariffs on UK food  we should impose selective tariffs on products where we can switch to more home consumption of our own product. We are likely to eat more  home produced lamb and less imported  beef if the EU opts for the tariff route. We should remove all tariffs on things we cannot produce for ourselves.

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  1. Mark B
    Posted July 31, 2019 at 5:24 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    I do not believe that the WA contains a tariff schedule. Therefore signing it would not address the concerns of farmers and business.

    Sterling has continued to drop and this should offset any tariff costs imposed on UK farmers by the EU.

    I am very keen to hear what our government proposes for fishing and fishing communities. As I stated yesterday I would like to see a ban on pulse fishing in UK waters. I would also like to see more control over what fish are caught and the amounts.

    If the EU impose high tariffs we should redouble our efforts to get FTA’s with other countries and seek to open new markets, leaving the EU without a FTA and imposing high tariffs on their goods.

    Further. Any points based immigration system must take into account ‘Friendly Country Status’. What I mean is, any country that acts in a manner that is not friendly to UK interests, e.g. high tariffs, places their own people in a less than advantageous position in terms of getting a work permit than a friendly one. And believe me they are going to want to be nice to us.

    • Mockbeggar
      Posted July 31, 2019 at 8:07 am | Permalink

      I have heard that pulse fishing is the second worst method of fishing after bottom trawling which turns large parts of the sea floor into deserts. As far as I know, only the Dutch are permitted to pulse fish on ‘an experimental basis’. I suspect this may be similar to Japanese ‘scientific research’ into whaling.

      It would be useful to have some independent expert advice on this subject.

    • NickC
      Posted July 31, 2019 at 10:34 am | Permalink

      Mark B, Everything you say is sensible and worthwhile. But it can only be carried out if we actually leave the EU treaties and do not re-join them via another. Delays mean we may lose these opportunities for good.

      Boris is now saying that we will be in the EU’s CU and SM for another 2 years. That means in essence we will still be subject to the CAP and CFP. And paying. Giving way on leaving like this opens the door for further extensions ad infinitum.

      One week and we’ve been betrayed already.

      • Richard Elsy
        Posted July 31, 2019 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

        I’m also worried about this although I’m hoping that this is being advanced as a bargaining position which would be premised on a ‘stand still’ period during which the FTA is negotiated. It must be ‘stand still’ only in respect of the trade relationship as is my understanding of the GATT terms. For all other matters the UK will be treated as a Third Country.

      • Simeon
        Posted July 31, 2019 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

        Sir John,

        Many of your regular contributors are concerned that BJ might not be entirely trustworthy. Will you be addressing these concerns in tomorrow’s post?

      • Kevin Lohse
        Posted August 1, 2019 at 7:38 am | Permalink

        Don’t confuse bait to get negotiations restarted with policy changes. BoJo was very careful in his wording.

    • tim
      Posted July 31, 2019 at 10:41 am | Permalink

      you are sounding like my hero Donald Trump, I like it. Remember we are at war with Brussels, if we succeed why would any one be in the EU

      • margaret howard
        Posted July 31, 2019 at 10:28 pm | Permalink


        We are at war with Brussels? How? What have they done? We are one of 28 countries of the world’s most successful trading bloc.

        OUR politicians, nobody in the EU, decided to call a referendum and then decided that a nearly 50/50 result must be honoured. Fair enough but there is no club in the world where a leaving member can leave without honouring the rules

        Should we do so the world will believe once again that the French sobriquet for us, ”Albion Perfidique’ is still justified.

        Who will want to trade with an unreliable partner?

        • Kevin Lohse
          Posted August 1, 2019 at 7:41 am | Permalink

          Remind us once more. What rules for leaving are set out in Art 50 and which ones are the UK not honouring?

        • NickC
          Posted August 1, 2019 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

          Margaret Howard, Yes we are in a bureaucratic war with the EU. You think that making us a colony, demanding £39bn bribes with menaces, tying us back under EU control via the dWA treaty, and refusing to negotiate a trade deal, is the act of a friendly neighbour? You get sillier by the day.

    • Rob
      Posted July 31, 2019 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

      The fishing industry will double in size as we have half of the fish stocks but only 25% of quote. Truly laughable. Onshore processing will grow fast as well

      • Butties
        Posted July 31, 2019 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

        Yes Rob,
        I live in Kernow, imagine if all that fish offal (from processing) was blended with blood and bone ( another of our big agricultural waste sectors) with the addition of China Clay waste sand ( beats John Innes hands down) to produce fertilizer. Currently the French Fleet suck up fish purely for this purpose so I am informed.
        Include methane production for energy production in the scheme of things via the conversion processes (anaerobic digesters). The future looks bright outside the EU.
        Self sufficiency? How about transferring those huge subsidies to small producers to kick start the rural UK revolution.
        Fields should not be dominated by horses.

  2. Javelin
    Posted July 31, 2019 at 5:26 am | Permalink

    Cummings is not a political genius. Brexit was won in the comments online, not in the head of a political wonk.

    The comments in the Conservative press online are 100% saying, very emotionally strongly, saying that if Boris backtracks in anyway from Oct 31st nobody will vote for the Conservatives again.

    The party is facing its Waterloo.

    • Gary C
      Posted July 31, 2019 at 6:03 am | Permalink

      Simply put Boris needs to deliver Brexit to earn our votes.

      The conservatives have shown good reason as to why the electorate should not give them our trust or respect, the only way to recoup that is to honour the referendum and produce a proper clean cut Brexit.

      Your choice, deliver or TBP.

      • Shirley
        Posted July 31, 2019 at 6:58 am | Permalink

        Hear, hear! Politicians (of all colours) have lied to us consistently since we joined the EEC, starting with Heath, and has continued ever since. All trust has gone, and the constant erosion of our democracy will never be accepted. If politicians are not honest, and/or do not keep their promises, then we will abandon the main parties with pleasure.
        Will Boris follow the trend, or will he actually deliver on his promises. We are watching, and waiting.

        • Jiminyjim
          Posted July 31, 2019 at 9:07 am | Permalink

          Yesterday’s news is worrying – that Boris is now talking about a two year transition, but at the same time insisting that he will leave with or without a deal at the end of October.
          He needs to be warned, Sir John, that if he starts talking, like our last dreaded PM, out of both sides of his mouth at once, the retribution via TBP will be swift and long-lasting. A two year transition agreement is NOT leaving the EU!

        • Lifelogic
          Posted July 31, 2019 at 9:17 am | Permalink

          Indeed we shall see very soon.

          The blame for the current mess lies not with those who sensibly want to leave the EU and restore democratic UK government. The blame lies with all the governments from Ted Heath through to Theresa May who lied, cheated, prevented the people having any say (other than Wilson and eventually Cameron) and buried us more and more deeply under EU regulations, EU laws and courts.

        • Timaction
          Posted July 31, 2019 at 9:22 am | Permalink


        • Tad Davison
          Posted July 31, 2019 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

          I’m prepared to give Boris the benefit of the doubt – for now, but the country will not tolerate any back-sliding. When he says he will take the UK out of the European Union on the 31st October, ‘no ifs, no buts’, we expect him to do just that, not water it down and make compromises.

          The Tories have got to learn that this really IS their last chance! They cannot keep dumping these con-artists upon us. If Johnson delivers, he will go down in history as one of the all-time great Prime Ministers. If he reneges on his promise, he will be possibly the shortest-serving Prime Ministers in our nation’s long history, and will be down among the dregs of the past thirty years. I doubt if his ego could tolerate that.

          Nigel awaits Johnson’s failure!

          • L Jones
            Posted July 31, 2019 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

            BJ’s voting for May’s execrable WA at the third time of its appearance has always been worrying. Why did he think it was worth voting for when, as one of the ”Spartans” said, not a comma had been changed? From what’s being reported, he may think it’s worth hanging on to it (minus the ‘backstop’). Why is it that many MPs STILL think that we ‘little people’ couldn’t possibly have reasearched and understood its implications all by ourselves? That we know how it betrays us? Why do they still think we can be fobbed off with posturing and pretence?

            Remainers may not do much research, and have been content to accept what they see as the status quo, but Leavers most certainly do – from the day they told us we’d have a referendum. Most of us needed to inform ourselves, and still do.

            If BJ spoke to us ALL (addressed the nation) and tore up this surrender document live on air, then we might get behind him one hundred per cent. At the moment he seems suspect still. I wish we could believe in him, I really do.

          • Fedupsoutherner
            Posted July 31, 2019 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

            Tad, great post and you speak for many of us. If Boris can’t manage it then stand aside for Nigel. We are all sick of the lies and deceit that is rampant in the Tory party.

          • margaret howard
            Posted July 31, 2019 at 10:33 pm | Permalink


            “Nigel awaits Johnson’s failure!”

            From the frying pan into the fire.

          • Tad Davison
            Posted August 2, 2019 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

            Thank you fedupsoutherner. It’s a pity Margaret Howard doesn’t agree. She seems not to notice the massive amount of support for leaving the EU, but then, how do we make people take the blinkers off and wake up to reality?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted July 31, 2019 at 7:38 am | Permalink

        Will May, Hammond, Bercow and the rest of the traitors allow Boris to deliver? Delivering a clean Brexit plus some seat sharing deal with the Brexit party is the only way to win the next election. No sensible, real Conservative voter can surely be expected to vote for socialist pro EU traitors such as Hammond, Soames, Rudd, Morgan, Bercow, Grieve, Clark x2, Hunt, May and the rest of these Libdims masquerading as Conservatives.

        I am not sure Boris can manage to get the party out of the hole that the idiotic May and Cameron have dug it into. Not just on Brexit they have also delivered ever higher taxes, endless expensive and pointless green crap, declining public service, increasing crime rates, dire policing, an appalling NHS, no increase in living standards for 11 year, poor schools and universities, large student debts, a housing crisis …. what did May do that was positive? My only answer is opt out organ donation and even that is not yet in place.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted July 31, 2019 at 11:57 am | Permalink

          Bread and circuses (panem et circenses) at this time is much needed. With Boris is seems to evolved into tax cuts and broadband! Not sure what the Latin version will be but Boris with doubtless find suitable latin for it.

          When will the tax cuts start. 1. The £1 million each IHT threshold each that was promised and ratted on by Hammond. 2. The abolition of stamp duty. 3. The abolition of landlord and tenant mugging taxes, 4 the abolition of all the pension pot mugging taxes that is causing such problems at the NHS with cancelled operations etc, 5. The abolition of the 45% income tax. Much more cuts and simplification needed too.

          • Mitchel
            Posted July 31, 2019 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

            No,LL,we have had enough of the “panem et circenses”,we need someone like the Eastern Emperor Anastasius I who got rid of all the public feasting and beasting,cut the state’s running costs and left the Byzantine treasury full of gold!Boris ,I’m afraid,is no Anastasius.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted July 31, 2019 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

          The Met office and the BBC again on overdrive with their absurd climate alarmism yet today. All it takes is a nice hot day or a bit of rain and they are off. They have it seemed shifted from their dry summer droughts and lack of summer water agenda (of a few years back) to more heavy rain, extreme weather events and downpours. At least that is more consistent with slightly hotter air carrying more moisture (and clouds).

          But why do the Met office think we should trust their 100 year forecasts when they cannot even get it right for the weeks after next or even the next day often. Despite all their super quantum computers and the likes. Still garbage in garbage out. Such weasel words they use too. Has “the finger print of manmade climate change”, “consistent with climate change”, “the hottest year on record” based on one single reading at one specific time, with one thermometer in a public botanical garden in Cambridge!

          No sensible questioning from the BBC interviewers. I do not suppose any of them have a clue about the science needed to do so. There alarmist in chief is a Camb. English chap. Perhaps daftest of all is that the solutions they push – wind, solar, electric cars, buses, bikes, trains, carbon capture …. will clearly do virtually nothing at all. Even if the world sensitivity to C02 is far higher than all the data seems to suggest.

          Please rid us of these mad soothsayers, tax payer grant wind and solar farmers and climate alarmists so many of whom are clearly deluded or just crooks.

          • cornishstu
            Posted July 31, 2019 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

            Indeed, the Cambridge siting of the weather station fails to make the grade as a class one site and so is unsuitable for climatological purposes, as are many today, but it does not stop the likes of the met office.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted July 31, 2019 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

            I sometimes wonder how absurdly over the excited the absurd BBC and Met office (and University of East Anglia Climate unit and the likes) would be were we to have a repeat of the East Coast Floods of 1953 that killed 2551 people. They would surely go into a “exotic spasm” as Vince Cable would put it.
            This was back in the days before there was any significant increases in atmospheric C02 and many were still predicting a new ice age. A flood which clearly had nothing whatever to do with manmade activity and might well happen again.

            Indeed a some more sensible manmade activity, sensible planning, sea defences and warnings could have saved very many lives. Spend the money or what we know saves lives now not saving totally trivial amounts of C02, damaging jobs and the economy and thus putting energy prices through the roof so people freeze to death.

      • jerry
        Posted July 31, 2019 at 8:03 am | Permalink

        @Gary C; “Simply put Boris needs to deliver Brexit to earn our votes. [../ignorant rant/..] Your choice, deliver or TBP.

        …will deliver a Corbyn lead govt that will not only be the most left wing since 1945 but might well take us back into the EU as is a new member. Hello to the Euro, hello to the full Schengen Agreement – is that what unthinking UIP/TBP supporters wants?!

        Vote UKIP/TBP, get Corbyn (and the EU)…

        • Longinus
          Posted July 31, 2019 at 10:09 am | Permalink

          If the Tories renege on an October exit then the leave vote will not be split. Labour are finished after backing remain.

        • libertarian
          Posted July 31, 2019 at 11:29 am | Permalink


          Dont agree with your analysis

          If Boris fails then TBP will be in the ascendancy ( yes there will be some vote split with Tories) however

          Corbyn is a devout Brexiteer and his policy manifesto rests on NOT being in the EU, he personally is quite happy being leader of the opposition he has no desire to be PM. The PLP are mostly Blairite remainers and their vote will be split with LidDems , Greens, SNP

          The only way that a GE could result in us rejoining the EU is if the LibDems won or held the balance of power

          If Boris screws it , the GE will be Leave v Remain again.

          • jerry
            Posted July 31, 2019 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

            @libertarian; “Dont agree with your analysis”

            Says the person living in the Canterbury area who has had a Labour MP since 2017, most likely because a mere few hundred UKIPers sat on their hands in a fit of peek.

            “Corbyn is a devout Brexiteer and his policy manifesto rests on NOT being in the EU”

            Corbyn has lost that (Brexit) policy battle it seems [1], if there is a GE before the UK leaves and Labour win then no doubt the promised ‘confirmatory referendum’ will have loaded option, between that awful WA or Remain – even some devout Brexiteers commented, at the time, that revoking A50 was better than signing up to May’s WA…

            Also, do not bank on Corbyn being leader come the next GE, unless Boris doe exatly what he says he has no intention of doing, but then Mrs May said the same!

            “The only way that a GE could result in us rejoining the EU is if the LibDems won or held the balance of power”

            Such a coalition is a very real danger, do not dismiss it lightly, especially if the Tory’s are leaking votes to UKIP/TBP.

            [1] even Corbyn’s one time core support organisation, Momentum, appears to have become Remainers now

          • libertarian
            Posted August 1, 2019 at 4:58 pm | Permalink


            I dont live anywhere near Canterbury

            The short lived Labour MP for Canterbury won by a very slim margin due to the 3 Universities in the city being targeted by labour and told they would have their tuition fees scrapped. The student vote was highly dubious with many of them openly claiming to have voted twice . The MP is not well liked even amongst the students any longer. No matter what she won’t get back in next time.

          • jerry
            Posted August 2, 2019 at 5:35 am | Permalink

            Walter; “I dont live anywhere near Canterbury”

            Apologies, although you did implied that you live in the constituency immediately following the 2017 GE, are you now saying those comments made by you were miss-worded?

            “The short lived Labour MP for Canterbury won by a very slim margin due to the 3 Universities in the city being targeted by labour”

            If you are correct, about the student vote, Labour might have a MP in that constituency for longer that you think.

            That said, if you look at the UKIP voting figures it is obvious that had they not stood the Conservatives would have won that seat, yes their majority would have been utterly slashed but they would have held the seat non the less – one vote is enough after all…

            FACT, vote UKIP/TBP get Labour or the LibDemns.

          • libertarian
            Posted August 2, 2019 at 4:13 pm | Permalink


            Nope. I own 3 businesses in Canterbury but i dont live there and I dont get a vote .

            I am right , even the BBC agree with me

            The thing is Jerry the 3 Universities in Canterbury have all been there a long time and the student vote has never unseated a Tory before.

            UKIP didn’t field a candidate in 2017 election in Canterbury so I dont think that it split the vote somehow

            Duffield ( the Labour MP) was so surprised to win that she had nothing prepared ( she actually rented a meeting room as a temporary office as she didn’t have one )

            They have just selected a new candidate for the Tories in Canterbury Anna Firth.

        • Gary C
          Posted July 31, 2019 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

          “…will deliver a Corbyn lead govt that will not only be the most left wing since 1945 but might well take us back into the EU as is a new member. Hello to the Euro, hello to the full Schengen Agreement – is that what unthinking UIP/TBP supporters wants?!
          Vote UKIP/TBP, get Corbyn (and the EU)…”

          While there was a time when I did think the Conservatives were handing the number 10 keys over to Corbyn he (Corbyn) has recently not only shot himself in the foot and buried the labour party so deep it would be easier to shake hands with an Australian than a UK voter.

          UKIP has had it’s day.

          If Boris screws up it will be The Brexit Party that will reap the rewards.

      • Mitchel
        Posted July 31, 2019 at 9:55 am | Permalink

        I was amused to read the following headline on the Business New Europe website over the weekend:

        “Turks proud as great grandson of Ottoman Empire’s last interior minister becomes UK Prime Minister.”

        If he doesn’t deliver,I think we should “send him back” as his good buddy might say….to join the eunuchs in Caliph Erdogan’s court!

      • NickC
        Posted July 31, 2019 at 10:51 am | Permalink

        Gary C, Well said, and succinctly put.

        Unfortunately the latest from Boris is yet another two years penury in the SM and the CU. And that means the CAP, the CFP, the CCP, the CJEU, and continual payments which take us into the next MFF – which means another 7 years of payment obligations. It looks like extensions are the new normal.

        Trust? Give over! Boris is a fool – he has thrown away his sole advantage in one week. UKIP or TBP it is then.

        • tim
          Posted July 31, 2019 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

          Borris is just a puppet. Imagine getting mad and shouting at punch and judy? You should be shouting at the man who has his hand inside the puppet, not poor old puppet Borris. Bring on the general election, and say good bye tory party.

      • James1
        Posted July 31, 2019 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

        I believe many people feel that if we are obliged to comply with any directive issued after 31 October by the EU we will not have left the EU with the ‘clean Break’ that is being demanded.

    • oldtimer
      Posted July 31, 2019 at 6:36 am | Permalink

      The threat of non delivery of Brexit is truly existential for the Conservatives. I have no doubt that Johnson and his cabinet understand that.

      The question is whether the EU does and if so what their negotiating response will be. Seeking to run the renegotiations up to and beyond the wire on 31 October could be an EU tactic to test UK nerve and to fire up the Remainers. Given Johnson’s stated position that could turn out to be another EU miscalculation.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted July 31, 2019 at 7:18 am | Permalink

      It really does seem that a lot of backtracking is underway.
      Groundhog Day all over again!

    • A.Sedgwick
      Posted July 31, 2019 at 7:49 am | Permalink

      As previously commented about 25 CP MPs are true Leavers with very few in Government. Any who voted for the surrender agreement, even if only once, is not a true Leaver. If Boris goes running off to Brussels etc the cause is lost. Varadkar is reported to have said the ball is in your court to come to Dublin with your proposals. What cheek! The only plan in town is no deal, this we want a deal is the route to capitulation. When the EU politburo offer an unconditional free trade deal we could be in business.

      • A.Sedgwick
        Posted July 31, 2019 at 8:03 am | Permalink

        Just read Boris is reported to be talking up two year extension to single market whilst FTA negotiated – plus ca change….. beam me up Scotty.

        • bigneil
          Posted July 31, 2019 at 8:56 am | Permalink

          Each extension period gets longer – -the next one will be till the Twelfth of Never – – and that’s a long long time.

        • miami.mode
          Posted July 31, 2019 at 9:12 am | Permalink

          AS, unfortunately Boris’s loyalty mostly seems to be to himself.

        • Bob
          Posted July 31, 2019 at 10:49 am | Permalink

          Talking of Boris ‘He’s not the man you want to drive you home at the end of the evening’
          Amber Rudd
          (Appointed by Boris as Minister for Women and Equalities)

          • Kevin Lohse
            Posted August 1, 2019 at 7:55 am | Permalink

            Surely that depends on what your plans are for the end of the evening 😉

        • NickC
          Posted July 31, 2019 at 11:07 am | Permalink

          A Sedgwick, Indeed, the silly man has just squandered his sole political capital: the trust that he would deliver Leave on 31 Oct 2019.

        • Bob
          Posted July 31, 2019 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

          “Boris is reported to be talking up two year extension to single market”

          Didn’t take him very long to start wobbling.
          Even Mrs May toughed it out for longer.


    • Andy
      Posted July 31, 2019 at 11:39 am | Permalink

      The beauty of Brexit is that it will kill off the Conservatives.

      Don’t deliver the most extreme Brexit by October 31 and the Brexit Party wiles ypj out.

      Do deliver any form of Brexit ever and the next generation wipes you out. Maybe not at the next election but at the one after that.

      Damned if you do. Damned if you don’t. Some would say good riddance though I couldn’t possibly comment.

      • Kevin Lohse
        Posted August 1, 2019 at 7:57 am | Permalink

        “I couldn’t possibly comment”. One of the hitherto undiscovered benefits of Brexit.

      • NickC
        Posted August 1, 2019 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

        Andy, What you claim is “the extreme Brexit” is the Brexit described by all mainstream politicians before the vote: to leave the EU treaties, thereby leaving the EEA, SM, CCP (hence the CU), CFP, CAP, EAW, CSD, etc, etc. It’s the Brexit we voted for. Just because you didn’t understand it, doesn’t mean we didn’t.

  3. Nigk
    Posted July 31, 2019 at 5:35 am | Permalink

    And now the lies kick in as we knew they would. Boris is now saying we would stay in for another two years whilst we negotiate an agreement, pay more money etc. Get ready for a back stop con.

    • agricola
      Posted July 31, 2019 at 6:29 am | Permalink

      No, that is another way of saying we will offer them an FTA and stability of existing arrangements while it is negotiated.

    • Al
      Posted July 31, 2019 at 6:32 am | Permalink

      So he wants the next election to go to the Brexit party?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted July 31, 2019 at 9:54 am | Permalink

        Alas it will not go to a Brexit majority. It will be a massive coalition mess with Labour/SNP/Plaid/Libdim or the (fake) Conservatives and Brexit. A deal between the few sound Conservatives and the Brexit Party is essential. This even if they do deliver a real Brexit first.

        The traitors among the Conservatives MP – about 50% of them need to be deselected by the members and their local associations.

        • Gary C
          Posted July 31, 2019 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

          “The traitors among the Conservatives MP – about 50% of them need to be deselected by the members and their local associations.”

          100% agree.

      • Mitchel
        Posted July 31, 2019 at 10:49 am | Permalink

        What does Boris care.Like Dave,he’s ticked “Prime Minister” off his bucket list.

    • Dominic
      Posted July 31, 2019 at 6:48 am | Permalink

      Is this kosher? If those are his words as reported, verbatim, then I hope Farage now realises and indeed Tory Eurosceptics that we are dealing with a political party that exists on an even lower moral level to Anti-Semitic, Marxist Labour

      We are indeed exhausted by propaganda, lies and the continual abuse of our loyalty.

      Leave won the referendum. We demand that its result be honoured

    • Sharon Jagger
      Posted July 31, 2019 at 6:53 am | Permalink


      I read that article in the Telegraph last night – had to re-read it this morning. I couldn’t believe it- backtracking after less than a week!!

      Though to be fair, after the first paragraph or so, the writer didn’t make much mention of the delay to ceasing the single market and customs union membership.

      Bit of a confused article, and no mention elsewhere on the news this morning.

    • J Bush
      Posted July 31, 2019 at 7:36 am | Permalink

      Different words telling the same lies.

      May – “no deal is better than a bad deal” V Johnson – “No ifs, no buts”
      May – “leave 29th May” V Johnson – “leave 31st October”

      What they really meant
      May – WA = vassal state treaty V Johnson – 2 years transition (for now) = continued financial bung to failing EU

      I will not vote for this party again. They are truly a party of traitorous liars.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 31, 2019 at 7:45 am | Permalink

      I fear you are right. Boris was after all a remainer until almost the very last minute before the referendum champagne. He also insanely voted once for the W/A. This despite calling it “utterly unacceptable” and saying it would “render the UK a vassal state”.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted July 31, 2019 at 8:37 am | Permalink

        Still, Boris is currently the best hope we have of getting something acceptable while avoiding the appalling vision of Corbyn/Mc Donnall/SNP!

        What on earth do so many Scottish people see in the appalling First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP? The Scottish people I know are far more sensible.

        • Anonymous
          Posted July 31, 2019 at 10:02 am | Permalink

          The same civil service won’t allow them to do anything either.

        • James1
          Posted July 31, 2019 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

          It should be remembered that nearly 40% of the Scottish electorate voted to Leave the EU. The SNP is also a minority executive in the Holyrood Parliament. I believe that many Scottish people royally wish that Nicola Sturgeon would shut up and stop grandstanding.

          • Gary C
            Posted July 31, 2019 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

            “Nicola Sturgeon would shut up and stop grandstanding.”

            If only!

      • Mitchel
        Posted July 31, 2019 at 9:57 am | Permalink

        Boris is more “deep establishment” then Theresa May ever was.

      • tim
        Posted July 31, 2019 at 10:49 am | Permalink

        same again, General election NOW, vote Brexit party, Nigel for PM he will not let us down.

      • Daniel James
        Posted July 31, 2019 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

        have you read any of Boris’s articles in the 25 years of his writing about the EU? I think you will find that he has constantly railed against it. As for his voting for the WA, it is known and accepted by almost everyone that he was effectively blackmailed into it by TM who said it was the WA or no brexit.

        • L Jones
          Posted July 31, 2019 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

          ‘Blackmailed’? So if he was weak then, why should he suddenly be strong now?
          There were several others who weren’t so easily intimidated. Our host being one.

        • Martyn G
          Posted July 31, 2019 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

          I agree. I first met Boris when he was my Henley MP many years ago at a CP meeting and he was railing back then about the latest EU directive regarding replacing the windows in one’s home, pointing out its useless, constraining, expensive and ridiculous effects in the real world. He has always, so far as I know, been firmly set against the rule of UK Law by EU edict and I do so hope he gets his act together and gets us out!

    • Peter
      Posted July 31, 2019 at 8:39 am | Permalink

      Unsurprisingly, he is facing exactly the same problems that his predecessor did, and we’ll likely have exactly the same outcomes. Solving this enormous problem was never going to be as straightforward as a simple change of figurehead.

      • NickC
        Posted July 31, 2019 at 11:56 am | Permalink

        Peter, Being an independent country is not an “enormous problem” except to a few ideological Remains.

        • Peter
          Posted August 1, 2019 at 10:43 am | Permalink

          Nick, our currency is weakening, companies are abandoning the UK, people are losing jobs, our governing political party is in turmoil, billions have been allocated to mitigation planning, our country’s foreign reputation is in tatters. I fail to see how you can still subscribe to the “Brexit will be easy, we’ll get a great deal no problem, all the other countries will be lining up at our door, more money for us” propaganda.

          • NickC
            Posted August 1, 2019 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

            Peter, I never subscribed to the “Brexit will be easy, we’ll get a great deal no problem” mantra because I have recognised for years that the EU is a nasty, corrupt, vindictive, power-grabbing empire.

            Indeed I advocated that we should not invoke TEU Art50 for precisely those reasons. We should have left by repealing the ECA 1972. And I said so, on here, and elsewhere, often. I was not alone. Gerard Batten even wrote a book about it.

            What I do subscribe to is the obvious fact that most of the world is not in the EU and does not suffer for it. There is no reason why the UK should not be as independent as New Zealand.

    • tim
      Posted July 31, 2019 at 10:50 am | Permalink

      I told you this would happen, read my previous post

      • Mark B
        Posted July 31, 2019 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

        And you were not alone.


  4. Tabulazero
    Posted July 31, 2019 at 5:38 am | Permalink

    So basically you want farmers to face simultaneously the twin shocks of seeing their biggest export market suddenly close and having to heavily invest in new and expensive machinery.

    That is a lot to ask, especially knowing that the banks will not lend given a) the state of the farming sector and b) the own problems they will be facing in a no-deal scenario. They would be crazy not to batten down the hatches under the circumstance.

    A No-deal Brexit is likely to hurt farmers very much. Even Professor Minford recognises it but he is at least honest enough to admit that the wholesale destruction of farming is a price worth paying.

    On a side note: the EU shows no sign of blinking in light of Boris Johnson’s antics.

    • Dominic
      Posted July 31, 2019 at 6:43 am | Permalink

      There’s no such thing as a ‘No-deal Brexit’.

    • Edward2
      Posted July 31, 2019 at 7:02 am | Permalink

      Why will “their biggest export market suddenly close”?
      Please explain.

      • Tabulazero
        Posted July 31, 2019 at 9:19 am | Permalink

        For Welsh lamb, the EU represent 90% of their exports.

        It’s a big market.

        • Edward2
          Posted July 31, 2019 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

          But its not closing.
          Europe will still buy things from and sell things fo the UK.
          As for the particular issue of Welsh lamb I presume you mean potential tariffs might cause farmers problems.
          But there is nothing to stop the government giving Welsh lamb farmers subsidies or grant aid to help them.

          • L Jones
            Posted July 31, 2019 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

            Ahh – don’t spoil Tab’s rant by speaking sense! He/she was enjoying being on a roll there!

        • acorn
          Posted July 31, 2019 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

          UK sheep meat farmers have a need to up their game, like New Zealand sheep farmers were forced to do because of food miles to Europe. Stop exporting carcuses and start selling cuts that have a much higher retail value.

          Post Brexit, there will be no point in selling sheep carcuses into the EU, for them to butcher said carcuses and export Lamb legs and other cuts back to the UK, at premium prices!

          UK political parties continues to elect Ministers that don’t know their arse from their elbow and get reshuffled as frequently as they change their underwear.

          French and German political parties make sure they have members that are Ministers in waiting; members that know more than enough to fill the critical Ministries of government; and, can talk the same language as the permanent Civil Service.

          • acorn
            Posted July 31, 2019 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

            “[US] Congress will not approve a US-UK trade agreement if Boris Johnson pulls Britain out of the European Union without protecting free movement across the Irish border, the head of the committee that must agree the deal has warned.”

            Richard Neal, the chairman of the [US Congressional] Ways and Means committee through which all trade deals in the US must be approved, told The Times, that he would not even hold a vote on any proposed agreement if Brexit leads to a hard border in Ireland.”

            Did someone mention being a “vassal state” of the US, in exchange for being; according to “leave” voters, a “vassal state” of the EU?

            Northern Ireland remaining a member of the EU; leading to a united Ireland, is what the Irish Catholics in the US Congress want. Boris will have been made aware, I have no doubt.

          • NickC
            Posted August 1, 2019 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

            Acorn, You have no refuge. There is no difference in principle between being ruled by the EU and being ruled by the USA. You are the one arguing against independence, not us.

          • Edward2
            Posted August 1, 2019 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

            Hard border?
            Neither the Republic nor the UK have ever said they want a hard border.
            Perhaps the EU will invade and build a Berlin type wall.

          • libertarian
            Posted August 3, 2019 at 12:15 pm | Permalink


            Look up CTA implemented in 1923 !

            There is no hard border proposal you buffoon

        • Jiminyjim
          Posted July 31, 2019 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

          It’s tiny. It’s less than a quarter of the tonnage of beef that we import from Eire alone. Also, why is it that NZ lamb is cheaper after coming half way round the world. I remember when lamb was a cheaper meat than beef. Then we joined the EEC and because the french price of lamb was eye-wateringly high, presto! Our lamb became as expensive as it had been in France.

        • Kevin Lohse
          Posted August 1, 2019 at 8:25 am | Permalink

          Welsh lamb is required to meet the dietary requirements of the burgeoning Islamic population in Europe. That market won’t magically disappear after 31 Oct.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted July 31, 2019 at 7:08 am | Permalink

      The EU rarely blinks before midnight @tab

      In this instance I suspect it might even be after midnight and disguised as a yawn

    • Richard1
      Posted July 31, 2019 at 7:15 am | Permalink

      Minford does not say that. You have just made that up.

      It could be we should continue to subsidise farming. But subsidies should be linked to clear public goods such as maintenance of footpaths and upkeep of the countryside – not the same thing as maximising production. Subsidies should be paid directly not by forcing high food prices. Keeping food prices artificially high is a tax – which hits the poor hardest. I’d have thought we learnt that lesson in the 1840s.

    • John Probert
      Posted July 31, 2019 at 8:13 am | Permalink

      It is a big ask which is why we need to support the farming industry
      The European economy is weak and the outlook is not good
      If it goes to no deal our European friends will feel much financial pain
      After feeling the pain for some time they may wish to renegotiate ?
      In the mean time our economy will restructure and become more productive

      • Tabulazero
        Posted July 31, 2019 at 9:20 am | Permalink

        How do you plan restructuring high land costs ?

        • libertarian
          Posted August 3, 2019 at 12:18 pm | Permalink


          You and your remainer stooges really need to join the real world

          Agricultural land values to hit five-year low. The average value of bare agricultural land in England fell by 3% to a five-year low of £6,970/acre in 2018

          Give up fella you are clueless

      • Mitchel
        Posted July 31, 2019 at 10:58 am | Permalink

        M Macron has just arranged a summit a deux with President Putin for next month (just ahead of the G7 meeting) at the former’s Presidential seaside retreat-just like Mrs May last year,except you can be sure Mr P is not going as a supplicant.There must be something meaty on the agenda,particularly with the growing estrangement between the EU and the USA,to tempt him westwards-he normally recharges his batteries in the wilds of Eastern Siberia during August.

        The would-be Emperor of the West(Kid Charlemagne to borrow the title of an old Steely Dan album) meets the Emperor/Great Khan of the East(depending on whether you think Russia is in European or Asiatic mode)!

        • James Bertram
          Posted August 1, 2019 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

          Tab –

          Stop giving subsidies to large landowners, and limit land available for subsidy to no more than 200 acres.

          Stop making agricultural land attractive to investors through market-distorting tax advantages of IHT and CGT. This is pricing active farmers out of land ownership.

    • Jagman84
      Posted July 31, 2019 at 8:16 am | Permalink

      The EU (commission & presidents) do not trade with UK plc. It matters little to them whether or not we have a trade deal with them. They will simply bleed the other members a little bit more, so as to maintain the regal lifestyle that they enjoy. The continuing intransigence is still designed to discourage other absconders. Once the aim of a federal European state is realised, they will be free to dip into the funds of individual members states with impunity.

    • L Jones
      Posted July 31, 2019 at 8:16 am | Permalink

      Tab – in reply to your side note :


      • Tabulazero
        Posted July 31, 2019 at 9:22 am | Permalink

        I know. The UK wants to leave. France wants to kick the UK out.

        Win – Win.

        I eagerly wait your letter of appreciation of President Macron.

        • NickC
          Posted August 1, 2019 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

          Tabulazero, And I don’t buy French any more. The French abusing their customers may appear to work for a time if you regard life as a pissing contest – but it has consequences, which you (and they) don’t really appreciate.

    • Fred H
      Posted July 31, 2019 at 8:22 am | Permalink

      Tabul…the EU will not blink and re-discuss anything, quite simply because they hang on to the knowledge that this irrational way is the ONLY way they can keep the EU together. It is doomed. We are right to cut the rope to the sinking ship, we can survive and watch it go under the waves.
      ‘wholesale destruction of farming’ is a nonsense. We will want, and consume more British food than we did before. Investment in farming technology is happening NOW. Neighbouring farms have always shared the biggest equipment, and often work together at critical times like ‘hay time’. Nothing new there. The issue is actually that UK governments have allowed the farming industry to decline, sons of farmers see father working his b***s off, and decide to abandon work on the land. There has to be a meaningful change in the way farming is treated to arrest the reliance on EU food.

    • jerry
      Posted July 31, 2019 at 8:38 am | Permalink

      @Tabulazero; “[farmers] seeing their biggest export market suddenly close”

      But it’s their largest market only because EU rules stop the UK from entering individual TA that would allow our farmers to export to many other countries!

      Export opportunities will abound once outside of the EU and of course, should the EU slam the door shut to our farming exports into the EU27 (as you imply) there will be opportunity here at home with less produce coming in from the EU27. Localisms of food supply is the way forward, so we are told, Brexit might well do just that – although some might have to get used to eating only what is in-season or can be preserved/frozen. The UK will not be short of food post Brexit, just some types of foods.

      But I do accept your point about support for farmers post Brexit, they will need it, and the State should be willing to give it, heck farming is even supported in the USA via their IRS system. Our host appears to be skirting around this ‘Facts for Brexit’ though, no doubt as he wants to use the Brexit dividend for less targeted income tax cuts no doubt…

      • Tabulazero
        Posted July 31, 2019 at 9:26 am | Permalink

        Jerry. The UK is a high cost country by virtue of its geography. You can only gain so much through mechanization.

        That’s why the UK tend to focus on premium products.

        The problem here is that there is not many markets willing to pay for this product beyond the developed world.

        • Jiminyjim
          Posted July 31, 2019 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

          Sources please, Tabulazero. Have you ever visited France south of Paris where virtually every field is tiny and the equipment decades old? The whole source of the CAP was to underpin inefficient french farming, which has, as a result, been left in the 1950s. I believe what you have said here to be invented. If it’s not, give us your sources.

          • margaret howard
            Posted July 31, 2019 at 10:54 pm | Permalink


            “The whole source of the CAP was to underpin inefficient french farming, which has, as a result, been left in the 1950s.”

            “As the world’s second-largest agricultural exporter, France ranks just after the United States.

            The destination of 49% of its exports is other EU members states. Wheat, beef, pork, poultry, and dairy products are the principal exports.”

            Not doing too badly then.

          • jerry
            Posted August 1, 2019 at 7:39 am | Permalink

            @margaret howard; Exports to the other EU27 the “European Union”, that hardly counts as being “the world’s second-largest agricultural exporter” when at the same time France treats the EU27 as if the EU was a fully federated USE. A bit like Texas claiming to be the largest exporter of Beef in the world because it counts sales to the other 49 States of the Union as ‘exports’!

            But even if France is the second largest exporter (as you claim, without citation)) that does not change the fact that French farming is grossly inefficient [1], and can only survive due to the support given by the EEC/EU CAP payments.

            [1] partly due to their inheritance laws

        • jerry
          Posted July 31, 2019 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

          @Tabulazero; “You can only gain so much through mechanization.”

          LOL, Tell that to the Yanks!

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 31, 2019 at 8:39 am | Permalink

      Adjustment is needed. The fault lies with the idiotic CAP system that did so much damage and those you pushed and supported it. The sooner they adjust the better.

    • Know-Dice
      Posted July 31, 2019 at 10:18 am | Permalink

      On a side note: the EU shows no sign of blinking in light of Boris Johnson’s antics.

      The EU will not blink until they believe Boris has Parliament on board with his plans.

      How he achieves that only time will tell, but in the mean time “hold your horses”…

    • libertarian
      Posted July 31, 2019 at 11:44 am | Permalink


      Why do remainers such as yourself with zero business experience continue to make yourself look silly?

      Farmers need to invest in new technology and equipment all the time in order to stay competitive no matter what markets we are in. Once we escape the stultifying rules of the CAP we can exploit far bigger markets than the EU countries ( whilst of course still selling into those markets, as no matter what kind of arrangements we have we will ALWAYS continue to sell things to customers who want to buy them)

      Currently the backward looking, science avoiding, innovation killing EU has banned certain techniques and technologies that improve crop yields, resist diseases and improve the growing cycle in order to support antiquated French agriculture . That will end once we leave ( apart from the exports to EU countries)

      The UK exported £20 billion worth of food and drink in 2016. UK food is a global business, with exports to over 200 overseas countries and territories. For food and drink exports £9.37 billion goes to EU countries

      You will need to explain why “so called no deal” will hurt farmers , in which markets , for what products and why will it hurt them. Give me an example

    • NickC
      Posted July 31, 2019 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

      Tabulazero, The biggest market for UK farmers by far is . . . the UK domestic market, not the EU. And since we don’t produce anything like enough food for ourselves – and much of the EU food imports are of produce our farms can and do already supply – your imaginary doom scenario actually turns out to be no more than a bit of import substitution.

  5. Dave Andrews
    Posted July 31, 2019 at 6:22 am | Permalink

    The government should be pressing the EU for a basic free trade agreement to kick in immediately after 1st Nov. Let that say nothing more than there will be no tariffs either way; the detail can be sorted out later.
    Having started from a position of no tariffs and standards alignment, introducing tariffs makes little sense and is an inconvenience to many industries on both sides. Who is set to gain from that?
    Zero tariffs might not completely solve the Irish backstop question, but it will go a long way to removing the (EU’s) need.

    • Andy
      Posted July 31, 2019 at 11:43 am | Permalink

      No it won’t. Because the border is not about tariffs it is about regulation.

      Genuinely – it is not that hard to figure out.

      • Edward2
        Posted July 31, 2019 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

        Businesses that sell into world markets already meet all the regulatory requirements for the products they make and sell.
        And these requirements are many and varied.
        The company buying off you already demands proof of compliance and that is what UK companies have been doing for decades.
        Selling into the EU isn’t much different to selling to other world markets in terms of bureaucracy and regulations.
        You obviously have never run a company that exports have you Andy.

      • libertarian
        Posted July 31, 2019 at 9:23 pm | Permalink


        Well its obviously hard for you to figure out.

        We ALREADY comply and will continue to comply with the regulations set by the markets we sell into. Honestly Ive no idea how you make a living but it certainly isn’t from running a business

        You really do put up the dumbest posts

    • NickC
      Posted July 31, 2019 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

      Dave Andrews, Whilst what you say is sensible, the EU does not want to do it. All the EU is interested in is expanding its own power, and reducing the UK to an EU colony.

  6. agricola
    Posted July 31, 2019 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    The CAD/CAM principal has been a feature of farming in the UK for some time. Just as the combined harvester moved north in response to climate and different cropping times so can the drone/computer controlled other expensive equipment associated with sowing, fertilizing etc. Watering is a local farm specific matter best handled according to local needs. Yet another reason we should have a national water grid.

    Wouldn’t it be nice to get back to real home grown fruit once more. The Victoria plum to replace the bullet hard look alikes the supermarkets sell as plums, the range of apples we once had, Coxes, Bramleys and myriad others. All to be sold loose of size graded plastic packaging, geared to the needs of the supermarket not the consumer. An end to a range of imported fruit that has all the appeal of wet cardboard.

    We already have a vast range of fantastic cheese. Some of it such as Waterloo needs to be produced on an industrial scale to replace the insipid Brie and Camambeart we are offered.

    The freedom from the restrictive, protectionist practices that emanate from the EU/CAP could be a breath of fresh air in the UK. We will not need to put tariffs on food we have to import. Let the EU compete on price and quality of citrus fruit, olives and olive oil with commonwealth and US sources.

    While all these changes evolve, keep a watchful eye on the supermarkets who are all to ready to jack up prices. Every little helps, as they keep telling us.

    We might even return to being within an acceptable Body Mass Index were we to return to real food rather than the junk/convenience offerings of the food industry with the conivence of government. Making lobbying, beyond an A4 submission, illegal might allow government to think more clearly.

    Brexit is an opportunity, lets take it.

  7. Bryan Harris
    Posted July 31, 2019 at 6:26 am | Permalink

    There is certainly no need to panic over this as some are encouraging – If on exit the EU imposes their high external tariffs on UK foods, etc, then we can simply do the same on their food and especially cars – They would soon come around.
    If not the tariffs from European products could be increased to our advantage and used to help farmers and other businesses that were suffering.
    It’s time we played hard ball with the EU as they always imagine they can bully their way out of everything – Time we showed them our mettle.

    • Andy
      Posted July 31, 2019 at 11:44 am | Permalink

      Bully accuses others of bullying.


      Brexit is about arrogant little Englanders having a strop.

      • Edward2
        Posted July 31, 2019 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

        It’s not bullying Andy it is a sensible business decision to retaliate with similar tariffs to any imposed on us by the EU.
        But we hope for free trade deals with very low or zero tariffs.

      • Martyn G
        Posted July 31, 2019 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

        Brilliant Andy! But hardly relevant, as indeed most of your posts are. Bullying is imposing one’s will on others, which the EU does with great skill. Which is why we voted to remove ourselves from its baleful regulation and imposition without debate on our way of life…..

  8. Ian Wragg
    Posted July 31, 2019 at 6:48 am | Permalink

    One week into his premiership and already the backsliding begins. 2 more years in the Customs Union and Single Market.
    No doubt giving away our fish, continued FoM and Gibraltar having to accept joint sovereignty .
    You really do have a suicide streak in the Party.

    • bigneil
      Posted July 31, 2019 at 9:00 am | Permalink

      Freedom of Movement? – – As I saw yesterday, in a local town, yet another Turkish barber shop and next door – another Turkish grill/restaurant. They are appearing everywhere – Seems Turkey already had got open doors into the UK – without even being in the EU.

    • Andy
      Posted July 31, 2019 at 11:46 am | Permalink

      Tell you what – rather than whinging that Brexit is not Brexity enough for you, how about you put forward proper details of what the UK looks like post Brexit – and what our relationship with the EU looks like post Brexit.

      ‘Just leave’ is not a plan. It’s a strop.

      • Jiminyjim
        Posted July 31, 2019 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

        Our host has been doing just that for many months. You obviously never read his posts!

      • L Jones
        Posted July 31, 2019 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

        It may be academic now, Andy, but it’d be interesting to read your take on what our relationship would be with the EU if you got your wish and your remainer mates stopped Brexit. What would be the actions of your EU masters, and how would we slot back into our rightfully subservient place? What punishments would our ‘friends and neighbours’, the unelected overlords, inflict?

        ‘Stop Brexit’ is not a plan. It’s a strop.

        • Andy
          Posted July 31, 2019 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

          What makes you think I want to stop Brexit?

          I want the hardest Brexit as soon as possible.

          I want to watch and laugh.

          Then I want to kill off the Tory Party, permanently undo Brexit and bring the no deal perpetrators to justice.

          A 25 year plan. Easy.

          • Edward2
            Posted August 1, 2019 at 6:14 am | Permalink

            “And bring the no deal perpetrators to justice”
            What all 17.4 million of us?

          • NickC
            Posted August 1, 2019 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

            Andy said: “What makes you think I want to stop Brexit?”

            You do, Andy, you do. Monotonously, on a daily basis, you attempt to stop Brexit, without facts, without sources, displaying both legal and technical ignorance, as well as the most vile bigotry.

            We had the argument, we had the vote, we want to actually, really leave the EU. If you want a re-run come back in another 41 years (1975 – 2016).

    • NickC
      Posted July 31, 2019 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

      Ian Wragg, It is overwhelmingly disappointing isn’t it?

      I gave Theresa May about three months benefit of the doubt, then started writing to my (then Tory) MP pointing out the lack of can-do and lack of appreciation of the freedom of opportunities.

      Given the last 3 interminable Remain years my patience is obviously on a knife-edge. But true to Tory party form Boris is now echoing Hunt in suggesting yet more extensions. Does Boris really have no idea of the cultural difference in negotiation styles? He has squandered any trust here, and made himself look weak to the EU. It is a monumental blunder.

      • L Jones
        Posted July 31, 2019 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

        It certainly is hugely disappointing – and, like you, many of us gave TM the benefit of the doubt. I had in mind that she was playing ‘the long game’ and would suddenly dazzle us all!

        Again, I find myself wondering if BJ is playing ‘the long game’. But ‘fool me once…. fool me twice” now springs to mind.

  9. Barbara C
    Posted July 31, 2019 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    AI and robotics is all well and good, but governments across the world are sleepwalking into massive problems not very far into the future. When, not if, we have massive unemployment due to its unconstrained use, how are we going to pay for it all?

    Will AI/robots generate tax revenues, or as I suspect, is this another example where only the big global corporates have the funding to exploit new tech and create a new “opportunity” for investors? If so, will they again be deciding for themselves if, what, how and where they deign to pay their dues? How will governments balance the books if revenues collapse at the same time as supporting a policy of potentially high demand? Yes, people will retrain, but has anyone thought in what? Farming is vocational, so are we saying farmers of the future would need to be tech geniuses instead?

    Profit is God for corporates, and they will want the the best return on their investment. Won’t they hoover up our most valuable and productive land, removing the competition that moderates pricing and output in the process? As for the impoverished consumer, won’t they adapt their behaviour through necessity, e.g. revert to growing their own or set up co-operative farms?

    Far too many questions, far too few answers……and I’m sounding like a raving socialist!

    • James Bertram
      Posted July 31, 2019 at 10:11 am | Permalink

      Good comments, Barbara.

      They fit in well with my long post at 9.04am (awaiting moderation) on how, post-Brexit, government policy should move towards supporting small farms that work with natural processes, rather than supporting large industrial farms that create wastelands, less employment, and lower-satisfaction employment at that – neither good for Nature or the Human Soul.

      • Jiminyjim
        Posted July 31, 2019 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

        There should be caps on subsidies to large, corporate farmers – why should the EU be paying multi million pound subsidies to farms owned outside the EU? £4.5m to one external royal family for example.

    • libertarian
      Posted July 31, 2019 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

      Barbara C

      Right now there are 840,000 unfilled full time jobs in the UK and we are on course to generate another 660,000 next year. AI and technology is helping in a small way to solve the skills crisis and shortages of low level workers. What will the results of more mechanised picking, packing and harvesting be? Well one, we can cease importing vast numbers of workers to do these jobs ( UK workers won’t do them because the work is seasonal and affects their Universal Credit payments in too negative a way) Already wages have started to rise, due to shortages of workers.

      You ask about tax revenues, well of course taxes are raised in all sorts of ways. Business rates, VAT, corporation tax , capital gains tax , land stamp duty tax etc etc so increased productivity will generate more tax revenues to offset any losses . HOWEVER most low level farm workers pay no or little income tax anyhow because they are below or near the tax threshold. Meanwhile AI and new innovative technologies tend to create new, higher paying jobs . So for instance the average salary for all workers in UK is currently £29,000 The average UK salary for Technology Solutions jobs is £50,000 the average salary for picking, packing and harvesting jobs is £16,000.

      Right now in general technology terms we are creating one new Fin Tech start up every 50 seconds, there are 5.8 million businesses in the UK and 5.7 million of them are micro and SME’s. We have 17 unicorn businesses currently in UK ( a unicorn business is a start up valued at $1 billion ) .

      Heres an example of what a new technology can do. 30 years ago there were no mobile phones. Now sector has about 8,000 companies who employ over 270,000 people. This does not include the 100,000’s employed in other mobile phone services such as apps , cloud based services, mobile payment systems, and ancillary services . New technology create new jobs and new opportunities.

      • L Jones
        Posted July 31, 2019 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

        ”… cease importing vast numbers of workers…” Once upon a time, from June onwards, students were vying for holiday jobs that would take them through to October and help them pay their bills. But I suppose many think that sort of work beneath them now that they have access to the bank of mum and dad and can spend the summer swanning around Europe instead.
        (Yes, Andy, I daresay a few of your mates do so. And they’ll still do it after Brexit, no doubt, unless your EU masters won’t allow them in.)

      • Richard1
        Posted July 31, 2019 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

        Good post

    • NickC
      Posted July 31, 2019 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

      Barbara C, There are clear-cut cases of economic and social advantage to using robots in some production (mass, repetitive, semi-precision, safety critical, and programmable). Remote control by a human is the likely next stage for some tasks – think drones. AI is in its infancy so is expensive and limited at the moment but is coming.

      The energy source is rather critical and currently prevents the sort of autonomous human mimicking “robots” ie androids, seen on films. Looked at from a pure production standpoint, the cheapest universal “robot” is often a human being, as long as tiredness, inattention, and boredom are not critical factors. The economics are changing all the time.

    • Barbara C
      Posted July 31, 2019 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

      Thank you for all your thoughtful comments. I am not anti-technology, I simply believe we need to show some restraint until we can understand exactly how far reaching these proposals might be, and who will truly benefit in the long-term. As with the internet, once the genie is out of the bottle we can’t stuff it back in.

  10. Everhopeful
    Posted July 31, 2019 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    If there is worry about getting low wage workers then the govt should make the benefits system more flexible. People on benefits need to be able to move in and out of claiming without penalty.( Or use picking as a means of getting people back into work..a few weeks in the open air etc). And yes I’ve done it …plums in Evesham living in a shed!
    Farmers used to provide accommodation for their workers…if there is a housing shortage let them do that again..for young families in the village etc.
    In Wales farmers can not even get planning for their own children to stay on the land yet the barmy One Planet invasion carries on apace.
    What a mess it all is …carefully crafted by politicians…and now the promises of Boris are melting away like snow!!

  11. Longinus
    Posted July 31, 2019 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    Boris backtracking already. Tory party RIP.

    • Nigl
      Posted July 31, 2019 at 9:53 am | Permalink

      If its true, yes the Brexit party will get my vote at the General Election as it did with the Europeans

  12. John Probert
    Posted July 31, 2019 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    Supporting our farms is the way to go, home grown food, supporting our economy
    & local community

  13. Alan Joyce
    Posted July 31, 2019 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    Dear Mr. Redwood,

    The doom and gloom had been lifted. Our spirits soared. Finally, after more than three years we could see a shaft of light at the end of the long, dark tunnel. But it didn’t take very long did it? Less than a week.

    By this I mean Mr. Johnson’s statement that the UK could stay in the single market and customs union for another two years whilst a Brexit deal is sorted out. A one-year transition in the old withdrawal agreement turned into a two-year one. A new withdrawal agreement based on the old one. A new treaty even! Perhaps, we can add on discussions about the backstop and alternative arrangements? How very depressing.

    An invitation to more talks! Another two years of trade and tariffs and borders and bickering. On and on it goes. Who would bet against any new deadline of 31st October 2021 being extended? Enough!

    Boris’s bounce will be short-lived if this continues. Thank heavens we have the Brexit Party.

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted July 31, 2019 at 10:15 am | Permalink

      Politically, I am smack-bang on the Conservative-TBP boundary. In my political life, I have left UKIP twice, the Conservatives twice and, on Monday, TBP. I am back with the Conservatives again. My subs are paid – and I await my membership card and some slight interest in me by my useless local association. (Both UKIP and TBP do that boring ‘membership experience’ stuff better!) But if Boris back-slides from his encouraging words I can see myself leaving the Conservatives for a third and final time, and then doing everything I can to destroy the party.

    • NickC
      Posted July 31, 2019 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

      Alan Joyce, It is truly sad, is it not?

  14. Norman
    Posted July 31, 2019 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    We must remember that farming is very diverse in the UK. It is entirely possible for sensible progress and reform to be made, without too much futuristic industrialization, which surely would apply only to ‘prairie farming’ on the fertile fens. In any case, as the communists found, this is no substitute for innate skills such as stockmanship, and wise stewardship of the particular land and location. Too much interference from outside ‘experts’ has often been the death-knell of family farms, without which, the countryside will never recover, and home-grown food supplies will dwindle.

    • James Bertram
      Posted July 31, 2019 at 10:14 am | Permalink

      Good comment, Norman.

      See my long post at 9.04 an (awaiting moderation).

  15. Sea Warrior
    Posted July 31, 2019 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    Is the UK a world-leader in automated-picking machines? It needs to be. Perhaps you could give DEFRA a push. Or squeeze.

  16. A.Sedgwick
    Posted July 31, 2019 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    As all roads lead to Brexit the article by Philip Johnston in the DT whilst hardly news but has been blindingly obvious for decades is worth a mention. Brexit is highlighting the governance irregularities and not a little chaos in the UK structure, well exploited by the EU politburo.

  17. gyges
    Posted July 31, 2019 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    Why are waiting until October to leave? We will never be ready. Let’s leave now.

    • Fred H
      Posted July 31, 2019 at 9:45 am | Permalink

      yes, please. What on earth is the point in waiting. err. Of course, Project Fear again means the WA gets consideration yet again. A tweak here, a tweak there…Don’t you dare Boris, it will mean the CP is dead for a generation.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted July 31, 2019 at 11:26 am | Permalink

      Only today Boris has had it leaked to the press we may not leave for a further 2 years after October – so some sort of transition to a final Canada+ destination. This means what he wants is a modified WA with the backstop gone and some minor adjustments and us still paying them £39bn (at least) to keep Macron happy. Personally I’d not be too bothered with that outcome, but plenty wouldn’t be happy (John included I’m guessing). Maybe it is the carrot for the EU in his negotiating strategy which initially emphasised stick – but those who thought he’d go flat out for no-deal need to think again – any sort of modified WA with a backstop fudge will be voted through easily in the Commons at this point.

  18. Jumeirah
    Posted July 31, 2019 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    Off point entirely but THE most important point of all.
    Boris is moving ahead rapidamente to instil encouragement, pride and self belief in our Country amongst other things the likes of which we have not seen in YEARS and he should be commended for that without question.
    However whilst he implies that the WA is dead in the water nonetheless all I ever him talk about is ” the backstop”. What about the other parts of this document which are equally unacceptable which are those that you,Sir John, have drawn our attention to ever since this ‘thing’ landed on everyone’s desk and to which you refer in your Diary Entry of 25th July. Can’t we at least have somebody who will say out loud ALL the parts that we find unacceptable so that those morons of there some of whom are over here fully understand our objections and objectives so that whenever we get these people into negotiations EVERYTHING is ‘up front’ and on the table before we start! What we don’t want when we get there is then to say “oh and another thing……..”.

    • Dominic
      Posted July 31, 2019 at 8:59 am | Permalink

      I am now convinced that Johnson will refuse to honour the EU referendum result. His continual references to the ‘Backstop’ being a barrier infers he’s quite happy with the rest of Merkel’s WA.

      It’s taken this new PM around 10 days to capitulate and his performance at the Despatch Box last week was not from the heart. Indeed it was a mere performance designed to deceive

      Therefore we remain
      Labour’s client state and its constituents remains allowing them to enjoy special protection from prosecution
      The BBC remains to pump out its lies, accusations, slanders and bias
      The CPS, the Elec-Commission and the Civil Service remain in place

      No spine. No desire. No principles. Nothing’s changed with the Tory party and don’t the left and its State absolutely love it

    • agricola
      Posted July 31, 2019 at 9:59 am | Permalink

      Why talk of the WA as if it was still on life support, it isn’t, it has been in the morg for a long time. The Backstop is just the most glaring of it’s terminal symtoms. Most of the other clauses in it contained secondaries all with terminal qualities. For the sake of decency bury it or cremate it, even though the EU continue to refer to it like some resurrected deity.

      The way forward with the EU is not complex and should be conducted on the “Keep it Simple Stupid”.

      Do they want an agreement or not, it is make up your mind time. If yes we offer you the opportunity to discuss an FTA while under mutual agreement the present trading arrangements continue. In any case we will have left and will be conducting life as a sovereign state in all respects. If no then we are a sovereign state as of this point in time, come back should you on reflection change your minds.

      • L Jones
        Posted July 31, 2019 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

        Very sensible and obvious, Agricola. But it seems BJ may not be seeing it that way after all, unfortunately.
        I’d love to be proved wrong.

      • Jumeirah
        Posted July 31, 2019 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

        WA in the morg ? Oh is it Gric? Rather than you say it let’s hear Boris say it by confirming that ALL those points referred to in JR’ s Diary entry 25th July are unacceptable not only the Backstop. That way we will know that the WA and more especially the worst parts of it cannot be subtly reworded into more palatable language and yet have the same consequences as the original and find its way into a new document. Unfortunately so untrustworthy have most Politicians become that one has to nail their ass to the wall or dump them forthwith. I ‘think’ I read somewhere some months ago that a bloke in the West Country got into some hot water by saying something like ‘call in the army’ . Whilst I don’t advocate that however ,if it is true , I would say to him -I know what you mean inspite of what you say!

  19. DenisH
    Posted July 31, 2019 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    There’s little point in dishing out more seasonal permits for foreign workers- with the collapse in the Pound- down since June 2016? I don’t think many will apply

    Mechanised farming which is hugely expensive to invest in and maintain can only go so far- farm work by its nature is still very labour intensive – always will be

    You’ve hit the nail on the head, tenant farmers are going to quit in their droves, because of tariffs and reduced margins, leaving the the farm tracts back to the big owners, Lords etc to get on with it- I see great difficulties

    • Iain Moore
      Posted July 31, 2019 at 8:51 am | Permalink

      We managed the mechanisation of agriculture before , like after the war. So why is it all too difficult now?

    • agricola
      Posted July 31, 2019 at 10:09 am | Permalink

      Wait until the banks decide it is time to make a profit and watch the pound move back.

      Some farming is labour intensive, fruit picking for instance. Much else is highly mechanised and requiring capital. The general move is in the direction of mechanisation.

      Not if the excesses of those that tenants have to cope with, ie. supermarkets and owners are kept in line by government. Out of the EU government has to start governing.

    • Anonymous
      Posted July 31, 2019 at 10:10 am | Permalink

      So why won’t our people do the work ?

      Well I’ll tell you. It’s because those who were once prepared to do it can’t stand the paperwork of coming off benefits for seasonal work and then being unable to get back on benefits afterwards.

      • L Jones
        Posted July 31, 2019 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

        Anonymous – Students? Where are they, June to October?

      • steve
        Posted July 31, 2019 at 7:22 pm | Permalink


        Fully agree.

    • libertarian
      Posted July 31, 2019 at 12:08 pm | Permalink


      F arm work isn’t labour intensive at all any longer, less than 1.5% of the workforce work in farming . In total there are 346,000 people employed in all forms of agriculture and horticulture and approx 64,200 of those are seasonal workers ( 90% from EU countries) There are currently 32 million employed in UK ( 3.8% ) and there are 1.2 million unemployed

    • Fred H
      Posted July 31, 2019 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

      Denis….as long as massive unemployment continues in so many EU countries, plus our farm wages are multiples in their own country, they will want work here.

  20. Iain Moore
    Posted July 31, 2019 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    Mass immigration has blunted the need for innovation , instead of labour constraints being the mother of invention , mechanisation and productivity improvements, it has locked us into a cycle of needing cheap labour subsidised by the tax payer. Instead of finding ways to flood our labour market with surplus workers the Government should be obstructing it, instead putting rocket boosters behind the nascent robotics and AI industry. A couple of years ago I heard of a Wimbledon strawberry supplier building a prototype strawberry picking robot, the other day Cambridge University unveiled a lettuce picking robot. This is where we should be putting our money, not the tax payer subsidising Romanian vegetable pickers.

    PS as the British establishment are hopeless at managing our borders, is there any guarantee we can be confident in that these seasonal workers actually return to their country of origin, or is it just another immigration route into the UK?

  21. Christine
    Posted July 31, 2019 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    “We should remove all tariffs on things we cannot produce for ourselves.”

    Surely we need to keep some tariffs on products we don’t produce to give us a bargaining chip when we do our trade deals? Otherwise, what’s the incentive for countries to do a trade deal with us?

  22. BR
    Posted July 31, 2019 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    Why are UK-produced goods more expensive? That needs to be understood.

    There are farmers who say that EU subsidies are in fact propping up inefficient businesses that should go to the wall. Perhaps that’s part of the problem – greedy farmers, charging too much. After all, they have the same access to immigrant EU labour as, say, Spain.

    Once we have automated production, as described in the article, there should be no reason for UK goods to be more expensive.

    Note that one advantage which wasn’t mentioned is that the picking machines are able to accurately assess ripeness/readiness on a case by case basis, so that they only pick what’s ripe. Human pickers, who are paid by weight/volume picked, tend to pick everything, ripe or otherwise.

  23. James Bertram
    Posted July 31, 2019 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    (links left out ed)
    Note also that the cost of bare agricultural land in the UK is about £ 7,000 per acre (2018) – (Note that in the South East good agricultural land is more like £10,000 per acre); and the average cost of agricultural land in France is about E 6,000 per Hectare (2016).

    Sir John’s ideas seem to be very much those of Big Farming / Big Business. There are better ways that don’t turn our countryside into wastelands (in the same way that industrial fishing has turned our seas into wastelands). A good read is ‘Wilding’ by Isabella Tree which describes how their 3,500 acre estate was being ruined by forever having to chase their tail on the treadmill of high investment farming, and how they converted it to a more profitable business by working with nature.

    As I wrote yesterday: I think farms need to be run without subsidy in the long term, and without tariffs and taxes. I would favour small farms with subsidy and set a limit as to acreage that can receive subsidy (eg only subsidise the first 200 acres), and encourage working with natural processes (organic and low-input, set-aside, rewilding of less productive land, lower land prices, low barrier to entry, increased employment etcetera) rather than heavy investment in high-tec solutions, high land prices, big farms and monocultures that destroy nature and create wastelands (as does much industrial fishing of the sea).

    Small farms are more creative and more nimble and adaptable in response to markets. They provide higher employment and stronger community. They are far less damaging to the environment. Self-employment is preferable to employee status. (Perhaps the comparison between large out-of-town supermarkets with that of small independent High Street retailers is a good analogy?)

    • James Bertram
      Posted July 31, 2019 at 10:22 am | Permalink
      • James Bertram
        Posted July 31, 2019 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

        From the statistics I provided (above) you can see that agricultural land in the UK on average costs about 3 and a half times that of agricultural land in France.
        Employment in agriculture in France is two and a half time that of the UK; and about 18% more agricultural machinery and tractors are used per square mile of arable land in France than in the UK.
        52.5% of french land is used for agriculture (and 31% is forest). Good arable land is 18 million hectares, about 34% of total land area.
        In the UK 71% of land is used for agriculture (and 13% is forest). Good arable land is 6 million hectares (one third that of France), about 25% of total land area.
        There are 212,000 farm holdings in the UK, and 490,000 in France (wikipedia – about 2009?)

        These figures seems to support my view that the price of land is far too high in the UK (largely due to the subsidies farmers receive per acre – the more land, the more subsidy); that the UK industry is dominated by large landholders (and these may be investors, rather than active farmers); that far too much unproductive land is farmed in the UK (and these uneconomic lands should be rewilded); that small farms provide considerable more employment (and use just as much farm machinery).

        Post-Brexit, large structural change needs to occur in the British farm industry, and in my opinion, change that favours small farms working with natural processes.

    • NickC
      Posted August 1, 2019 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

      James Bertram, It is hardly surprising that France produces more from agriculture than the UK, for it has much more than twice the land area with about the same population size. We don’t produce enough. So “re-wilding” is the opposite of what we should be doing. Unless you maintain that British farmers are irrational then what they produce must make sense. Judicious subsidies could improve both efficiency and the amount of land for farming, so we are less dependent on imports. Which is what want.

  24. Christine
    Posted July 31, 2019 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    Net immigration into the UK is far too high. It’s ridiculous to say we need more migrant farm workers every year. Where did last year’s workers go? Also with EU migrant workers there is a long term hidden cost to the tax payer. We are paying benefits to their families abroad. We pay a National Insurance stamp that entitles them to a Retirement Pension when they’ve never set foot in the country, whilst our own pensioners are deprived.

    • Andy
      Posted July 31, 2019 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

      Back to their home country. The clue is in the name: seasonal work. They come for the summer, most go back to the winter. . Some come back again the next year, some don’t. Some move into other jobs.

      Your contribution to them is close to zero. They, on the other hand, pay taxes to subsidise you. Why are you not grateful?

      • Jiminyjim
        Posted July 31, 2019 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

        What a hysterically ignorant post, Andy. You’re becoming much more funny, keep it up!

      • Fred H
        Posted July 31, 2019 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

        have you checked how much income tax is paid on minimum wage? Most go back in the winter, really? What mass exodus come November, and we haven’t noticed?

      • steve
        Posted July 31, 2019 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

        Pol Pot

        “They, on the other hand, pay taxes to subsidise you.”

        Rubbish !

        Since they work on the farms at below tax threshold rates how the hell do you come up with that one ?

        Then again how you come up with any of your trash on here remains a mystery. I suspect a pensioner might have given you a clout around the ear at some point.

  25. Anonymous
    Posted July 31, 2019 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    This post does seem rather far fetched and unrealistic.

    The double whammy of tight money and lost markets will not see technological investment anytime soon.

  26. BillM
    Posted July 31, 2019 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    Supermarkets are in business for the profits they can yield. Therefore, there must be a good economic reason why so many are now buying British produce.
    If the British farmers can compete with those of France, Italy, Spain etc on a zero tariff basis, what chance have the Continental suppliers when we apply WTO tariffs to their produce? Hmm.
    Surely this fact Must be a key negotiating point with the Brussels regime? How many €Billions are at stake?
    Now, I do hope the new Brexit team will use everything they have and get us out of the EU with the best deal for Britain, even when that is, “No deal”!
    We voted to get out. Nothing else matters.

  27. Gareth Warren
    Posted July 31, 2019 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    I am opposed to seasonal workers, in years past this work was done on a part time basis and provided a welcome income for people such as housewives or students. In general immigration policy in the UK has been very short termed and under values UK citizenship.

    Better mechanization makes sense too and provides engineerings jobs rather than manual labour ones.

    If the farmland is protected from building then it is worth a lot less, longterm I would prefer goverenment ownership then as there is no development of land yet a benefit from holding it – worth investigating.

    As for tariffs, they are not nearly as harmful as their reputation, dropping them for food we cannot produce makes sense, I’d rather too 0% tariffs on lamb with state protection for hill farmers than tariffs for all.

    On the 1st of November the success of brexit will be judged in the supermarket. In reality effects will push price rises or falls to later in the month, but getting FTA’s established with many countres will be important in a WTO brexit.

  28. Wes
    Posted July 31, 2019 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    So Boris is looking at another delay of 2 years while he “negotiates” with the EU ? Any one with any doubt as where this move will eventually lead should read the book “Adults in the room” by Yanis Varoufakis. This publication is a perfect example of the behaviour by EU controllers when faced with populist upsurge, in this case Greece and its eventual stitch up.

    There is nothing to be achieved by further negotion. Boris should heed the warning signs or watch his party suffer.

  29. Prigger
    Posted July 31, 2019 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    Sky News and the tax-funded Met Office are afraid and when I say afraid I mean afraid though ‘what do we mean by ‘afraid’? Leaving aside what we mean by ‘afraid’ for the sake of argument whatever we mean by ‘argument’ they ‘argue’ whatever we mean by ‘argue’ that well, “What has happened with our Climate?” whatever we mean by’climate’ as hailstones the size of Green Warrior’s brains have been falling from the heavens.
    It is Mother Nature aiming small missing small and killing snails.

  30. Prigger
    Posted July 31, 2019 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    Reducing the number of children by man’s tremendous restraint and so reducing carbon footprints has another little helper, namely the recycling of abortions and the Irish have just legislated to play their part. They should be encouraged in the use of their double edged sword and thus pose less historical danger to all good folk in Northern Ireland.
    By contrast, Protestants have always had fewer cards to play with. The balance is set to come soon.

  31. Pablo
    Posted July 31, 2019 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    We morphed very slowly into the EEC, then the EU, taking decades to change our farming and other ways from 1960’s style to 2020 and now we are about to change everything back again suddenly overnight 31st Oct to 1st November? Wow! It doesn’t bear thinking about

  32. John Payne
    Posted July 31, 2019 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    A good way to start is to re-start the Agriculture Act 1947.
    The Agriculture Act 1947 gave farmers an assured market and guaranteed prices for their produce, objective of this being, in words of the Minister of Agriculture Tom Williams, “to promote a healthy and efficient agriculture capable of producing that part of the nation’s food which is required from home sources at the lowest price consistent with the provision of adequate remuneration and decent living conditions for farmers and workers, with a reasonable return on capital invested”.[3]
    This Act continued until Britain entered the EEC in 1973

  33. Andy
    Posted July 31, 2019 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    While some fruit and veg can be picked by machine the technology does not yet exist to pick all of it. Berries, for example, require humans and will for some years.

    Clearly there are several groups we can use instead of European migrants. I’m assuming non-European migrants are out because we all know Brexit was about removing foreigners. So in their absence we can use car plant workers, aircraft builders and the like to pick fruit. Many of them will need new jobs post Brexit anyway. Even Patrick Minford said so. Then we can use hauliers – lots of them will be losing their jobs too.

    But mostly we should use pensioners. Make them work for their pensions. Spending a few hours in the fields each morning would do you all good – particularly as your generation wanted Brexit anyway, when other generations did not. Labour shortage solved. Dig for England!

    • L Jones
      Posted July 31, 2019 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

      Andy – why do you persist in making yourself sound such an idiot? (I’d use another word, but it would be censored.)

      These ”pensioners” of whom you speak so scathingly, have spent their whole working lives paying into the system, the fruits of which you sit back and enjoy, smugly and uncaringly. They have paid into their pension pots and are now drawing on that pot – it is THEIR money. Many of them (and of my own generation) did get up at 5 in the morning to go out into the fields, and not so long ago, to subsidise our own education, pay for our own holidays, and to help our own parents in some small way. Obviously YOU have never done so.
      You sound like an. etc ed
      I could go on. I only hope our host will allow this – because I believe I speak for many of us here who are sick to the back teeth of your insults and ageism.

    • Edward2
      Posted July 31, 2019 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

      It is irrelevant andy, because the government has said many times that migrant workers needed for seasonal jobs will still be allowed to come here and work as they have done fir decades.
      Pensions are paid for by over 30 years of National Insurance contributions.

    • Fred H
      Posted July 31, 2019 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

      Oh Andy you really should be on the stage (no, not sweeping it ) what makes you think we are about removing foreigners? Pay attention. If there is any substance it was about illegal immigrants, not wanting valid EU workers to leave, and Boris has said so. The joke about pensioners spending a few hours in the fields will merely increase the numbers arriving at A&E, probably requiring long term beds. Much more sensible would be for the likes of you young ones doing an ages old labour. Plus you would have an appreciation of why honest work is good for the soul, when did you last make income in such a way?

    • steve
      Posted July 31, 2019 at 7:17 pm | Permalink


      “But mostly we should use pensioners. Make them work for their pensions. Spending a few hours in the fields each morning would do you all good – particularly as your generation wanted Brexit anyway, when other generations did not. Labour shortage solved.”

      I’m surprised our host allowed that kind of highly offensive crap, to be honest.

      I doubt you have the guts to come out with sh_t like that to anyone’s face. Proper little Xxxxx aren’t you.

  34. Agric
    Posted July 31, 2019 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    When did UK farming stop being an exporter of wealth, that is producing food, wealth net, to dole out to everyone, to that of an importer of wealth, benefits, riches generated externally to “support” and pump into farmers as much as 80% of their income?
    We seem as a nation regarding farming to be paying ourselves to pay ourselves.

    Let’s buy cheaper abroad, away from the EU. Their farmers are consumers of our wealth and not generators of it. Our farmers have become dole wallahs and wish even greater tips for being ancestral and unwilling to retrain and move for more productive work. Who is the Arthur Scargill of the Farming World in the UK?

  35. HarveyG
    Posted July 31, 2019 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    Don’t suppose many of the 80 odd Tory ERG MPs are farmers in the real sense, maybe land owners but not farmers. Problem now is Boris is not going to stop until he purges the ranks of ERG and Farage types and to do this he has no choice but to leave with no deal oct 31st and in this way he will nullify dissension with one stroke and hope to bring the party back together again before calling a GE. Of course none of this has anything to do with agriculture or the country but everything to do with Boris and his hold onto power. He’s only looking around now to spread the muck wherever he can, smart man

    • Fred H
      Posted July 31, 2019 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

      HarveyG….’Don’t suppose many of the 80 odd Tory ERG MPs are farmers in the real sense’.
      I don’t suppose many of the Socialists, Union leaders, leftie politicians, BBC employees, Lords (Labour thanks for donations, failures in Government, best removed from Commons as a risk) are in a real sense?

  36. Andy
    Posted July 31, 2019 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    If staggers me that you all think Brexit is over on 31 October.

    Sure, the UK may – probably even will – leave the EU then.

    But that is when Brexit starts, not when it ends.

    Then is when you actually have to deliver. No more blaming Brussels. It’s all you.

    You have to make the country better.

    You have to make nothing significantly worse.

    Brexit will not be over for the rest of your lives.

    And – yes – we will be blaming Brexit for everything that’s wrong until the days you all die. Fun time ahead!

    I’m not sure you have all realised this.

    • sm
      Posted July 31, 2019 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

      John, I don’t know whether you continue to publish Andy’s bile-strewn and obnoxious posts in order to demonstrate just how vitriolic and nihilistic some of the electorate are, but frankly, in my view, they are poisoning the atmosphere here. It’s entirely reasonable to pay attention to opposing views, but his constant gleeful obsession with death is simply sick.

    • L Jones
      Posted July 31, 2019 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

      Andy – you are a pompous, patronising ass. When you grow up you will realise how unlikable you are and the reason you don’t have any friends. Meanwhile there are self-help books that you should read.

    • Edward2
      Posted July 31, 2019 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

      You right in one sense Andy.
      After the 1st November the UK and EU will then begin talks about trade.
      This would have happened with or without the Withdrawal Agreement.

      You carry on blaming Brexit for anything and everything, it amuses us and as a bonus it gives you something to do.

    • Alan Joyce
      Posted July 31, 2019 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

      Dear Mr. Redwood,


      Your posts are becoming increasingly bitter. I urge you to re-read your last post and particularly your penultimate paragraph. One would be tempted to conclude that the Brexit process, seemingly not going to your liking, has affected your judgement or capacity.

      In the words of Mr. Speaker, you should lie down, take a soothing medicament. Have you thought about meditation? What about a self-imposed exile from this blog? That might do us all a favour!

    • steve
      Posted July 31, 2019 at 6:56 pm | Permalink


      “And – yes – we will be blaming Brexit for everything that’s wrong until the days you all die”

      And you think anyone would take any notice of you ?

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted July 31, 2019 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

      I’m not sure you have all realised this.

      I’m not sure you understand much about the world you live in. You have very strange views. As if you live your life in a 10′ deep trench and can’t see up and out to work out what the rest of the world looks like.

      • Christine
        Posted August 1, 2019 at 12:26 am | Permalink

        More like he lives in his bedroom at his mother’s house. I doubt anyone who works full time with a young family would have the time to read and reply to so many comments on this blog.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted July 31, 2019 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

      Andy, I would love to tell you what I really think about you but our kind host couldn’t print it. On the other hand the replies to your posts from guests on this blog are so clever and brilliantly put that its entertainment on the side. They make you look like a silly boy. Oh, I forgot. You are a silly boy.

    • Iain Moore
      Posted August 1, 2019 at 8:22 am | Permalink

      Andy a lot of the young people who voted for the EEC in 1975 are the old people who have now voted for Brexit. It should trouble you that the only people you can get to support the EU is those who haven’t experienced it.

  37. steve
    Posted July 31, 2019 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

    “The agricultural lobbyists are worried that leaving the EU will mean they can no longer recruit plenty of low wage labour from the continent ”

    Yep, the prospect of having to pay proper wages, it terrifies ’em. A fact which I find highly amusing.

  38. Mike Wilson
    Posted July 31, 2019 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

    What a depressing prospect. Ever larger farms and more mechanisation. And there’s me thinking we need lots of 10 acre smallholdings producing and selling vegetables and eggs.

    • Edward2
      Posted July 31, 2019 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

      You can have both.
      More choices.
      You choose.

    • James Bertram
      Posted July 31, 2019 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

      Well said, Mike.

  39. Iain Gill
    Posted July 31, 2019 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

    I know people living in jobless sink estates in the North East of England would be quite happy to travel south to work seasonally on farms, except that the state has made it just about impossible for them to do so. For one their social housing tenancies are written such that if they leave the property empty for a few months, to say go work elsewhere, the property will be taken off them. For two signing back onto social security after having a temporary job is a complete pain in the bum, takes ages for aspects of the benefits to kick in again, and they would be put on the newer (often less favourable) version of the benefits. Then of course their travel and housing when working away from home has to be funded out of taxed income, rather like IR35 for farm workers it is a complete nonsense to be taxing people for expenses associated with their work as much as it for freelancers in better paying roles. And top up benefits take no account of expenses associated with any work you do. To say nothing of the rubbish service mobile workers get from the NHS, which is completely unable to deal with the reality that not everyone spends every night in the same CCG or GP area.

  40. N*n*t**n ****ty *our
    Posted August 1, 2019 at 5:18 am | Permalink

    You being a writer JR perhaps you will understand why Literary Agents feel they are doing the writer a favour.
    They get 15% of the net profit on sales of a book they did not write. The writer does not break-even until 3000 books are sold. ( one professional journalist on TV wrote a book and spent a fortune going round bookshops promoting it and only sold 3000 in one year. ) I can print and sell ‘a book’ of mine and personally, by myself, sell 3000 copies in 20 weeks at 50% of the price a publisher would charge for it.
    The problem is that, ( apologies to Rees-Mogg for putting a comma after ‘that’ ) I would not be able logistically to sell ‘ a book.’ nationwide and globally.
    I never realised until recently it is possible to get a reasonably looking book printed very cheaply. It would be odd if the printer and maker of the book thought he was doing me a favour for making me pay for his work.
    In truth, it is unlikely from the little information Literary Agencies provide that they have even one person in their employ who could even understand my two sentence synopsis except on a superficial level and they would think it ‘awkward English’ at best. They have only been educated to university level. If they can read the synopsis without hesitation or with a little stumbling and then read it again and it flows they will have learned more from my synopsis than is possible to learn in the same field at their universities.
    Normal people will slide through ‘a book’ of mine like a knife through butter and never realise at the end they each have become a genius. It is a short book too.

  • 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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