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We don't need our farmers and fishermen

(133 Posts)
Greta Mon 02-Mar-20 16:13:08

What are we to make of this?
One senior government adviser is reported to have said the UK doesn't need its farming or fishing industries. According to him the food sector isn't that important to our economy and agriculture and fisheries certainly aren't.
Dr Leunig is said to be close to Dominic Cummings. Is he one of DC's weirdos?

This is perhaps good news for Priti Patel. She could easily add the redundant farmers and fishermen to the 8.5 million people who are economically inactive. They would all help to alleviate staff shortages under the new immigration system.

pinkquartz Mon 02-Mar-20 16:16:50

Yeah we don't need food. WW2 would have been over in days if we had not been able to feed ourselves.
The French have already declared they will fight dirty in the EU negotiations.
So why not import all our food and let France dictate.

Also we can then build over the fields.!
OMG I despair

Urmstongran Mon 02-Mar-20 16:25:42

Wouldn’t suit the eco warriors surely, flying food in from abroad?

Anyway it’s about national identity. Self sufficiency. It’s about the optics folks.

Fennel Mon 02-Mar-20 16:43:17

I can't believe this - it must be some exaggerated propaganda report.
Except that I think there will be trouble with the EU over the fisheries issues .
And EU farming subsidies will be missed.

MaizieD Mon 02-Mar-20 16:45:34

What is about 'national identity', Ug?

Doing away with our farming and fishing on the suggestion of one of Cumming's weirdos?

I find it sad that you Brexit voters were so scared of us losing our 'national identity' that you're prepared to destroy the UK to get it back. I've never felt that our national identity has been diminished in any way over the past 50 years.

I do feel it now, though, as we've lost so much respect from the international community, especially having elected a charlatan PM

midgey Mon 02-Mar-20 17:12:11

The statement defies belief really. Perhaps the ‘expert’ has never been out of a city. He @#*# well needs to get a life and grow up!

M0nica Mon 02-Mar-20 17:31:10

The best thing to do is treat such remarks with the contempt they deserve.

This man reminds me of a small child throwing a tantrum in public to try and make themselves the centre of attention.. He only does it to annoy because he knows it teases

MaizieD Mon 02-Mar-20 17:34:31

He's an economist, believe it or not. Just the sort of outside the box, blue sky thinker that Cummings wants to help formulate policy...

And he's quite old, b 1971

That's assuming I've got the right Tim Leunig here.

M0nica Mon 02-Mar-20 17:53:38

Not that old! DS was born in 1971.

Followed the link and was horrified to discover he is a Lib Dem supporter.

I will have to vote for the Monster Raving Loony party in the next election

MaizieD Mon 02-Mar-20 18:11:18

Old enough to know better, MOnica.

Clearly of the Minford school of economists

Callistemon Mon 02-Mar-20 18:21:56

Yes, I mentioned this on another thread Greta but it is worth a thread of its own.

Who are these people?
Where do they find them?
Do the Government take their advice seriously?
And do they live normal lives or are they machines?
Can they be reprogrammed?
Just how stupid do you have to be to become Government adviser?

That does sound facetious but I astonished by the sheer unrealistic naivety of such people. And very angry
It is frightening that he is advising the new Chancellor.

They should be spending more draining ditches, dredging rivers and channels so that farms do not get flooded, as many crops are not being sown due to the waterlogged fields. And reassuring farmers that they will support them in producing food for the nation post-Brexit.

varian Mon 02-Mar-20 18:35:54

The head of the National Farmers' Union lashed out today at a government aide who said the industry isn't "critically important".

NFU president Minette Batters said the comments were "completely out of touch" after the Treasury advisor said Britain could simply import its food like Singapore.

Riverwalk Mon 02-Mar-20 18:54:51

Farmers voted for Brexit and no doubt voted for this government. What did they expect?

growstuff Mon 02-Mar-20 18:55:45

The idea of turning the UK into a Singapore-type of economy isn't new. Douglas Carswell (remember him?) wrote a book about it a few years ago.

From an economic point of view, fishing and agriculture only produce a tiny percentage of GDP. If you're sitting in an ivory tower and theorising, it makes sense to use our resources for services and knowledge businesses, which make a far greater contribution to the economy and, arguably, are a more efficient use of our labour and land resources. We can always import all our food from the US, where they have loads of land!

It's all nonsense, of course. Politically, it's totally unacceptable and Johnson must know that. He's going to have to backtrack, which will probably mean allowing more seasonal foreign workers. He's playing games, not only with the EU, but with his own hard line backbenchers and those who voted for him. All the time, he has to be seen to be delivering Brexit, to save his own position.

growstuff Mon 02-Mar-20 19:02:05

Callistemon Just think how much could be saved on flood prevention, if there were no farms, and all the UK's income came from people sitting behind a computer screen!

varian Mon 02-Mar-20 19:04:02

They'd have to be sitting on high ground.

growstuff Mon 02-Mar-20 19:08:52

Not really! I don't live much above sea level and we haven't had any serious flooding. People make loads of money round here from sitting behind computer screens and developing IT and pharma stuff.

PS. I'm not being serious, but the idea has been mooted before.

growstuff Mon 02-Mar-20 19:13:32

If the UK doesn't align itself with EU food standards, we're going to have to employ 50,000 extra customs staff, according to Michael Gove. I don't know how much customs staff earn, but assuming it's about £30k with on costs, that works out to £1.5 billion a year.

I see a big U-turn on the horizon.

Fennel Mon 02-Mar-20 19:17:38

If the govt. were unable to get the trade deals they hope for, with the EU, the USA etc, and food imports became too expensive, could we feed ourselves from the produce of the UK? As we did during WW2.?

varian Mon 02-Mar-20 19:17:56

Since 45% of our trade (in 2018) was with the EU , it should be obvious that we need to continue to conform with EU standards.

growstuff Mon 02-Mar-20 19:25:53

We didn't feed ourselves in WW2. At the beginning of WW2, the UK imported 70% of its food. It continued importing food, fuel and raw materials throughout the war.

growstuff Mon 02-Mar-20 19:26:50

The UK has not been self-sufficient in food production for hundreds of years.

growstuff Mon 02-Mar-20 19:28:25

Mind you, if this article is true, I might start eating worms:

It sounds really yucky!

jura2 Mon 02-Mar-20 19:30:46

Johnson promised farmers they would be supported to the tune of EU subsidies if we left. Now is is totally going back on his word- as he has done with every word he has ever given- and ensuring our exporting markets will be closed because of no checks and no alignment.

And still, some here, and all over UK- still say 'wait and see' and 'Boris will save the day' - beyond belief.

varian Mon 02-Mar-20 19:32:56

BJ is a proven liar. Why should anyone believe a word he says?