Brexit Watch, June 3, Catherine McBride
THE NFU has written an open letter demanding a statutory Trade and Agriculture Commission scrutinises the coming Australian trade deal and assess its impact on domestic farmers. But trade deals should be accessed for their benefit to the whole economy, not just on one failing subset of one industry. Who is scrutinising the trade deal on behalf of the UK’s 67 million consumers?
Waiting 15 years to open the UK market to Australia’s unsubsidised beef farmers is not how you Get Brexit Done. If UK farmers were efficient, they may have a case for opposing this trade deal – although if they were efficient, they wouldn’t need one.
The problem is not that Australia’s unsubsidized farmers are too good, it is that UK beef and lamb farmers are too small. But it is this squeaky wheel that looks like, yet again, it will get the oil. Leaving the UK populace to continue overpaying for their red meat, while also picking up the bills of the UK’s most inefficient farming sector. All while food bank numbers grow – with a new record 1.6 million emergency food parcels were given to those in need in 2019. That’s a 19% increase on 2018, with more than half a million of these food parcels going to children.
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