Brexit

How Real Are Post-Brexit Food Fears?

Britons probably won't starve if the U.K. ever manages to leave the E.U.

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Earlier this week, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson met at a French restaurant in Luxembourg with European Union President Jean-Claude Juncker. The pair feasted on cheese, salmon, and snails while discussing a deal over Brexit, the contentious and ever-evolving British plan to leave the E.U. next month.

Even as Johnson and other British politicians fight over when, how, and even whether to leave, and EU leaders are caught somewhere between onlookers to and participants in the process, many politicians and pundits both inside and outside Britain warn Brexit may leave an empty feeling in the stomachs of Britons and others in the bloc who count on British food purchases.

Indeed, Brexit's worst-case scenario involves both food shortages and public disorder. ("Order!") Many experts predict a post-Brexit spike in food prices. Some "academics stress that these price jumps will make it difficult for some Brits to reliably access affordable, nutritious food," Quartz reported last month. Others appear to be unconvinced Britain can feed itself, citing a history of "U.K. manufacturing incompetence" around food. And while Britain will continue to welcome E.U. food imports, experts predict the border crossing into France could become a lethal bottleneck for many perishable British farm goods and other foods bound for the E.U.

Though it's impossible to know, some of these fears may be overblown. For example, The Guardian fished for British food preppers last week. It's unclear if they found any, but Reuters reported this week that Britons aren't stockpiling food in advance of Brexit.

Even if some Brexit fears are exaggerated, a closer look at many of the concerns raised over Britain's exit from the E.U. suggests those specters amount to little more than tired fears over competition and equally shopworn calls for protectionism.

"It was very important and is very important that the U.K. in any deal wouldn't be able to go off and do their own trade deals with other countries," said Joe Healy, head of the Irish Farmers' Association, in remarks reported this week by the Irish Times. Healy, the Times reports, wants any Brexit or post-Brexit deal to maintain "[t]he value of the U.K. food market" to Irish farmers and to disregard "the U.K. government's 'ability or desire' to see food prices slashed."

Lisa Chambers, an Irish politician, similarly worries what will happen to Irish beef farmers if they have to compete for British food dollars.

"If this comes to pass and Irish beef is forced to compete in the U.K. market against cheaper imports from other countries, thousands of jobs will be lost," Chambers says.

The availability of abundant and cheaper food options may be why British leaders don't fear food shortages. If they do harbor such fears, they're not letting on yet—at least not publicly.

During a visit to Britain earlier this month by Vice President Mike Pence, for example, Prime Minister Johnson—doing a stripped-down Hugh Grant impersonation—told the press that chlorine-washed American chicken will remain unwelcome in British supermarkets even after Brexit.

When it comes to food, the promise of the E.U. was that it would reduce regulations and barriers to trade, benefiting consumers and producers throughout the bloc. The EU.'.s common currency (which Britain never adopted) and the end of tedious border checkpoints between member countries certainly helped in that regard. But the E.U. has also embraced some of the world's strictest food regulations and—even Brexit opponents admit—some of its worst agricultural subsidies.

In a 2017 column, I reported on a study by the Taxpayers' Alliance, a think thank, that argued Brexit presented an "unprecedented opportunity" for Britain "to examine its agricultural and trade policies and adopt a more liberal approach which will ultimately result in a more productive agricultural sector and lower food prices for consumers."

That's still possible. But it may be unlikely.

"The evidence is on the side of the free-traders, but they should not assume that the people of Britain understand that such openness will give them more choice and make the country better off," wrote British journalist Oliver Wiseman in a piece for Reason last month that lays bare the uncertainties that surround Brexit, particularly around trade.

If post-Brexit Britain emerges as a beacon of free trade and prosperity, then, in the words of the brilliant, crack-smoking British TV character Super Hans, portrayed by actor Matt King on the fun comedy Peep Show, then I'm moreish on Brexit. But the proof, to paraphrase, shall be in the pudding.

NEXT: Free Speech Under Fire

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100 responses to “How Real Are Post-Brexit Food Fears?

  1. Scientific geniuses have a solution to hunger caused by climate change…

    https://futurism.com/the-byte/scientist-cannibalism-climate-change

    Maybe the Brits can use this stroke of genius for any Brexit-caused hunger as well? Why not?

    1. After all, the Irish have plenty of babies to eat.

      1. your content is amazing and valuable, aslo your site layout is beautiful. thumbs up BBL 2019-2020 Schedule

      2. the Irish have plenty of babies to eat

        What an incredibly rude and horrible remark. You know that some famous fast dude actually suggested this a couple hundred years ago. For his blasphemy he was made mad and tried to tear his eyes out, and died at the age of 80.

  2. Literally none of the fears are founded. Not a single one.

      1. If so will you man up? Silly question, this is the site of not taking responsibility.

    1. No escargots??

      Sacre bleu!!

  3. chlorine-washed American chicken

    Nice album name.

    1. With some black pepper, onion salt, and some lemon juice you’ll be amazed at how it really brings the chlorine flavor to the forefront. They’re missing out.

    2. “chlorine-washed”

      We call it tap water.
      Seriously though, the chlorine gasses off immediately and completely. It’s the nature of the element. Anti-science nutters.

      1. It’s not tap water you twit. It’s a chlorine dioxide solution with 8-15x the max chlorine allowed in tap water (or 20x the standard chlorine in swimming pools). It is designed to kill salmonella and other bacteria/diseases which pervades chickens raised in tiny cages.

        The US has no minimum space limit and so chlorine is used to wash off shit-soaked chickens. The EU does have a minimum space limit but it is not opposed to the chlorine. It is opposed to what the chlorine washing remedy represents. A half-assed ‘remedy’ to poor sanitary practices that provides incentives for even worse sanitary practices (eg removing decomposition odor/slime from chicken corpses so they can be passed off as ‘fresh’ for longer).

        Salmonella poisoning cases may indicate the difference in outcome from that different approach. US has roughly 1 million salmonella illnesses, 23,000 hospitalizations and 500 deaths per year. EU has roughly 100,000 illnesses, 2000 hospitalizations, and 20 deaths.

      2. Look at JFree and his hyperbole.

          1. Should, sees it the mirror every time he looks.

  4. “Indeed, Brexit’s worst-case scenario involves both food shortages and public disorder. (“Order!”) Many experts predict a post-Brexit spike in food prices. Some “academics stress that these price jumps will make it difficult for some Brits to reliably access affordable, nutritious food,” Quartz reported last month. Others appear to be unconvinced Britain can feed itself, citing a history of “U.K. manufacturing incompetence” around food. And while Britain will continue to welcome E.U. food imports, experts predict the border crossing into France could become a lethal bottleneck for many perishable British farm goods and other foods bound for the E.U.”

    So, because of Brexit, there will not be enough food in Britain while simultaneously, the food they export will be at risk due to government interference?

    That’s some serious shit.

  5. “Lord have mercy on the people in England
    For the terrible food these people must eat.”
    —Frank Zappa

  6. It’s seems to me that the food supply in a post-Brexit England is less of a concern than the question of whether or not there will ever be a post-Brexit England. If the self-anointed elites manage to suppress the democratic impulse to be free, you’ll just eat what you’re told and you’ll like it, you filthy peasant.

  7. Has the strategic Spotted Dick Reserve gone low again?

      1. The corpse of Michael Jackson disagrees.

    1. I saw Spotted Dick Reserve open for Foo Fighters once.

  8. If you leave the EU you gonna die!

    1. If they don’t leave the E.U., they’re all gonna die— presumably at the hands of Sharia courts. But, ultimately you are right, why should Jeremy Corbyn be shackled from nationalizing the steel industries and railroads by some E.U. diktat? Vote Leave.

  9. The European Union and American House of Representatives should refrain from helping a departing England, aiming to inflict with inaction as much pain and humiliation on Prime Minister Johnson and English as may lawfully be arranged. Right-wing belligerence should have severe consequences.

    Scotland and a united Ireland should stick with the European Union and the modern world if Britain leaves, enabling (formerly Great) Britain to genuinely be on its own.

    1. The English also rejected progress and modernity in 1804 and 1940, refusing to be part of the European future. They certainly deserved whatever they got, right, Rev?

      1. “Right-wing belligerence”

        Stop hitting my fist with your face, clinger! Just lie back and think of progress.

        1. You think clinging to bigotry is going to help conservatives over time?

          You must live in one of the most desolate backwaters and figure everyone is as intolerant and ignorant as you and your deplorable neighbors are.

          1. To use a metaphor which you, given your age, would probably understand, your record seems stuck.

            I don’t see why the U. S., even the wacky House of Representatives, would wage war on England for *refusing* to join a bunch of fanatical European socialists. They didn’t in 1940, and they’re reconsidering it today.

            1. I do not advocate war. I advocate refraining from helping England advance an intolerant, backward agenda. England is free to do as it wishes. No one should assist it, however, if it chooses stale right-wingery. Let England demonstrate how good and tough it is — alone.

      2. “The English also rejected progress and modernity in 1804 and 1940”

        That’s kinda funny cuz England defeated those two authoritarian nations, only to become an authoritarian nation.

    2. Kirkland. Every time you post about anything, you show your absolute ignorance on the subject matter.
      Here is a scenario for you.
      Your president enters into a new trade deal with Mexico and Canada. As part of that trade deal you have to have to pay 5% of your GDP to faceless politicians. You have to give up your rights to fish in your own waters. You can make laws but any laws made by these new faceless politicians override any laws made by your own congress if they are in contradictions. You are no longer allowed to make trade deals with any country outside this new trade block.
      Now, I ask you. Would any American ever be happy with a trade deal on these terms.
      Of course they wouldn’t, yet this is exactly what you think we should be happy with. Next time you want to comment on a subject I suggest you do at least a remedial amount of research.

      1. That sounds like America’s successful, modern communities subsidizing the dysfunction, ignorance, and bigotry of America’s shambling southern and rural backwaters.

        Do you advocate cutting Mississippi, Alabama, and Wyoming loose?

        1. I advocate you blowing blowing your pea sized brains out with a shotgun and having an open invitation party for sane people to dance, spit, shit, and piss on what remains of your fitting carcass. Open bar.

          1. Enjoy your political irrelevance, you bigoted right-wing malcontent, while I enjoy knowing that you spend your life complying with my wishes as a result of the culture war.

            1. You and what army, slaver?

    3. The European Union and American House of Representatives should refrain from helping a departing England, aiming to inflict with inaction as much pain and humiliation on Prime Minister Johnson and English as may lawfully be arranged.

      Let the hate flow through you, Rev!! Feel the power of the dark side!!

      1. I dislike bigots and stale-thinking right-wingers. Always have. Probably always will. I see no reason to make things easier for the intolerant and ignorant positions or people.

  10. How real are the fears that if Britain left the E.U. they’d end up looking like Algeria? That seemed to be the primary issue. But, let’s not quibble… when Jeremy Corbyn becomes PM it’s probably for the best if he’s not shackled by a bunch of E.U. neoliberal bullshit.

    1. Jeremy Corbyn does not stand a chance of becoming PM. Even he knows it. That is why he refuses to vote for another election to let the people decide which party would best serve the British people through the process of leaving. Quite frankly, Corbyn has shifted his position on the subject so often that nobody knows where he really stands. He has done this on purpose because he is attempting to convince that he respects the result of the referendum while at the same railing against the result. He wants to convince the stupid and confused people he is ‘on their side’ while not actually taking a side.
      One thing is sure. His excuses for not supporting another election makes no sense to anyone and we all know he is chicken shit scared of losing because if he loses another election it will become obvious to even his most ardent supporters that Labour is unelectable with him as leader and he will be removed by the party members to save the party. He will then be thrown into the obscurity he came from and will be barely remembered by the history books. His only legacy being an example of how to destroy a political party.

    2. Do you have any idea how much you suck?

      1. Self-deception is a nasty bitch.

  11. Hey, if Britain doesn’t do something soon these fucking uppity hajis will be able to talk to a White person like this…

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.theguardian.com/politics/2019/sep/18/nhs-destroyed-boris-johnson-father-sick-child-hospital-london

    Fuck that… Pax Brittania!

    1. “these fucking uppity hajis”

      Ah this is that ironic casual racism that you progs do.

      No excuse Tones.

      1. Oh hey… look at Trumpian douche weaponize PC speech codes. You sure you don’t attend Evergreen College. I’m using your guy’s words— not mine.

        1. We get it, you’re an unapologetic casual racist who wants your enemies murdered.

          “Oh hey… look at Trumpian douche weaponize PC speech codes”

          Oh hey look at you crying like a bitch about being outed as a racist.

        2. Not my guy, idiot racist. Go die in a fire.

    2. Will you be using your copy / paste wizardry today? You know, in order to get the rest of the left-libertarians here to adopt the impeachment position I’ve had since before Putin’s Puppet was even sworn in?

      Specifically, you should highlight all the proof Mueller found that Russians are controlling our government.

      #MaddowWasRight

      1. What more would any self-respecting government do? Political leader talks to leader of foreign government about digging up dirt on political rival. In any of the other 194 countries— most of them dictatorships— such actions get you handed your ass and then either imprisioned or shot. But not this place… Republicans and Dear Leader are special.

        1. “In any of the other 194 countries— most of them dictatorships— such actions get you handed your ass and then either imprisioned or shot”

          Wait wait you believe this?

          Lol

  12. “The evidence is on the side of the free-traders, but they should not assume that the people of Britain understand that such openness will give them more choice and make the country better off,”

    Guy name of Bagehot tried to make that point a while back.

  13. Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland
    September.21.2019 at 12:41 pm
    “The European Union and American House of Representatives should refrain from helping a departing England, aiming to inflict with inaction as much pain and humiliation on Prime Minister Johnson and English as may lawfully be arranged. Right-wing belligerence should have severe consequences.”

    Yep, “right wing belligerence” as in “leave me alone”.
    But ya know, the bigoted asshole has a point, but he’s wrong about the time-span. Our “betters” have been trying to lead the unwashed to the promised land for more than 100 years:
    Partial List of ‘Elites’ Supporting Mass Murderers
    1) Lincoln Stephens
    2) Walter Duranty
    3) Joseph Davies
    4) Julian Huxley
    5) Upton Sinclair
    6) John Dewey
    7) Jean Paul Sarte
    8) Henry Wallace
    9) Alger Hiss
    10) Malcom Cowley
    11) Edmund Wilson
    12) G. B. Shaw
    13) Lillian Hellman
    14) C. Wright Mills
    15-20)Donald MacLean, Kim Philby, and the remainder of the Cambridge useful idiots
    21) Harold Lasky
    22) Jacques Derrida
    23) Harrison Salisbury
    24) Norman Mailer
    25) Graham Greene
    You’re welcome to add to the list; the bigoted asshole deserves to know how thankful we are.

    1. Cranky GOP suckup has a point— if it were made in 1952. Is this the reason you guys invaded Vietnam?

      1. “if it were made in 1952. Is this the reason you guys invaded Vietnam?”
        Commie kid shows up to prove how stupid he is again.

      2. Please don’t destroy the entire ecosystem of a giant floodplain and initiate an enormous famine.

      3. LeaveTrumpAloneLibertarian
        September.21.2019 at 2:49 pm
        “Cranky GOP suckup has a point— if it were made in 1952. Is this the reason you guys invaded Vietnam?”

        BTW, cranky lefty piece of shit, care to compare the idiocy of Vietnam with Stalin and Mao, cranky lefty piece of shit?
        Didn’t think so.

      4. “Cranky GOP suckup has a point— if it were made in 1952.”
        And then shitstain can’t even do a search regarding time. Pretty much par for the course for lefty shitstains.
        Were you ‘educated’ in gov’t schools, shitstain?

    2. Remember the movie Fantastic Voyage? Well, in the spirit of that film I’d love to shrink a ship small enough to travel in your brain Sevo – (it would have to be very very very very very small) – to try and work out just how you came-up with your wack-a-loon list. I’m guessing there’s a lifetime’s worth of rolling-on-the-floor laughing following that “mental process”

      1. grb
        September.21.2019 at 5:31 pm
        “I’m guessing there’s a lifetime’s worth of rolling-on-the-floor laughing following that “mental process””

        That’s because you’re a fucking ignoramus and one more apologist for mass murderers.

  14. LOL! Discredited #TrumpRussia denialist Matt Taibbi continues to scribble nonsense in Rolling Stone:

    Donald Trump in office has appeared politically disinclined to go to war. Whatever the reason, we have to hope it continues with Iran

    Ugh. He might as well just shout “Trump 2020!” and get it over with.

    Seriously, how can Rolling Stone give a platform to this garbage? They have a reputation for journalistic excellence, especially when covering politics and current events. You’d hate to see them flush that down the toilet by publishing a writer whose obvious agenda results in truly sloppy work.

    1. Hey, welcome to nuance. The President is a crook and a liar, but thank goodness he hasn’t stationed half a million troops in Iraq like the last Republican. I wonder if Matt is going to be voting for Dump like the rest of you GOP suckoffs.

      1. “…Dump…”

        ‘Tards spend a whole lot of time coming up with nick-names which would embarrass a grammar-school kid, and they are entirely too stupid to be embarrassed themselves.

      2. Yet more proof that leftists can’t do math.

  15. Three Points :

    (1) There’s a certain kind of so-called Libertarian prone to adolescent hysteria. They really seem clueless how comical they appear.

    (2) That Britons “probably” won’t starve if they ever manages to leave the E.U. is good to hear. Given all the promises of Brexit’s wondrous benefits now recognized as crude lies, I’m glad there’s something pleasant left to say about this fiasco.

    (3) The European Union (with its associated free trade pacts) covers one-third of the world’s economy and has created one of the largest single markets in the world. Yet the original post above tries to sell Brexit as a blow for free trade. Given the cartoon quality of most Brexit selling points, why am I not surprised?

    1. grb
      September.21.2019 at 5:07 pm
      “Three Points :
      (1) There’s a certain kind of so-called Libertarian prone to adolescent hysteria. They really seem clueless how comical they appear.”
      Glad you’re here to prove there’s a lefty retard hysteria; thank you and fuck off.

      “(2) That Britons “probably” won’t starve if they ever manages to leave the E.U. is good to hear. Given all the promises of Brexit’s wondrous benefits now recognized as crude lies, I’m glad there’s something pleasant left to say about this fiasco.”
      Given you’re entirely too stupid to even understand what’s going on, we’ll ignore any prognostication from a lefty ‘tard.

      “(3) The European Union (with its associated free trade pacts) covers one-third of the world’s economy and has created one of the largest single markets in the world. Yet the original post above tries to sell Brexit as a blow for free trade. Given the cartoon quality of most Brexit selling points, why am I not surprised?”
      First, 27% ain’t 33%, and you mean Germany and its parasites? Further, Britain represents the second largest economy, so the EU is pretty much 2 national economies, allowing France to protect its ag business and then one parasite after the other.

    2. Hi LeaveTrumpAloneLibertarian. Still shitting I see.

  16. To answer the headline question:
    As real as global climate warming change
    As real as Obama’s healthcare promises
    As real as the Russian election interference
    As real as the Kavanaugh accusations
    As real as the democrat’s acceptance of the results of the 2016 election

    1. Stomping guys like you into obsequious compliance in the culture war has been a pleasure.

      You don’t get your bigoted preferences, but you are welcome to whine and mutter all you wish about all of this damned progress.

      Carry on, clinger. Until you are replaced.

        1. It still fits most of the clingers.

          1. “It still fits most of the clingers.”
            The bigoted asshole has a point here, he’s just 50 years shy of the wonderful efforts of he and the fucking other shitstains to direct us all to utopia:
            Partial List of ‘Elites’ Supporting Mass Murderers

            1) Lincoln Stephens
            2) Walter Duranty
            3) Joseph Davies
            4) Julian Huxley
            5) Upton Sinclair
            6) John Dewey
            7) Jean Paul Sarte
            8) Henry Wallace
            9) Alger Hiss
            10) Malcom Cowley
            11) Edmund Wilson
            12) G. B. Shaw
            13) Lillian Hellman
            14) C. Wright Mills
            15-20)Donald MacLean, Kim Philby, and the remainder of the Cambridge useful idiots
            21) Harold Lasky
            22) Jacques Derrida
            23) Harrison Salisbury
            24) Norman Mailer
            25) Graham Greene

      1. You should kill yourself at the first opportune moment.

    2. Or the 2004 election, or the 2000 election.

      Leftists, still Sore/Losermen to this day.

  17. The English will always have plenty of meat, so long as they have a big Johnson.

    1. Yeah, but it’ll be boiled far beyond recognition.

  18. Britain imports stuff from all over the world, including American and China without any problem. Neither of these countries are in the EU.
    There is a huge trade imbalance between the EU and Britain in favour of the EU. For this trade imbalance Britain also pays over £10 billion a year for the privilege of membership. We also have to give up all rights to the fish in our internationally recognised territorial waters. Our fishing industry has been decimate because many of our fishermen are not even allowed to fish in our own waters.. Our farmers are told what they are allowed to grow and the French farmers are heavily subsidised by the EU.
    Once we are out we can import our food and other goods from anywhere in the world and will no longer be restricted by the single market or the customs union. Our fishermen will have unrestricted access to our own waters and we will no longer be paying a membership fee. The UK has always been capable of growing much of it’s own food until the EU decided to restrict what we are allowed to grow
    Fishing was always a large part of our economy and it will thrive again once we are out and we stop massive Norwegian and Swedish fishing factories from making a living at our expense.

  19. “If this comes to pass and Irish beef is forced to compete in the U.K. market against cheaper imports from other countries, thousands of jobs will be lost,” Chambers says.

    Fucktard. Fixed it for him:

    “If this comes to pass and Irish beef is forced to compete in the U.K. market against cheaper imports from other countries, thousands of pounds will be saved by U.K. consumers.”

  20. We proved twice in the last century that the USA can feed Great Britain – and it will be easier without U-boats trying to sink the ships.

  21. Stupid idiots who think their good comes from Brussels.

    Unfortunately there are people like that here in the US too. This think that without the Department of Agriculture there would be no one to order the growing, distribution, and sale of food.

    Evangelical Godvernmentarians: Not one thing can happen unless Godvernment wills it. Twenty of them are running for office. Time to run for the hills.

  22. Britons probably won’t starve if the U.K. ever manages to leave the E.U.

    Probably?!!

  23. The Brits could also start Victory Gardens like they did in WWII.
    They could call them Freedom Gardens if they wanted to.

    Besides, EU is pronounced “Ee-yew” for a reason.

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