As we've pointed out before leaving the European Union allows us to sort out, properly sort out, farming in this country. Sorting out means, in this context, disassembling the entire system of support and subsidy that so ensares the activity. To us disassembling means simply abolishing the lot of it, the New Zealand option.
We're told by farming interests that the system as it is is part of the pursuit of a cheap food policy. This, of course, is not true:
At the same time, the EU’s agricultural products receive much higher protection than any other sort of goods: most dairy imports, for instance, attract a tariff of more than 50 per cent. This insidious regime survives because of the political power of French farmers. The rest of the EU would happily wind it down, but farmers are central to France’s identity. They vote as a block and no president dare ignore them.
Brexit will enable us to get rid of this nonsense and let our farmers compete in world markets just like our manufacturers, and farmers in sensible countries such as New Zealand and Australia already do. The vast majority of British people will benefit. That’s not just because the money that now goes into farmers’ pockets can go into the NHS instead, but also because Britons will pay lower food prices. According to a report by the Institute of Economic Affairs, food prices in the EU are 17 per cent above world market prices as a result of the CAP. Freer trade will also be good for farmers in developing countries.
A 17% fall in food prices is not a prize to be sniffed at. And why not simply buy the best produce in the world, whoever makes it, at the finest prices?
This is part and parcel of the very much larger point about Brexit that we all really must get our minds around. How Britain fares in the future depends not on our membership or not of the EU. Rather, on what we do with the freedom to decide our own path that we now have. And that path should include not doing a lot of the things which the EU has previously been insisting upon. Farm subsidies are only part of the story....