We feel a little let down here. Not quite sure why we did but we expected better than this from The Times. We also expected better than this from a science correspondent. So, a double disappointment from Oliver Moody:
If those arguments sound in some way sentimental, consider food security. At present the UK produces 62 per cent of what it consumes. Agricultural tariffs tend to be among the more punitive terms levied in trade deals and the EU is not likely to be forgiving if we lose access to the single market. Prices will rise and if we lose the capacity to grow a wide range of our own food we will be horribly vulnerable to the whims of the international markets.
The assumption being made there is that if the EU imposes agricultural tariffs upon Britain then this will make food more expensive in Britain. This is nonsense, that upon stilts kind of nonsense too.
Once we Brexit the EU will be in charge of whatever tariffs they decide to impose upon British exports to that fair continent. They might well set them at the same levels that they charge to other countries. That then makes British food more expensive on that fair continent. The effect on the price of British food in Britain is to lower it a little. For, presumably, facing high tariff barriers less will be exported and thus more will be available for domestic consumption.
The error underlying Moody's confusion is the assumption that the EU will determine what the tariffs will be on fair food from the continent arriving in Britain. That's nonsense - whatever our import tariffs will be will be something that we decide. And given that we like food from the continent why would we add, add ourselves that is, to the price we must pay for it? Quite, we won't.
Finally, being free of the EU's farm tariff barriers will mean that we can import lovely food from other parts of the globe. New Zealand is known to offer butter and lamb at reasonable prices for example.....
The argument that leaving the European Union will make food more expensive is nonsense, nonsense upon such stilts that it is idiocy we're afraid.