Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Personne ne bouge ou vos éleveurs de bovins l'obtiendront!

Emailed in by MBL from The Daily Mail:

Mr Lamy, a Frenchman who headed the World Trade Organisation between 2005 and 2013, said that the rest of the EU would drive a 'hard bargain' in the event of Brexit...

"My own country will probably be among the hardest to negotiate with. Imagine how eager French farmers will be not to have your beef or lamb on our supermarket shelves. And no one will show any love for the City of London.

"If it fails to get a deal, there is a real risk that the UK would have to fall back on WTO rules. Some in the Leave campaign have said this would not be a bad option. As the former head of the WTO, let me be clear: this would be a terrible replacement for access to the EU single market.

"Though tariffs have fallen, they are still high enough to hurt businesses and therefore jobs: 10 per cent for cars, 12 per cent on clothes, 70 per cent on some beef products.

So, a bit like during the period 1996 - 2006, then? Distressing for British beef farmers (who do a very good job) but hardly a disaster for the economy. We'll just have to eat more of the stuff ourselves and we'll be able to go to McDonalds with the warm glow of having fulfilled our patriotic duty.


Ralph Musgrave said...

Given how economically illiterate the French are, it would be a joy to negotiate with them. In particular, they seem to have fallen for the popular fallacy that refusing to take some other country's exports hurts that country more than one hurts one's own economy. That's nonsense, as is explained in the economics text books.

Moreover, driving a particularly hard bargain with one particular country is known as "spite". To the extent that the EU is made up of spiteful non-entities, we're better off shot of them.

Ben Jamin' said...


The French's protection of their farmers is about a "way of life" thing not a GDP thing. I'm pretty sure they'd say that it is because we do not understand the concept of "value" it is us who are the stupid ones.

If you look at how the French hundreds of years ago cornered the market in goods with high added value, ie wine, cheese, cosmetics,fashion etc, it is perhaps not surprising they seem to work fewer hours than us per capita GDP. Very f**king clever i'd say.

Not saying I think they are better than us, just different.

Physiocrat said...

So the French government's threat is to make it more expensive for French consumers to buy British goods.

How does that help them?

Bayard said...

Well, if the French are going to be spiteful like that, there's lots of very good wine producers outside France now. We can wash down our beef with a nice Coonawarra.

DBC Reed said...

Why do the advocates ,on here, of Free Trade in its most naïve, Fotherington Thomas form, want to leave a well-established Free Trade Area, large enough for our entire commercial and industrial capacity, to start again in the Unknown with the single largest western power determined to stick us "at the back of the queue" tradewise?
Surely Corbyn who reluctantly wants to Bremain and seek reforms is being, well, a bit more adult.
As for Sovereignty i)only an idiot would want to be ruled by our ruling-class; ii) we do not have economic sovereignty now when the Americans "liberate" Poland and the Soviet satellites to swamp us with cheap labour and the liberated jihadis in Afghanistan set off waves of refugees fleeing for their lives.

Bayard said...

DBCR, nobody in their right mind wants to leave the EEC, the Free Trade Area which we voted to join all those many years ago. What people want to have no part of is the European superstate that no-one voted to join. I mean, if you joined a tennis club to play tennis and the Committee decided to also make it the local branch of the Tory Party without asking you, you'd want to leave too, wouldn't you?

DBC Reed said...

@B Your record of events does not stack up so the conclusions are likely to be off.We got up the European Free Trade Area EFTA in 1960? ,known as the Outer Seven,for counties nervous of joining the already existent EEC.The main difference was that the EEC was much more insistent on trade tariffs on external/ non member countries.We appear to have been worried about our Commonwealth connexions.(Not much sign of this during the first referendum on the EEC when the rabble I was involved in was supporting a Commonwealth Common Market, says he with a note of bitterness.)
When EFTA faltered, we applied to join the EEC with de Gaulle attempting to block us, being rightly suspicious that we would provide an entree for American interference.
I do not get the analogy with a tennis club- not being of the right social class. If the idea is that we entered a jolly free trade area and then found there was an administrative superstructure that we hadn't bargained for then that makes the Brits and their governments look impossibly naïve." I join this club and now I find there's rules !"
As it is, we get a huge Free Trade Area big enough for our entire productive capacity, no problems with Asian cheap labour competition, which we would have outside, while we are not party to Schengen and the Eurozone.Looks reasonable.
Nobody is giving a list of the advantages of Brexit.All that appears on here are smears and knocking copy.

Bayard said...

OK, by free trade area, I meant the EEC and you cannot claim that the EEC that Britain voted to join was the same proto-superstate that the EU is now. Yes there are lots of advantages to being part of the EU, but, by and large, they are the same advantages that accrued to being in the EEC. It's all the other stuff that has accreted since then that people object to, but we don't have the option of going back to the EEC, its the EU superstate or nothing.