I’m working late, so I treated myself to this small plate:
- Parmesan (Italian)
- Manchego (Spanish)
- Saint Agur (French)
- Wensleydale with cranberries (English)
- Parma ham (Italian)
- Chorizo (Spanish)
And of course the wine: Rioja, from Spain.
Please don’t take me out of the Single Market. I like it here.
You can get good alternatives to all in California. Then of course you would have to deal with a whole new level of political idiocy!
Um, do you think that outside the single market there would be sanctions imposed on the UK, preventing countries from exporting to us, like those on Iran? Because that’s the only reason I can think of why any of those things wouldn’t be available. Otherwise there’s absolutely no reason why those things wouldn’t be available, plus loads more yummy things were currently stopped from importing, or only allowed quotas of, by the protectionist customs union, like mouthwatering Argentinian steak.
H: no-one’s talking about sanctions. There’s no reason why all these things should not be available. But the difficulties of importing — both the straight-up tax imposed by tariffs and the potentially much more bothersome non-tariff barriers that arise in the absence of shared regulations — mean that they will all be more expensive. At some point, they may be expensive enough that supermarkets don’t bother to import and stock them. It remains to be seen how bad this gets (or hopefully not).
BTW., this is the important distinction between punishment and consequences — something that leading Brexiters either do not understand or (or likely) affect not to understand. If you step out into the road in front of a truck, you will be hurt or killed: but that’s not a punishment for your action. No-one has decided “he has to be punished for stepping into the road, and I judge that a broken leg is the correct punishment”. It’s a consequence of failing to account for the nature of the universe. In exactly the same way, inability to trade on good terms with EU countries is not a punishment for leaving the single market, it’s a consequence — one that could not possibly fail to follow.
But the difficulties of important — both the straight-up tax imposed by tariffs and the potentially much more bothersome non-tariff barriers that arise in the absence of shared regulations
But we won’t be imposing tariffs on food imports from the EU (leaving the EU is about lowering tariffs, not erecting new ones), nor will there be any non-tariff barriers as we would obviously accept that all food legal for consumption in the EU would also be legal here (and hopefully do the same for other countries, like the USA, for example).
So why would anything become more expensive, if there are no extra tariffs or non-tariff barriers?
this is the important distinction between punishment and consequences
Of course the EU might choose to impose tariffs, or non-tariff barriers, on UK exports.
Now, this would have absolutely zero effect on your plate of food, given that that depends only on imports form the EU, on which we will not be imposing any tariffs.
But since you bring it up… there is actually absolutely no law of physics which says that when we leave the EU, the EU must impose tarifffs on UK exports. To do so will be entirely the EU’s choice. Not an inevitable consequence: a choice.
(‘Ah ha!’ EU-philes often blurt at this point, ‘But it is inherent in the nature of the EU rules! The EU cannot break its own rules, any more than God could make a triangle with fours sides! The EU’s rules are the equivalent of the laws of physics and therefore anything which proceeds fomr them is not a matter of choice but inevitabel consequences!’ At which point one is compelled to point out that in fact the EU is perfectly happy to break its own rules, and indeed will do so immediately any time the rules get in the way of its ideological project of uniting Europe. The SGP, for example, broken time and time again; or the totally illegal bailouts after the finanacial crisis which were waved through, despite flagrently breaking all the rules, because to follow the rules would have imperilled the European Project.)
Now, you could call this punishment. I wouldn’t, personally: I’d call it the EU being committed to its stupid idology of federalism to the point where it does self-destructive things.
But one thing it definitely is not is inevitable consquences. It is within the EU’s choice to do the sensible thing, rather then the thing which advances its ideological unity project. If it does not do the sensible thing, that is not an inevitabe; consequence but a choice to put ideology over sense for which the EU is wholly responsible.
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