Johnson Makes a Trumpian Promise to Farmers

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

If there's one thing British and American farmers have in common, it's that an increasing number of them largely rely on exports to foreign markets to make a sustainable living and those exports could be destroyed by their dear leader.

The prime minister and harbinger of the British apocalypse, Boris Johnson, visited south Wales yesterday where he implied that the government would implement a Trump-style bailout for farmers if it's necessary, but he also said that won't be necessary.

Entire sectors of the United Kingdom's agricultural industry could be wiped out if they crash out of the European Union (EU) in a hard Brexit without remaining inside the EU's customs union, but Johnson said leaving the EU will actually be great for farmers. It's an enormous opportunity, he says.

Johnson said after visiting a south Wales poultry farm that his Conservative government would support farmers if their markets became “tricky.”

“We will look after the farming sector,” he said. “We will make sure that they have the support that they need.”

But National Farmers’ Union President Minette Batters said Britain exports 40% of its lamb and mutton, most of it to EU nations.

″(If) we’re tariffed out of the EU market, where does that 40% go?” she said. [...]

Johnson’s government argues that leaving the 28-nation trading bloc and its Common Agricultural Policy will be “a historic opportunity to introduce new schemes to support farming” and will open up new markets for U.K. agricultural exports.

The government’s Wales Secretary Alun Cairns said “90% of global growth will come from outside of the EU.” However, trade with the EU accounts for almost half of all British exports and any new trade deals are years away.

You know, it's easy to say that 90 percent of growth will come from outside of the EU if you're starting from zero.

You don't "open up new markets" by shuttering access to the largest trading bloc in the world, of course. That's not how anything works. And trade deals with other nations, such as the United States for example, would take years to negotiate and ratify.

If the United Kingdom began working on a trade deal with the U.S. tomorrow, it would not be complete before Boris Johnson is out of office.

I don't know if British farmers are as gullible as American farmers but, more importantly, they didn't vote for Boris Johnson. No one did. Johnson was chosen by party leaders, not the people.

  • Aynwrong

    If those British farmers voted for Brexit, then a hard crash out of the EU and it’s consequences are definitely on them.

  • Draxiar

    Boris Johnson is quite fluent in horseshit.

    • 1933john

      Like Trump!

      • Draxiar


  • muselet

    Erm, how does cutting off easy access to the largest, nearest market open new markets for exports? Are there countries in the world that won’t trade with places that trade with the EU?

    The only “historic opportunity” I see is the opportunity for the UK public to find out if Tories taste like chicken (I doubt they’re even edible, to be honest: the Tories I’ve seen look like they’re equal parts fat and gristle). (Before anyone who’s not a regular here starts hyperventilating, that’s Swiftian satire, that is.)

    John Oliver explained Boris Johnson on Sunday. It’s worth the 22:00 to find out who the new Prime Minister is.


    • Tony Lavely

      On “Swiftian satire.”
      Please, sir, may I have another?”
      And thanks!

    • Someone like Boris(h) (trademark!) is our future nightmare. He’s Trump if Trump truly understood anything he lies about. Boris is educated enough and smart enough to know the havoc he will wreak–he simply doesn’t care. Our next dictator wannabe could be this slick and dog help us if he or she is.

      • muselet

        I’ll quibble slightly about calling Boris Johnson “smart”—he, as I said of Sarah Palin, possesses a low animal cunning that’s easy to mistake for intelligence—but yes, it’s very dangerous for someone like Johnson to be have political power.