Skip to main content

Boris Johnson's Porky Pies

Boris Johnson has been telling Porky Pies about Melton Mowbray pork pies. He gave the pies as an example of our poor trade arrangements with the USA. US regulations stopped them being exported to the US, whilst they could be sold in Iceland. It all sounds like tough-talking. It seems reasonable, but for the fact that the pies are only exported to Ireland. It is the standard trick of the populist politician. Make something up and then sound tough on it.

The Melton Mowbray pie is protected by the European Union. A no-deal Brexit would remove that protection, and the pies could readily be copied, or other kinds of pies could be sold as Melton Mowbray.

This is a significant worry for the producers of Melton Mowbray pies who fought a legal battle to ensure its status was protected.

Mr Johnson is in a hurry to make a trade deal with the USA. Both he and President Trump suggest a deal could be put in place within a year. This is odd, given it would usually take up to ten years.

The UK could sign a blank piece of paper and call it a trade deal, but it would leave UK businesses exposed, and the UK consumer unprotected.

Currently, the UK operates through forty trade deals negotiated by the EU. These need to be "rolled" on for the UK to trade with the same terms after Brexit. That is not an easy task. So far, the UK has managed thirteen "continuity" deals covering 38 countries.

Striking a deal with the USA, UK's top trading partner would be vital. Trump won't be a push-over. He has his own agenda, which is to put "America first." He won't be looking to do "favours" for the British government, no matter what his rhetoric is.

Trump wants markets opened up to US goods, and he wants to protect US businesses. He won't look favourably on the current balance of trade with the UK. The UK exports £112 bn of goods to the US, but imports £70 bn. The UK's biggest trading partner in terms of imports is Germany, much of which is vital for the UK supply chain.

So, is it wishful thinking that a trade deal could be negotiated with the USA within a year? Not necessarily, but the terms of that deal would unlikely be favourable to the UK.


We know what the US objectives are. They have been published. It is a lengthy document with some red flags. For example, it seeks to


"Establish rules that reduce or eliminate barriers to US investment in all sectors in the UK."

This would include the health and social care sectors and is a threat to the NHS, with more outsourcing and privatisation.

Another threat to the NHS would be in the following intent to

"Seek standards to ensure that government regulatory reimbursement regimes are transparent, provide procedural fairness, are nondiscriminatory, and provide full market access for US products." 

Significant dangers lie ahead in a rushed deal with the USA.


Enjoy reading The Thin End?  Try Ray Noble's novel.



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Ian Duncan-Smith says he wants to make those on benefits 'better people'!

By any account, the government's austerity strategy is utilitarian. It justifies its approach by the presumed potential ends. It's objective is to cut the deficit, but it has also adopted another objective which is specifically targeted. It seeks to drive people off benefits and 'back to work'.  The two together are toxic to the poorest in society. Those least able to cope are the most affected by the cuts in benefits and the loss of services. It is the coupling of these two strategic aims that make their policies ethically questionable. For, by combining the two, slashing the value of benefits to make budget savings while also changing the benefits system, the highest burden falls on a specific group, those dependent on benefits. For the greater good of the majority, a minority group, those on benefits, are being sacrificed; sacrificed on the altar of austerity. And they are being sacrificed in part so that others may be spared. Utilitarian ethics considers the ba

Prioritising people in nursing care.

There has been in recent years concern that care in the NHS has not been sufficiently 'patient centred', or responsive to the needs of the patient on a case basis. It has been felt in care that it as been the patient who has had to adapt to the regime of care, rather than the other way around. Putting patients at the centre of care means being responsive to their needs and supporting them through the process of health care delivery.  Patients should not become identikit sausages in a production line. The nurses body, the Nursing and Midwifery Council has responded to this challenge with a revised code of practice reflection get changes in health and social care since the previous code was published in 2008. The Code describes the professional standards of practice and behaviour for nurses and midwives. Four themes describe what nurses and midwives are expected to do: prioritise people practise effectively preserve safety, and promote professionalism and trust. The

When Finance Drives Destruction

Tackling climate change means stopping the funding of rainforest destruction, says a significant study commissioned by the World Wildlife Fund.  The UK's financial services have provided directly over £8.7 billion to 167 different traders, processors, and buyers of forest-risk commodities (cocoa, rubber, timber, soy, beef, palm oil, pulp & paper) from 2013 to 2021.   With direct and indirect investment,  the figure rises to a staggering £200 bn.  Whilst not all that investment is in destructive projects,  the study concludes there is little transparency on the risk.  Finance is the oil in the economic machine.  But it also drives decisions. We all know the importance of money. We borrow to invest. So much depends on it, such as company pensions.  Do we really know what our pension pots are doing? We invest for the future. But what kind of future? Is all investment good?  Much investment is bad. Investment drives the nature of our economy. It drives our decisions as individuals,