The Full English

Food, or the lack of it, is emerging as a key issue in the ongoing Brexit omnishambles. Imagine being so immersed in a fantasy that you would carry out a policy that undermine your own ability to feed yourselves? The Sunday Times maps out a scenario being written up by civil servants:

‘A source said: “In the second scenario, not even the worst, the port of Dover would collapse on day one. The supermarkets in Cornwall and Scotland will run out of food within a couple of days, and hospitals will run out of medicine within two weeks.”’

We’ve known for some time that the Brexit power-grab would mean taking back control of key elements of food policy from Scotland, most notably overturning Scotland’s anti-GM policy. We’ve also known that the deregulation that comes with Brexit will mean opening us up to chlorinated chicken and other wonders of American cuisine. We can also expect an acceleration of intensive beef production with its inherent C02 output and decrease in animal welfare. Now we know that Westminster is seriously considering the collapse of our food system as a result of a no-deal Brexit. Whatever happened to ‘No deal is better than a bad deal’?

The revelations expose a food system predicated on export growth, given over to handful of corporations, and, as the winter just showed us (‘News from the Red Zone’), is based on a flimsy precarious delivery system called ‘just in time’ that is at the best of times teetering on the brink of collapse. Throw in a healthy dose of Tory xenophobic Brexitism and the whole thing will collapse quicker than you can say “Asda Price”.

This is a shock to some, but really shouldn’t be.

As the annual  Scottish Land and Estates’  conference was told last week that “Farming ‘would disappear from large parts of Scotland’ under post-Brexit plans”, which might have been a wake-up call.

Our food system is already fragile, broken, and dysfunctional on multiple levels. Some people have just realised this. We are Nine Meals from Anarchy.

The Sunday Times suggests food and petrol would run out within days.

The Sunday Times reports: “Officials would have to charter aircraft, or use the RAF to ferry supplies to the furthest corners of the UK. “You would have to medevac medicine into Britain, and at the end of week two we would be running out of petrol as well.”

In a country that lurches into hysteria after a light flurry of snow, this should be a little worrying.

Our food system is completely fucked already, Brexit is just the coup de grâce.

That allotment list is pretty long, isn’t it?

 

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  1. Charles L. Gallagher says:

    As I search my memory files I recall that one of the founding principles of the setting-up of the EEC was that Europe should never run out of food AGAIN. In the mid 30’s the then Tory Govt. declared the country could get cheaper food from ‘The Empire’ and to this end had a large fleet of refrigerated fast cargo ships built. Unfortunately German U-Boats sent most of them to the bottom and by 1941/42 the country was on the brink of starvation, only to be saved by supplies from Irish farmers and the gallant efforts of our own farmers maximising the amount of land under food production and the valiant work of the ‘Land Girls’, not forgetting all the people who utilised every sq. foot of their gardens and allotments to grow their own.

    What was the name of those films again – ‘Back to the Future’???? Thank you Farrage, Fox, Gove et al!!!!

  2. dj says:

    Can any one in a brexit minded,tell me what tax will I expect to pay for imports from the EU, I have ordered goods from American before paid £25 for a 1 kilo delivery, then had £25.60 FedEx tax on top, will this be the norm now for any goods we import.

  3. dj mac says:

    Will we now have a FedEx levy imposed on us all, for imported goods I have already experienced good taxes from America will it now apply should I buy from France or Spain or Ireland

  4. Redgauntlet says:

    Exactly….and what use, pray, is the Growth Report when we have Brexit staring us in the face?

    We are in completely uncharted waters, but the SNP pretend that Brexit will be manageable and that there will be “frictionless trade” delivered by a government whose sanity is now surely in question. Buying into the same myth as the Tories, albeit for different purposes…

    If there is no deal, there will be riots on the streets of Britain, and possibly something like a coup d’etat in response. Think of the lorry drivers alone on a hot summer’s day waiting in a tailback miles long… think of the panic buying just a couple of months ago with a heavy snowfall…supermarket shelves were half-stocked… think of the outpouring of hate against the EU by the tabloids, and then think of your European neighbours…

    Brexit is a national crisis, like no other since the Second World War. There is no political party on the horizon with a solution – the Labour Party are just as bad as the Tories.

    The SNP, with their ludicrously Growth Report, are doing there bit too, adding another motif to the fiddles playing while Rome birns…

    IF you are going to leave the biggest trading block in the world and go it alone, you better have a plan. Where is the plan? Maybe one of the tiresome Brexiteers who haunt these pages can enlighten us…

    Brexit is going to chaos in Europe too of course…

    1. Iain McIntosh says:

      In an independent country a government’s can “just do things”.

      In a non independent country a government’s can’t “just do things”.

      The SNP have to explain everything to minute detail or they are attacked, the opposition need not commit to anything, merely attack anything the SNP do regardless. The risk for the SNP is that they frighen the uncommitted, the uncommitted is where indy ref 2 will be won, and lost!

      The growth commission will be used to combat one question for indy two and that’s the currency question.

      Currently we are in a period where rocking of the boat will be counter productive, but this is due to end soon when the EU deal is known, then the gloves can come off and we can get stuck in!

      1. Redgauntlet says:

        Come off it, Iain, the SNP are one of the slickest, most disciplined and watertight political parties in the history of British politics…there must be plenty of internal division and dissension, but it never comes out, you never get a feeling for what is going on inside the party, eh?

        You say “currently rocking the boat is counterproductive”. When has it ever been deemed anything other than counterproductive by the SNP hierarchy?

        What happens if the boat is actually sinking fast as we speak? What happens if events blow away all the numbers in the Growth Report in one big Brexit bombshell – No Deal – and the political situation turns dramatically away from the SNP?

        An extreme reaction by the British State cannot be ruled out either…

        As for whether it was better to wait or go for indie ref 2 months ago, well we simply don’t know the answer, at least not yet…

        With Brexit we are into one of Donald Rumsfeld’s “unknown unknowns”, the worst of the unknowns, and the SNP should be being far more bellicose and far less manegerial. They should have staged a walk out at Westminster by now at least…

        We need strong, trenchant, self-assured leadership, not more playing to the gallery, the markets and the media…

  5. Redgauntlet says:

    Mike,

    It took Jeremy Corbyn a year and a half to work out the only solution to the Irish border questions was EFTA membership. A year and a half…. and Corbyn is the saviour of the Left? The glaciers of Europe move quicker than Corbyn…

    And the same can be said of the SNP. Instead of kicking up a hell of a fuss about Brexit and building a whole campaign for independence around an alternative to a complete severance with Europe – I’m past caring whether that is retaining membership or EFTA – they deliver a Growth Report as if Brexit wasn’t even happening…

    It’s all totally surreal…

    1. Iain McIntosh says:

      The result of the 2017 election was a result of the uk press and bbc “doing a job” on the SNP.

      “We don’t want yet another referendum, we hated the two we had, we just want an end to it”. This was the message that the uk press and Scottish oppostion parties (working together) repeated endlessly whilst the SNP was tied up defending its record, whilst governing under tory imposed austerity.

      We (independence movenment) fight elections with an arm behind our backs, this was firmly put into focus in the 2017 general election. If Sturgeon had continued to press on indy ref 2, the movement would have suffered badly.

      I have trust in Sturgeon and the SNP on the political timing to ramp up for indy ref 2, I have no trust in any other party as their main policy is to undermine Scotland. Once the EU deal, or no deal, is known, that’s when to attack!

      As for Corbyn it’s clear he is a firm brexiteer, beyond that we have no idea what he or his party want!

  6. Neil McRae says:

    Don’t be too hard on Scottish beef cattle farmers, I work with them every day and welfare standards are pretty high – maybe the highest anywhere. I’m not convinced that extensive beef farming in Scotland is a net harm to the environment – it would be crazy not to utilise all that hill grazing which really can’t be used for anything else. But yes, agree that having to compete with intensively-raised American beef post-Brexit would force down welfare and environmental standards – a nightmare scenario.

    Yet even this might be the least of our worries compared to the loss of food and medicines (human and veterinary) imported from Europe. I spoke to someone at the Westminster Government’s Veterinary Medicines Directorate about this last November, and she told me plans were in place for any eventuality. I very much doubt that is true.

    1. Iain McIntosh says:

      What’s the chances of the uk capitulating to the importation of US GM products?

      80% or higher I’d say!

      What’s the chances of the EU denying access to uk products on the basis of contamination with or proximity to US GM products?

      100% I’d say!

  7. Redgauntlet says:

    PS: What about the so-called “radical Left”? Cat Boyd and other people like Cat who either abstained or voted to leave the EU.

    Any ideas, guys? There is a massive vacuum in British politics re the biggest single political issue of our time. That is called an opportunity by anybody who understands how politics works.

    Does the so-called “radical Left” have an alternative relationship with the EU in mind they could flesh out in a document – a short document we could read and understand? Does the radical Left have a plan?

    No, no plan there either…

    So let’s recap: almost two years after the Brexit vote, and there is no political party with a credible plan which would save the country from Brexit madness.

    Nobody with a plan in the whole island of Britain…

    1. Iain McIntosh says:

      “Cat Boyd and other people like Cat” have little of a voice or influence nowadays.

      That Cat chose not to vote on the EU and then voted for Corbyn at the GE was suggestive of someone unable to make a decision, incapable of reasoned analysis and fascinated by the latest new sparkley thing to pass her eye line.

      2 / 3 months and we will know what the deal is and how to fight it with indy ref 2!

      1. Jamsie says:

        Why is that people who do not vote in the manner you Indy types want they are thick or indecisive or unimportant.
        Do you realise the level of pomposity you display.
        That could perhaps explain why the numbers have not changed.
        Ms Boyd’s choice is hers by right.
        Like the rest of us she has one vote.
        If she chose not to use it that would also be her right.
        The majority of votes cast is the important number.
        Except if wee Nicola gets gubbed!

        1. Redgauntlet says:

          Don’t get all catty Jamsie, don’t get your claws out just yet….

          Just try and answer the question, concentrate, focus the mind, and stop padding around the issue in that feline way of yours: what is your plan for the UK re Brexit when the EU refuses to budge on the key Brexiteers demands?

          What is your plan for the Irish border? What is your plan on trade given you are not going to get any cherries picked? No, not even in outer space with yon satellite ofwhich Hammond – possibly the only member of the cabinet who might still be considered sane – says we can “just build our own”…

          Spell it out for me, Jamsie…enough of your cat and mouse antics, give me some answers…

          1. Jamsie says:

            Red
            Your vision is obviously clouded by the rain in Spain.
            The warm up act will finish shortly.
            Then the fat lady will sing.
            Merkel will not survive if Germany’s exports to the U.K. are curtailed or reduced.
            We are a premium market where they enjoy high profitability as against almost 50% of the EU market who cannot afford their products.
            So have some patience old chap.
            Have a wee cortado and a Carlos 1.
            It will help you relax.
            The EU will be turned into a German quango when the UK leaves with Germany and it’s economy suffering much more than any of the other members.
            France will go it’s usual and turn when the first shot is fired and Spain will do it’s utmost to maintain it’s share of tourism.
            The party is not over until the fat lady sings and nothing is agreed until all is agreed.
            That goes both ways.
            Ireland is a side show who will follow instructions and will continue to export most of its products to and via the UK.
            Ferries cost money to build and run and it would take them years to circumvent the current arrangements.

          2. Charles L. Gallagher says:

            J|amsie,

            You must live in cloud cuckoo land or are you in some parallel universe. Your doom-and-gloom scenario that you predict for Europe sounds more like what is about to happen to us and the sad thing is, you know it.

  8. Jamsie says:

    Red
    The question is “what use is the growth report?”
    The answer is it is a face saving device to try to stave off the embarrassment of wee Nicola having to come clean on Indy.
    It is the best thing no voters have seen since 2014 as it accurately portrays what would happen.
    Why would any sane person vote for Indy on the basis of austerity to continue if not worsen and with the possibility of being better of in 25 years time.
    All wee see in the SNP out pouring are targets and more targets which will never be met but make good sound bites.
    No substance to them because the resources are not allocated.
    This is the most incompetent administration since devolution and Scots on the poverty line are being badly let down.
    Her only answer is to tax more rather than concentrate on growth and try to get it more in line with the rest of the UK.
    Apparently we are now to get a national building company as well as a bank.
    Has never never one looked at the mess of City Building in Glasgow?
    We are becoming more like the Soviet Union every day.
    They never met their targets either.

    1. Redgauntlet says:

      Jamsie, leaving to one side for a minute your tiresome trolling on this site, what are your views on Brexit?

      As somebody who fanatically supports the Union with England, you will not be incensed, like me, about the violation of Scottish sovereignty it amounts to, but are you for it or against it?

      1. Alasdair Macdonald says:

        Redgauntlet, it was you who provided the opening for the troll to enter the thread.

        I am at a loss to understand how your rant at the SNP Growth Commission Report and at Ms Cat Boyd sits in relation to the issues Mr Small was raising.

        I suspect that like I did, you voted REMAIN. I, too, am concerned about how things with regard to Brexit are spooling out – it seems to me like the way the old mechanical clocks fell apart once a couple of screws were loosened.

        The Sunday Times report is alarming, but, in a context where Project Fear has been played by both sides and where we have, daily, mainstream media reports which stretch credibility and produce disillusionment, how are we to make a judgement on the plausibility of this report.

        During WW2, which was an existential crisis, there were politicians and civil servants working on developing policies for the peace, and out of these cane things like the Welfare State, widening of educational access, nationalisation of key industries.

        Politics is the art of the possible and some politicians are actually good at it. Others are as poor at it as I am. Others are chancers. Things are in flux and it is hard to discern from day to day what is happening or might happen. However, there are people trying to maintain services and a sense of order. Our institutions are still in place, though compromised.

        We need to keep a bit of calm and do what is possible in our daily lives.

        I know this will not satisfy you, but, it is certainly better than ranting at the moon.

        1. Redgauntlet says:

          Alasdair

          You visit these pages with sufficient frequency to know the troll comes around to be fed no matter who is doing the feeding, like a stray neighbourhood cat. I can hardly be blamed for the likes of Jamsie, there has always been one on Bella over the years, they come and go, though possibly they are all the same person, or even a bot, who knows…

          I was talking to a well known Scottish journalist not long ago, not a political journalist, and she was telling me how deeply worried about Brexit she was, along similar lines as I have laid out. I think there are a good number of people who are worried about the prospect of all UK-EU trade grinding to a halt and the unforeseeable consequences of such a state of affairs… to be two yeas from the vote and completely in the dark is unbelievable, surely?

          As for the SNP growth report, there are many things I dislike about it, but let’s stay on topic: Brexit makes it irrelevant. Surely you can see that? It’s posited on frictionless borders, and that is simply not going to happen, ever, in a million years outwith the EU or EFTA.

          Cat Boyd and others like her on the Scottish Left have written on why they could not bring themselves to vote Remain. I’d like to hear their alternative.

          The whole thing is a farce. The underlying question was never “Do you like the EU?”. The underlying question was always “What is your alternative to the EU”?.

          Nobody seems to have one…

          1. Iain McIntosh says:

            There is no alternative to the EU unless you are unique like Norway, Switzerland or Iceland, but bound to Europe in other ways.

            The uk is a country in managed decline since WWII, its saviour was the EU, but…..

            For me, I favour an independent Scotland as a full member of the EU, second choce would be a member of EFTA and EEA.

      2. Jamsie says:

        Red
        I voted leave for a number of reasons which would probably cause you apoplexy but safe to say they had nothing to do with immigration and everything to do with UK sovereignty.
        But let me just enlighten you in one thing which you have asserted which is factually incorrect and you should withdraw.
        I do not fanatically support the Union nor anything else except the democratic process which is being mendaciously undermined.
        You are sitting in Spain and shouting about independence for Scotland and how bad the Union is with no real perception of how bad this devolved administration is.
        Their constant tactic is to avoid taking responsibility for their actions and the only answer given is it is all caused by Tory austerity.
        Now that is tiring!
        The only “progressive” action they have undertaken is to raise taxes.
        Note services have not in any way improved as a result of this.
        They squander money on aid to corrupt regimes with little it no policing of how it is used when there are people living in Scotland who could benefit from this largesse.
        So until wee Nicola stops acting like she can dictate to the majority of the electorate who have rejected her policy and starts to govern for all I reserve the right to criticise.
        I pay my taxes in spades and can assure you am entitled to.
        Mibees if you lived here and fine the same I would take your “trolling” insults seriously.
        Then again given the Indy mentality mibees not.

  9. SleepingDog says:

    With this sociocidal misrule, don’t knock anarchy. Survival may require removal (or override) of the pro-profit legislation preventing locally-based autarky and collective resilience measures; regular emergency planning, drills and testing; distributed overcapacity and supply stockpiles; cultural changes to respect local food sources and sustainable practices. All achievable without hardship, considering the amount of useless work, consumption, parasitism and wasteful practices our society indulges in.

  10. w.b.robertson says:

    nice splash in the sunday times this morning, designed to frighten the lieges, create talk and sell papers. it is not going to happen. if the UK was starving, our friends on the Continent would be making a fortune by financing foodships to beat the blockade. Instead of panicking the punters should just sit tight and think …and follow the money. (the UK is a big and very valuable market)

  11. MBC says:

    And you won’t be able to get off the island of Britain either as the Open Skies agreement will lapse and aircraft won’t be able to enter EU airspace.

    That is, if any are still in business.

  12. Willie says:

    Leaving the EU was a decision based upon resentment against foreigners and little else and it should come as no surprise that our leaving will have some very serious downsides.

    But consider the impact on our nearest neighbour the Republic of Ireland. With something like 86% of their exports going through British sea ports, Brexit puts into place a blockade beteeen Ireland and the rest of Europe.

    No wonder therefore that a senior conservative recently declared that the Republic of Ireland should admit its mistake of a hundred years ago and come back into the fold.

    The Empire has scores to settle and settle they will.

    No wonder therefore that luminaries like the right honourable Alistair Darling, Ruth Davidson, Arlene Foster, Michael Gove, Brandon Lewis, Lord Murphy of Torfaen and Jim Murphy were all recently speakers at a right wing Policy Exchange conference debating ‘ The Union and Unionism – Past, Present and Future “

    Of course most folks, or at least most sensible folks, would not even consider trying to retake the Republic of Ireland, but some of the right wing Brexiteer thinking most certainly does.

    Fosters’s visit to lead an Orange parade in Scotland in support of unionism is further support of that sentiment and the naked attempt to Ulsterise unionism in Scotland. But I digress. Regime change is part and parcel of the British mindset, it is how you implement the vassal state, and it is alive and well in the mind of the Brexiteers as they embark on their orgy of xenophobia.

    Will it end in tears. Yes very probably it will. Maybe not quite an “ am georta mor “ of the mid 1800s in Ireland, but most certainly an economic hunger that will afflict many of our citizens.

    1. Charles L. Gallagher says:

      Willie,

      There already are ferries that sail from Ireland direct to French and Spanish ports. I also think that it’s more likely that the North will vote for a United Ireland once the disaster that Foster and her DUP have dragged them into.

      We are the ones who will be isolated and lumbered with a ‘GREAT DEAL’ from the Chump and all that goes with it, chlorinated chicken, hormone fed beef, genetically modified foodstuffs and we will not have the NHS to save us, Chump will have had it privatised!!!

      We are the losers, unless we get our collective fingers out and do something, like walking out of Wastemonster telling them their precious union is OVER FOR GOOD.

    2. Iain Taylor says:

      Interesting point on the “blockade” of Ireland, but in addition to the existing ferries from Ireland to France and Spain, the largest ferry in Europe will soon be linking Ireland to more French and Spanish ports and bypassing Britain. It didn’t take long for the penny to drop in Ireland.

  13. Paddy Glynn says:

    Interesting article in the Irish Times about the cack handed approach to the border, the Tories were under the illusion that the Republic would act as a middleman for a nice deal on trade for the UK based on the fiction of “Historical shared history”. The fact that Ireland/EU is in the driving seat has upset the plans of the Brextards, who forget that Ireland had a 5 year economic war with the UK in 1932 till 1937 and managed to survive. Scotland has to decide either the UK or EU, as all nations are bound with economic alliances.

    1. Jamsie says:

      So given the trade figures that will be a no contest!
      The only viable option for Scotland is to remain within the UK.
      As that is what the majority of the electorate want that should be the end of it eh?
      Ireland like the unelected EU officials will not determine the final outcome on this.
      If that I am sure.
      Ireland like the unelected EU officials will come to regret a bluff too far.
      Watch Germany!
      I have said before they will decide what happens.
      Not the 27.
      They stand to lose most and will become the only net contributor to the EU.
      When the final throw of the dice comes it will not be allied to damage the German economy or the political establishment.
      They will dictate what the deal is to the others to preserve their trade with the U.K. and the rest will follow.
      No ifs, no buts, no maybes.
      The amateurs at the negotiating table will be cast aside and the EU will do as it is told.

      1. dj says:

        Germany, will dominate the UK, and you seam to be annoyed by the unelected, the UK government has loads of unelected think tanks, and we have governments that think nothing of jumping into bed with other party’s to keep them in power

        1. Jamsie says:

          Yes and wee Nicola and Patrick as bedfellows does no bare thinking about!
          Tail an dug come to mind!
          But I was just reading about Angus McNeil being chair of the International Trade Select Committee.
          I mean ffs what will he bring to the table?
          It has he like those SNP MPs who are left gone native and have realised they are out of a job if Indy was to ever come about!

          1. dj says:

            You seem to forget what wee Nicola said to all,Indy was for all the people ,she also said. you can have what ever party you want running the country. With Tory and labour scared, that their gravy train would come to a end. So scare mongering was well suited to their own agenda.

          2. Jamsie says:

            What wee Nicola said disnae matter.
            It is what the electorate said that matters.
            They said naw and are still saying naw.

          3. Heidstaethefire says:

            Spelling, maybe?

    2. Willie says:

      It is Paddy historically correct the Ireland and Great Britain has a, shared history. Sadly, as we all know it was not a happy one.

      I do not know how it will all turn out but it is more than clear thus far that across the spectrum of Brexiteers that they either a) care not a jot about the Border issue or B) see it as an opportunity to rein in the rebel state.

      The recent Policy Exchange conference on Unionism, Past, Present and Future together with the PM sanctioned visit of Arlene Foster to head an Orange parade on Scotland is testimony to that.

      These people ate not scared, they have power, and they will use it in the interest of Great Britain. Paddy Ireland and Jocko Scotland do not phase the Empire

  14. Jack collatin says:

    Stock up on toilet rolls.

  15. Ray Bell says:

    Regardless of whether Brexit is right or wrong, the MSM has a lot to answer for with scare mongering. Both sides did it in the Euro Ref.

    * A considerable percentage of UK imported food comes in by ship or plane. I can’t see this stopping if Brexit happens.

    * The EU may want to scupper Brexit to maintain territorial integrity, and stop anyone else breaking away. However, areas like northern France, and the Dutch ports do a lot of business with southern England, so they will have to strike up some kind of deal. They may not like Brexit, but the Dutch and French governments will also realise they may end up undermining some of their own economies.

    I didn’t vote for Brexit and I support Scottish independence… but still, I agree with the name “Project Fear”. It was used in the indyref and then reused by both sides in the euroref. Is life going to be worse after Brexit? Could well be, but not in the way or extent some folk claim. I’m more worried about the UK undermining Scotland in multiple ways right now, than whether I’ll be able to buy bananas from South America or Korean car parts.

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