This despite a majority of British farmers voting to leave the EU which included leaving the ‘single market’, with its crippling and suffocating rules and regulations.
It is baffling that the NFU takes such a dim view of Britain as a trading nation. Why they think that following our exit from the EU the remaining 27 nations will no longer wish to sell us their produce is a mystery. Of course they will, we import far more from the EU than they buy from us. Miss Batters suggests that we would revert to World Trade organisation tariffs that the such as 87% on beef, 51% on sheep, and 53% on wheat and barley. It is doubtful that French, Germans, Italians, Spanish, Portuguese and others will want similar tariffs added to their cars, cheese, Parma ham, olives, port and the rest they sell to us. And unlikely that our ministers and civil servants whose job it is to negotiate a sensible, workable and positive trade arrangement with European countries, will allow this to happen.
It is almost impossible to pass a farm yard, industrial or building site in Sussex, or anywhere else for that matter, without spotting the yellow livery of a JCB. To many farmers, (we had one but changed it in for a Merlo) the JCB telescopic handler is an invaluable tool.
JCB machinery ranges from 46 tonne tracked excavators, to children’s toys and DIY equipment, and much else besides. Lord Bamford has been chairman of this global company since 1975, which was set up by his father in 1945, on the day he was born.
The company employs over 6,000 in 11 factories in the UK exporting over 75% of production, and generates an export revenue of £1.35bn. JCB contributes £1.4 billion to the national GDP, £555 million to the Exchequer and 24,000 jobs overall to the UK.
Lord Bamford said, “The cost of European Union regulations for companies means that Britain is better off leaving the single market. Trade tariffs imposed after Brexit would be negotiable and a ‘price worth paying’ and UK businesses will take it ‘in their stride’.”
He said in the House of Lords last week that hidden barriers to businesses caused by red tape and regulations, proves that the single market has not created a level playing field.
And, as Sir James Dyson another major exporter said, “When the Remain campaign tells us no one will trade with us if we leave the EU, sorry, it’s absolute cobblers. Our trade imbalance with Europe is running at nine billion a month and rising. If this trend continues, that is £100bn a year.”
He added, that the problem with the EU’s free movement of people is that it does not bring Dyson and other manufacturing companies the boffins they need. They are not allowed to employ foreign engineers from outside the EU, and it currently takes four and a half months to go through the Home Office procedure. Sixty per cent of engineering undergraduates at British universities are from outside the EU, and 90 per cent of people doing research in science and engineering at British universities are also from outside the EU. We currently have to chuck them out as we are not allowed to employ them.
At a time when our country remains a far healthier place to invest in than most of Europe, and international companies are now making long term decisions indicating their confidence in the UK’s future, successful industrialists are certainly worth listening to. Perhaps the NFU, Tony Blair and those who continue to suggest we got it wrong, should open their eyes to the immerging opportunities both globally and within Europe, but outside the EU.