The Tories are launching a celebrity strewn campaign this morning for “Honest Food“, by which they mean clear labelling of country of origin. Fair enough, but it smacks of protectionism, what the wonks call a “non-tariff trade barrier”. The benefits of free trade are that we get the cheaper goods and services from countries exploiting their comparative advantages.
Nick Herbert MP, the new shadow farming minister who should really know better, will be putting the crypto-protectionist case to the NFU conference this afternoon. If only British farmers were more successful exporters they would not be so keen on this idea. They should be exploiting the collapse of the pound to open up export markets.
The campaign video was quite good though:
Guido will be sticking to Kerrygold butter, Irish pork sausages, Italian truffles* and French foie gras – no matter what Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Prue Leith and Anthony Worrall Thompson say.
*Guido recommends the excellent eFoodies for all your caviar, truffles and foie gras requirements. They let you order online and deliver to your door.
“This is, at its heart, a matter of public trust,” he told the PM, concluding: “I cannot reconcile the terms of the proposed deal with the promises we made to the country in our manifesto at the last election… I believe that the regulatory regime proposed for Northern Ireland presents a very real threat to the integrity of the United Kingdom. I cannot support an indefinite backstop arrangement, where the EU holds a veto over our ability to exit…”