Tory MP Daniel Kawczynski, who represents the constituency of Shrewsbury and Atcham, might today be recalling the saying attributed to Denis Thatcher - “better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt” - after he let the whole world know that his knowledge of EU tariffs was not unadjacent to zero.
Daniel Kawczynski is told his trousers are alight
Kawczynski was photographed at his local Tesco holding some lemons - no further comment necessary - and telling anyone prepared to listen “Now at Tescos in Shrewsbury. Please remember EU protectionist racket means inefficient EU growers preferred to other non EU Mediterranean growers,due to massive tariffs imposed by EU. This leads to you paying more for your products! No more after March 2019!”.
Jim Cornelius was soon on hand to burst this particular Brexiteer bubble. “HI Daniel. I zoomed in on your photo, and couldn't see clearly - but - at this time of year, almost certainly, those lemons are imported from South Africa. They come in on a 0% tariff under the entry price system. Here's some from Aldi.” And it got worse.
“And here's some lemons and limes from Sainsbury's. Again the lemons are coming in on a 0% tariff because we have an FTA with South Africa. The limes are from Mexico. They also come in on a 0% tariff, because we have an FTA with Mexico”. And worse. “These Sainsbury oranges, also from South Africa, also on a 0% tariff because of the FTA with South Africa and the other SADC countries (Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, and Swaziland[Eswatini])”. Any other African countries he’d like to mention?
“Some of the other oranges there, in Sainsbury's, are from Egypt. We have an FTA with Egypt, so guess what? These oranges come in on a 0% tariff.” South America? “See these kiwi fruit? They come from Chile and these also come in on a 0% tariff. You know why? Yep, you guessed it. we have an FTA with Chile … See these pineapples? They're from Costa Rica. We have an FTA with Costa Rica. So they come in on a 0% tariff.”
West Indies? “See these papayas? They come from Jamaica. The EU has an EPA with Jamaica. In fact, it has an EPAs with most of the Carribean. Most of the Commonwealth. Anyway - they come in on a 0% tariff wherever they're from”. Middle East? “See these spuds? They're from Israel, and they're imported on a 0% tariff from there” (that agreement also applies to the Palestinian Territories and Jordan).
Cornelius summed up “Almost everything, if not everything, behind you in the fruit & veg section of TESCO comes in on a 0% tariff because of FTAs and Preference deals, or because it's 0% anyway, or it's sourced from the EU. In fact, this is true of most of our food imports”, including a handy pie chart. “This is where our fruit comes from mostly the EU and countries where we have an FTA”. And what was that about “inefficient EU growers”?
Andre den Houter took issue with that. “Inefficient EU growers?? The Netherlands, a tiny country in area sq km, is the second largest food producer in the world behind the US. The rest of your tweets is also a blatant lie. Apologise man!”
After seeing all of that, the Tweeter known as Steve Analyst had straightforward advice for Kawczynski: “You might want to delete this tweet now, Daniel. Or you can leave it there for the comedy value future generations will get from it”. And there was one more question.
Michael Purshouse was the one asking it. “How does a numpty like @DKShrewsbury get elected to Parliament?” He also got the South Africa tariff, or lack of it, correct.
Far too many Brexiteers take their lead from the likes of Dan, Dan The Oratory Man - who gets it constantly wrong. They, too, go wrong. So much Brexit advocacy is built on ignorance and dishonesty - the greatest likelihood is that fruit and veg prices will increase outside the EU, and by a non-trivial amount. Not a lot of Brexiteers know that.
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