Lance Forman is a businessman. His firm smokes salmon in London’s East End, which his family has been doing for more than 100 years. Forman is also a backer of Turning Point UK, the British offshoot of a US original which has been linked to all manner of extremism. The UK branch had, shall we say, a difficult launch, with one of its supposed “names” soon distancing himself from it. But Forman is a serious supporter.
Lance Forman - something fishy here
To this end, he has taken part in a video in which he expounds the case for the hardest possible Brexit, in the process pitching some highly questionable claims, along with the odd whopper and one very serious omission. So let’s look at “7 Reasons Brexit Is Great For Business” to see the level of deception and dishonesty on offer.
Here’s the first eyebrow-raising claim. “When we voted in 2016, no-one ever discussed ‘a deal. David Cameron tried to do a deal with the EU earlier that year, but the country said no. That’s what the referendum was about. We decided to leave without a deal”. Where do we start? Cameron did not seek to do a deal in anticipation of leaving, No Deal was not on the ballot paper, and the EU is not a country. You get the picture.
Now for a whopper. “Britain does more trade outside the EU than inside the EU, yet we have no trade deals with anyone outside the EU”. That’s a flat-out lie: we have trade deals with many countries outside the EU - because the EU has done trade deals with them, and our membership of the EU means that we benefit from them. The latest deal to be signed off by EU trade negotiators is with Japan. Many others are in the pipeline.
He even manages to dredge up the hoary old chestnut “95% of businesses in Britain don’t even trade with the EU”. Two things here. One, they don’t do 95% of business, and Two, perhaps he would like two sets of regulations to apply to businesses? Two sets of everything, and woe betide anyone who wants to go from one to the other.
After complaining about corporate lobbying - I have news for Mr Forman, there are lobbyists in the UK, and leaving the EU won’t stop them lobbying - he asserts “My own business was going strong for 70 years before joining the Common Market. I can’t think of one area in which it has helped our business”. Can’t you now? Perhaps I can help you.
Forman’s smoked salmon enjoys Protected Geographical Indication status. IT SAYS SO ON THE COMPANY’S WEBSITE, which talks of “the world famous London Cure smoked Scottish salmon … a true gourmet food with protected status”. That product enjoys its protected status, and therefore its USP and protection from inferior imitations, because of the same EU regulations that Forman says haven’t helped his business.
His company sets great store by this: “Smoked Scottish salmon cured in London was recently conferred the highly prized protected name (PGI) status, which sets it alongside other protected foods such as Champagne, Parma ham and Wensleydale cheese. Not only is ‘London Cure Smoked Salmon’ now the only smoked salmon in the world with protected status, but London’s first ever food or drink to achieve this coveted recognition”.
Forman’s last pitch in his Turning Point video is on the subject of Trust. He’ll forgive anyone who sees him fibbing on benefits of EU membership and manages no more than hollow laughter at that one. Another committed Brexiteer, another steaming hypocrite.
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