One reason that our alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson thinks he can continue to get away with his delusional approach to Britain and the EU is that, out to his right, he has the yet more delusional collective that is the Brexit Party, latest electoral vehicle of its non-elected Oberscheissenführer Nigel “Thirsty” Farage.
Lance Forman - something fishy in the reasoning
Nige has managed to assemble an unusual cross-section of MEPs, from wacko former Tory Ann Widdecombe, to terrorist sympathiser Claire Fox, to his increasingly litigious Chairman Richard Tice. And then there is Lance Forman, another of those whose business credentials are claimed to translate into great wisdom on international trade, but don’t.
Forman, as Zelo Street regulars will know, has form when it comes to not making sense, as when he claimed his business had not benefited from the EU at all - only to have it pointed out that the same business’ website advertises very prominently the Protected Geographical Indication status from which it benefits. Which the EU gives it.
Never mind, though, he now wants to tell us how the UK can manage without importing food from the EU. “These are our biggest food imports - cutting back on meat may be good for planet, but the Irish will find a way to sell to us no doubt. We can eat the fish French blockade instead - there’s plenty of non French wine - cutting back on potatoes good for diet. I think we can cope”. We’re a net importer of food, so we can’t. But do go on.
“These are our biggest food exports. If we switched our diets from beef and pork to salmon and shellfish, and drank more whisky and beer instead of French wine, food imports from the EU could easily be substituted”. Perhaps he thinks everyone has as much dosh as he does. Salmon and shellfish are outside many families’ budgets. And if they were to become more affordable, the people producing them wouldn’t be in business.
One helpful Tweeter put him straight. “Some selective use of stats there Lance. Just for perspective here is the UKs largest exports by sector. Notice food isn't one of the top ten. The whole food sector”. Machinery, Vehicles, Pharmaceuticals, Aircraft, Chemicals, eh?
But this was as nothing when put alongside the Forman pièce de résistance, his take on a trade deal with the USA. “The US just announced we could sign a trade deal with them the day after Brexit. So: Shows that deals can be signed quickly when there’s a will to do so … Why did May waste 3 years playing by EU rules where deals can’t be negotiated until we’re out? Mad”. Because we haven’t left yet. But there was more.
“US GDP is $20trillion … EU GDP is $15 trillion (exc U.K.) … The US has just announced we can have a free Trade Deal with them the day after Brexit … This gives us free access to a market 1/3 bigger than the EU!! We should be racing to leave the EU for this. No deal, no problem”. Ri-i-i-ight. One, a deal won’t get past the House, and Speaker Pelosi has said so - unless it respects the Good Friday Accords. Which a no-deal Brexit will not.
Two, any trade deal would be done with the UK in a desperate post-Brexit state (no trade deal with the EU and WTO terms elsewhere) and the USA would effectively dictate terms to us. Three, Donald Trump’s commerce secretary Wilbur Ross has called Brexit “a God-given opportunity to take trade from the UK”. And even with a free trade deal?
That would be Four, as Fionna O’Leary has explained, “The Brexit Government’s own figures show that leaving the EU’s Single Market will reduce U.K. GDP by 6.7%, while free trade agreements with the US, Australia, New Zealand, & the countries of the Trans-Pacific Partnership *combined* will increase U.K. GDP by just 0.2%”.
Lance Forman’s delusion is well and truly smoked. But not cured. No change there, then.
Enjoy your visit to Zelo Street? You can help this truly independent blog carry on talking truth to power, while retaining its sense of humour, by adding to its Just Giving page at