Farmers For Action: Gloves Off on US Trade Deal! March 2020

Farmers For Action

56 Cashel Road, Macosquin, Coleraine, N Ireland, BT51 4NU

Tel. 07909744624 Email :


4th March 2020 

Gloves Off on US Trade Deal!

Farmers For Action NI have issued a statement reference the recent “leaked” emails in the press from Treasury Advisor Dr Tim Leunig, arguing that the UK food sector is not critically important to the economy and that agriculture and fishery production certainly isn’t. His comments are obviously set to brainwash the population towards the idea that perhaps UK farmers aren’t that important and that it is therefore okay for US crunch post Brexit talks to commence and conclude with UK agriculture being the sacrificial lamb.

FFA point out that Dr Leunig cannot justify his leaked emails as an associate Professor of the London School of Economics and at the same time holding advisory positions in the Education and Environment Departments and make his arguments in the emails sent last week to the National Food Strategy, the Governments wholesale review of the British food system.

It would appear that Dr Leunig is speaking out of both sides of his mouth, on the one hand condemning UK farmers, the custodians of the countryside, that 365 days a year have delivered the safe quality food that he and his family have eaten over his lifetime every 8 hours of every day and on the other hand holding an advisory position in the Environment Department remembering that the Conservative Government declared a climate change emergency recently.

At this point FFA are delighted that Dr Leunig has opened the door on the truth about an American Trade Deal and others by belittling UK farmers and fishermen that they add not just 0.5% in extra value to the economy whilst in fact the food that UK farmers produce translates into the biggest industry in the UK by tonnage by far and on top of this accounts for 60%+ of all transported goods throughout the UK thus begging the reliability of his statistics. Leunig then points to Singapore, an island city-state, that imports almost all of its food and then points to large countries such as Germany, Japan, Australia, New Zealand who each import either all of their oil, cars or some such commodity trying to make his case, when in fact he has completely ignored what happened in the Second World War when the UK almost starved, due to unforeseen circumstances ie food ships being sunk and here we are again with unforeseen circumstances of the Coronavirus COVID-19. We must therefore question if such people as Dr Leunig are fit to be connected to Government especially since the disputed trade deal country the US has a Constitution that insists on 100% food security.

The UK produces safe quality food to date to EU high standards with the Minister for the Environment indicating these will continue and backing up the UK farmers as best his brief will allow him, bar the influence of people like Dominic Cummings and Dr Leunig with their secretive top Tory agenda.

Legally a Trade Deal with America along the lines it is currently headed could be deemed flawed if it allows eg beef, dairy products, chicken or other to flow to the UK – this would be absolute madness as the UK has declared a climate change emergency, therefore, no justification can be had for example importing beef when we are self sufficient across these islands or importing dairy products or chicken, again any produce we are self sufficient in across these islands or with the help and supply of our nearest neighbours.

William Taylor, FFA, added to the statement that this Government must be held to account on the carbon footprint of importing food products that we don’t need from the US and other countries around the world, when actually they need to be held to account on their climate change emergency declaration whereby they should be implementing what we call the origin Isle of Man principal, ie using all the food that UK farmers produce first and foremost before importing any shortfall which should come from the nearest neighbour source. Indeed, in the case of lamb where the UK is self sufficient, the nonsense of exporting 38% of lamb to France and North Africa etc only to meet ships coming from Australia and New Zealand loaded with lamb must end! It has to be remembered the key in all these climate change destructive food swaps is that they are only about corporate food retailers, corporate food wholesalers, corporate shipping companies and to a lesser extend corporate food processors, profiteering and they benefit neither of the thousands of farming families or environment in either food swap country, in fact the opposite!

FFA conclude that they along with all other like-minded farm organisations across these islands now pledge from here forward by whatever legal and protest means available to them to put an end to the UK Governments propaganda and facilitating carrying coal to Newcastle for corporate profit as climate change tightens it grip, we must not forget all those farming families and others flooded out of their homes and farms across the UK due to the increasing year on year climate change extremes of weather. It is time for Boris Johnston and his Government to wake up and smell the coffee, that climate change is no respecter of majority Governments and will only respect change on a Global scale of human activity, of which we are part and so far this is not evident from this Government. Let battle commence!



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