Chequers Plan

A Plan!


After two years, the cabinet reached an agreement (July 6) on the UK's possible future relationship with the EU after Brexit. This is being called 'the Plan', 'A proposal' or 'The position' - ie negotiating position that will be presented to the EU. The three page deal published by the government. BBC glance @ planHere are the parts relevant to Food, Farming, Land & Labour (my comments in italics)

Institutions

We will come out of the Common Agricultural Policy. That means EU CAP subsidies will stop, and we will replace them with our own, as yet to be decided how and how much. We should have at least £3+Billion, but we always claimed we put more in than got out. So here is the chance to get more, but odds stacked against - some say there should not be any.
We will come out of the Common Fisheries Policy. Government published Sustainable Fisheries for Future Generations' July 2018. Introducing it, the PM said "when we leave the EU we will take back control of our waters, while ensuring we don’t see our fishermen unfairly denied access to other waters."
Michael Gove is getting his own navy to keep the Europeans away: a squadron of armed patrol boats to deter foreign trawlers after Brexit.
His department is about to get the first of four powerful fishery protection vessels, whose task will be to prevent French, Spanish, Danish and other boats from fishing illegally in UK waters. For more see Fish in Favourite Foods
BUT!! British fishing fleets will face a tough struggle to wring a substantial advantage from Brexit, despite the prime minister’s promises, owing to key concessions in the government’s fishing proposals and the difficulty of persuading other EU member states to give up their current rights in British and shared waters.
There are unlikely to be any gains. We shall see..

Single Market

The UK will come out of the Single Market, but "maintain a common rulebook for all goods" with the EU, including agricultural products.A treaty will be signed committing the UK to "continued harmonisation" with EU rules. This is intended to avoid friction at the UK-EU border, including Northern Ireland. It raises the issue of what rules will need to be harmonised in relation to food and farming.For more on Single Market
In particular questions will be raised as to whether and which EU rules we follow. Many will be happy to accept sticking close to rules about animal and food standards, but some may want 'to take control' of pesticides and GMOs rules - as some will have voted Brexit for just that reason..
It is for the two above sets of reasons that the Brexiteer Gove is happy to stay in cabinet - and give a wink to T May. He has a good case to roll out a 'green Brexit to support the cause.

Customs Union

We will leave the Customs Union. Parliament will oversee the UK's trade policy and have the ability to "choose" to diverge from the EU rules, "recognising that this would have consequences".
The 'Facilitated' customs arrangement' suggests ways the borders between the UK and EU will be treated as a "combined customs territory", where the UK would apply domestic tariffs and trade policies for goods intended for the UK, but charge EU tariffs and their equivalents for goods which will end up heading into the EU.
I really can't see how this can work, even with blockchain technologies. There are 15,000 taxes on processed foods to confuse matters. More on Customs Union
The government says it gives the UK an independent trade policy, with the ability to set its own non-EU tariffs and to reach separate trade deals. Thus a post-Brexit UK would "control its own tariffs for trade with the rest of the world". This is the big issue for food and farming - bigger then the subsidies. The boss of Wetherspoons is campaigning to get rid of all food tariffs - as they put his prices up. 'Free trade deals' are built on allowing 'free trade' of goods/services between countries doing the deal.
Britain's main push abroad is to sell more white goods and financial services. They do not want taxes on these goods, as it stops people buying them. So they want a free trade on these - no tax at the other end. You can see why the Chequers plan says it does not want close regulatory agreement on services (including financial) with EU. It says "Different arrangements" will be organised for services "where it is in our interests to have regulatory flexibility". The other country in most of these deals will want to get rid of their surplus food - so will want our farm tariff walls taken down - those that the EU built over 40 years to protect food producers and farmers. THIS IS THE BIGGEST ISSUE OF BREXIT IN RELATION TO FOOD AND FARMING> BIGGER THAN THE CORN LAWS 150 YEARS AGO. But it is going through with few people realising the consequences. It will leave rural areas even more at risk to the vagaries of world markets. See possible US-UK deal and more in TradeFinanciers usually mention that as the main benefit of any free trade deal as 'win-win - to sell financial services, but also get to reduce tariffs on agricultural goods, They say it means cheaper food and thus good for all. But most of us know the costs of cheap food. The 2,000 EU farm tariffs were set to protect our farming communities. So getting rid of them - is BAD for our rural economies. There is no such thing 'a good deal for all'. It is for these Customs reasons that the free marketeer Fox is willing to stay in cabinet - providing he can get his way with 'free trade deals' he is on board.

Labour

The agreement says it will end free movement of people "giving the UK back control over how many people enter the country". A "mobility framework" will be set up to allow UK and EU citizens to travel to each other's territories, and apply for study and work. There was only a vague suggestion from the prime minister that EU workers might get slightly more favourable treatment after Brexit.
There was nothing in the 'plan' to offer any hope to the farmers who rely on seasonal workers. The UK government has promised seasonal workers will be allowed to continue to come to the UK until the end of 2020 but, after that, no one knows what will happen.
Will this make any difference in those plantation areas in Eastern England, so dependent on EU migrant labour that led to Brexit?

Responses

The EU have yet to respondLabour Party say 'move over', but gives no indication how they would do anything different.The plan has been compared with the Canada +++, Norway model, Switzerland, Turkey or Ukraine. It looks like a Dogs Brexit to me. But I have yet to hear any better - other than 'Remain'.