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Pro-EU Claims About Food Prices Going Up After Brexit 'Utter Lies'

05/02/2016 14:29 GMT | Updated 04/02/2017 10:12 GMT

Propaganda about food prices going up if Britain chose to leave the European Union has moved beyond scaremongering to utter lies.

Campaigners hoping to convince British voters to stay in the EU have sent out hundreds of thousands leaflets across the country warning that the nation's annual grocery bill would rise by £11 billion if we left.

I shudder to think how many trees were chopped down to produce this nonsense by the "Britain Stronger in Europe" group, who are the mob behind the ludicrous "Ukip mythbusters" leaflet being junk-mailed into millions of UK homes.

I've read it and laughed at it. Because it's absolute rubbish.

The truth is that the EU's Common Agricultural Policy - which is designed to prop up inefficient farmers on the continent - is the very reason why bills remain high in the UK.

Research from both the Institute of Economic Affairs and the Business for Britain group have proved that to be the case.

In the UK, entirely because of EU policies, beef costs 35% more, turkey 22%, lamb 11%, wheat 15%, chicken 22%, and potatoes 10% - each one of those costs hitting every single family in Britain.*

Worse still, these costs hit the poorest the hardest as households with less income spend a higher proportion of their earnings on filling the shopping trolley.

A combination of quotas, taxes and subsidies all push up the price we pay for food. For instance, New Zealand lamb costs 18% more in the UK than it does in the USA, all because of EU policies.

Over the last 10 years a typical low income family in the UK has spent 2% of their annual expenditure supporting the EU's Common Agriculture Policy to support farmers in France, Spain, Portugal and elsewhere.

On average a family in the UK would save £45 a month on their food bill if not for the wasteful EU policies that affect our food prices.

To pretend the opposite isn't just desperate by the pro-EU campaigners, and it has moved way beyond scaremongering. These claims are utter lies.

I find it disgraceful that 'stay' opportunists would try to scare low income families into remaining in the EU, where their food bills would be kept artificially and damagingly high.

That, I'm afraid, is the truest example yet of the much-talked about "politics of fear" that the 'in' campaigners try to accuse of us 'out' supporters.

If they are prepared to lie about how much the weekly shop is going to cost, you have to ask the question: What else are they lying about?

No, it is time to leave the European Union and see a better standard of living for all in this country.

Louise Bours is MEP for the North West, Ukip health spokesman and a member of the Europe for Freedom and Direct Democracy group in the European Parliament.

* Sources:

Low Pay and the Cost of Living - Ryan Bourne, IEA

Food Prices, Poverty and the Cap - Alan Matthews

Change or Go - Business for Britain