Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

RICHARD WRIGHT: Brexit protagonists showing little sign of positive progress

Post Thumbnail

Brexit talks between officials in London and Brussels are continuing, with no real signs of substantial progress.

The formula being followed seems to reflect the traditional EU approach of nothing being agreed until everything is agreed, and there is a growing belief that if agreement is to be reached it is unlikely to be before October, leaving little time to implement the massive changes a no deal outcome would demand. London is continuing preparations for either outcome, with massive expenditure plans for customs facilities at ports.

Meanwhile, the government is proposing that UK rules on food and agriculture should be harmonised. This has been criticised on grounds that it undermines the benefits and freedom of devolution. The government disputes this, claiming its aim is an EU-style single market, where products could be sold in any region if they meet the standards of where they are produced.

It has been a given for years that global demand for agricultural commodities will grow faster than supply – but now that assumption is being challenged by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

In its 2020-2029 Agricultural Outlook Report, published with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), it says supply growth will outstrip demand growth. As a result it says prices for the major commodities will remain around or below where they are now, excluding inflation, but prices will be volatile.

While that may sound depressing there are positives for higher value livestock based products, where demand will grow in developing countries as incomes rise. Ironically one of the trends the report identifies is that in highly developed economies, environmental and social concerns around livestock farming will drive a demand shift from meat and dairy to other sources of protein.

Elsewhere, the battle around the future for glyphosate is continuing and last week critics of the product were given a boost via the European court system.

A senior judge or advocate general (AG) ruled on an initial ruling by the court that the Brussels region of Belgium could not challenge the EU decision to renew the product licence. The court had ruled that such a challenge could only be brought by a member state.

The AG said this was too narrow an interpretation. The final decision is up to the court and statistically the majority of AG comments are noted but not heeded. However this adds pressure around the future for the product when the present licence ends in December 2022.

Meanwhile the lobby organisation representing biotechnology companies has warned that a review of decision-making structures for product approvals in the EU could see more products banned on political grounds. It highlights the danger of science being ignored by member states who are instructing their experts on scientific committees how to vote via the EU qualified majority system.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]