Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2017-02-02-Speech-2-206-000"

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"Madam President, it is curious, isn’t it, that the European Union has trade restrictions on bananas. It is not exactly as though there is a domestic banana industry in the European Union that requires protection. A friend of mine in Cornwall did once show me banana tree in his garden, but I don’t think it was on a scale that was of significant mercantile importance. The reason we have these restrictions is well-intentioned. We think we are sticking up for largely former French and British colonies in the Caribbean, the ones that produce the little squashy bananas, if I can put it that way, rather than the big long straight ones. But we’re not doing those territories any favours. We are keeping them in a sense of dependency, we are preventing them from expanding into other areas, diversifying their economies and competing in world markets. And as a price for doing this, we are slightly pushing up prices in Europe, taking a little bit of money out of the pockets of our consumers which would otherwise be spent on stimulating the economy at home. So everybody ends up being a loser from these restrictions. It would be easier by far to have free trade rather than these rules, which are bananas."@en1

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