Caller claims Britain can excel with 'free-range bananas' after Brexit

PUBLISHED: 16:35 14 May 2019 | UPDATED: 16:35 14 May 2019

James O'Brien on LBC Radio. Photograph: Global.

James O'Brien on LBC Radio. Photograph: Global.


A caller into James O'Brien's LBC Radio show has claimed we could survive outside of the EU by growing "free-range bananas".

The caller began by claiming the EU protects some industries, such as the French wine trade, but didn't protect UK ones such as the West Midlands leather trade.

"Nobody ever protected their jobs," he said, going on to argue that lower manufacturing salaries in eastern Europe has caused automotive companies to relocate.

When O'Brien pointed out that both Nissan in Sunderland and Honda in Swindon hadn't made that decision, there was a heated back and forth in which the caller said: "You wonder why people vote Brexit, because people don't want to listen to the story."

"I completely agree, they just want to say stuff that's not true," grumbled O'Brien.

Getting back to the argument, the caller went on to discuss where the UK was going to excel after Brexit, and his solution was free-range bananas.

"Where are we going to excel in the UK?" asked the caller. "We're never going to grow the cheapest bananas. We can't grow bananas.

"What we could do, is we can do free-range."

"My wife, for instance, she chooses to go and buy free-range food. She wants food grown in the UK. She doesn't want it in Brazil.

Why do we want to ship it [from] all around the world?"

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A bemused O'Brien pondered for a moment what the caller was saying.

"Because the people selling bananas or fruit and vegetables to your wife who deliberately buys British, sustain their business models by also selling fruit and vegetables to people who don't care where it comes from, they shop according to price," responded O'Brien.

"If we leave the European Union without any trade agreements in place, that would wipe out the British producer."

The Brexiteer, however, was not listening. He continued: "That is my point, the European Union only chooses to protect certain industries."

As the call went around in the circles on the central argument, the pair both conceded neither would win the argument, and the call ended shortly after.

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