The cost you don't see of us being in the EU. A small example

Graham Charles Lear
3 min readJun 26, 2019


Like many others, I have been watching an excellent program on the River Thames hosted by the Remainer Sir Tony Robinson of Black Adder fame. There was a point at the end where he visited the Tate and Lyle sugar refinery where we saw a large Merchant ship dock with five holds that contained raw sugar cane which took five days to unload which is turned into sugar that can be consumed.

This struck a chord with me because in the distant past I had seen a program where not one ship had been docking and had been unloaded but many more all at the same time filling vast warehouses to overflowing.

So what had changed?

So I did a little digging and what I found should worry everyone. because what happened to Tate and Lyle could happen to any British industry while we are in the EU.

What I found was this. The EU is the biggest drag on Tate and Lyle being competitive. The EU has restricted where they can buy the raw sugar from, plus they charge import duty on that sugar from those countries because believe it or not inefficient sugar beet producers asked the EU to put protective barriers against cane producers all around the world like Tate and Lyle. That ship we saw offloading sugar cane would have had a 2 to 3 million Euro tariff on it which put up the cost of refining the sugar that 2 to 3 million Euro tariff does not go to our treasury but to the EU treasury.

While costs have risen so have has the price of sugar for consumers while at the same time Tate and Lyle's profits have declined which affects the jobs of all 850 people who work for them. It's why Tate and Lyle have had to downsize their refinery 50% since 2009 and why the cost of sugar has risen not only the bags of sugar and the tins of syrup that you buy in shops but near enough everything else that contains sugar. Cakes biscuits and anything else that is not fresh, like salt it enhances the flavor of our food.

In 2005 the EU selected developing African, Caribbean and Pacific states to supply sugar to EU with duty-free status, restricting imports from sugar-rich countries such as Brazil. However, the chosen countries failed to produce the amount of sugar needed by cane refiners, stunting supply. This resulted in Tate and Lyle’s London sugar cane refinery — the biggest in Europe — running at just 60% capacity. Meanwhile, beet sugar processors benefit from no import restrictions as it is grown in Europe. In its attempt to boost the levels of cane sugar coming into the EU, the Commission sanctioned blind auctions, further pushing up the price of raw sugar. This has been passed onto supermarket shoppers and food manufacturers, with sugar prices in the EU 80% above the world price.

Tate and Lyle Sugars has been losing money since 2009, three years after imports were restricted by the EU. It made a £38m loss in the last financial year and the 850 jobs at its Silvertown refinery will become another manufacturing casualty in East London unless something changes.

This a just a small example of how the EU ruins British businesses

Still, what to be part of the blessed EU because if you do you are part of the problem that is ruining our country.



Graham Charles Lear

What is life without a little controversy in it? Quite boring and sterile would be my answer.