This article continues a trend of Brexist articles in The Reg, and like the others it makes out that minor issues are major problems.
Any argument that free trade requires open borders is simply untrue. Consider any non-EU country with whom we currently have trade tariffs and immigration controls. If the trade tariff is gradually reduced to zero, the relationship with that country does not change in any way that would now require free movement of people. Claiming that free movement of people is a prerequisite for free trade is an outright lie.
You're assuming that post-Brexit all EEA+ nationals must have permanent residence or leave, yet you also claim the government has quietly guaranteed their status. To guarantee their status they will have to pass a new law, which will mean existing EEA+ nationals don't have to apply for permanent residence, but they will obviously have to be registered.
Any EU law which states EU nationals must be treated equally wont be broken until after Brexit at which point it will no longer apply. Clearly British law will need to be updated / reverted post-Brexit.
"There will be no reduction in the number of migrant workers in the country"
Why? Overall number or annual intake? There will have to be a reduction in migration eventually simply because the rising population will exceed the capacity that the country can accommodate. We are already beyond the optimal population size - as the population grows now, the country becomes less efficient and the cost per capita rises.
"It's simply cheaper to use unskilled labour than develop sophisticated machinery for a lot of crops. ... Economics does not take care of the problem by incentivising automation if you can get the products more cheaply from a source with low labour costs that doesn't have huge amounts of capital tied up in machinery that can be used for a few weeks of the year.. to suggest automation that would make it unprofitable is simply arguing against economic logic"
The development cost may be expensive, but once paid off, the manufacture and operating costs of machinery generally outperforms human workers. Expensive machinery can be shared between farms to make more efficient use of the investment. As the technology becomes more widespread the cost will fall. The sooner we invest in automation, the sooner society can benefit.
"but those workers generally feed more back into the "system" than they take out ... once that is done the council is going to earn less tax overall, so your tax will need to go up"
No, overall the lowest paid workers cost tax payers more in tax credits and benefits to support their dependents (though they are also more undervalued compared to the real value of their work). If they leave and are replaced by machines, the tax burden on higher paid workers will reduce.
"Simply removing seasonal workers is not going to give a farmer more money to buy machinery."
Well obviously it does. They can spend their wages on machinery instead, or on hiring machinery that's too expensive to buy.
@Dr Paul Taylor
"grilling David Davies and his pals mercilessly until they finally admit that this whole affair is economic suicide, a pack of lies and vastly infeasible"
... what an ignorant and unsubstantiated comment! If Brexit was economic suicide, then all non-EU countries would be in economic turmoil. In practice, the opposite is true. The issues from Brexit are just the undoing of what was done before - then things will return to a new normal.
As a Brexit supporter I wish that a competent pro-Brexit politician representing the will of the people was running the country. Sadly the controlled global capitalist system has denied the electorate political representation on this matter.