London, May 5 (UNI) Shortage of basmati rice due to exorbitant tariffs is causing problems for curry houses in Bradford.
Shipley Tory MP Philip Davies has called for Britain to regain trade policy from the European Union to stop hitting customers and businesses with the rising costs.
In a Commons petition tabled by the Bradford MP, he highlighted the rising cost of rice and condemned the EU for imposing tariffs of up to 65 euros per ton on basmati rice from Thailand, Egypt, Uruguay and America.
The tariff is in addition to the cost of the rice.
''These trade tariffs are totally unjustified, they are pushing up the prices for consumers, causing problems for our local restaurants and takeaways across Bradford and also hinder some of the poorest countries in the world from trading their way out of poverty,'' Mr Davies said.
This is another prime example of how the EU has simply become a protection racket for inefficient producers in Spain and Italy in this case, he added.
The call comes weeks after Alex Waugh, director of the Rice Association, said prices were up 60 per cent year on year and the price of basmati rice, one of the most popular varieties in the UK, had almost doubled.
Big producers like India and China had restricted their exports and there were now 'rapidly declining stocks' in the world. This would feed into the price British consumers pay for rice at shops and in restaurants, he said.
The UK imports around 2,00,000 tonnes of rice every year and is the largest importer of rice in the EU.
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