Something Smells About Claim Harrods is Worth More than Fishing Industry to Britain
On the Daily Politics today the Daily Telegraph’s Christopher Hope quoted an MP saying fishing was a small part of its economy “Harrods, the shop, has a bigger than turnover than fish in terms of value for this country”. This is something Guido has heard before and read in the FT. Is it true?
According to government statistics, in 2019, the UK imported 721 thousand tonnes of sea fish, with a value of £3,457 million. It exported 452 thousand tonnes with a value of £2,004 million. Harrods turned over £869 million in the same year. So no it is not true.
Without even going into the compelling arguments about the true economic value of turnover (Harrods) compared to production (fish) it is clear that the fishing industry is far more valuable to Britain than Harrods. Assuming that, if the UK got control of the entire fish stock in British seas, it would no longer have to import over £3 billion of foreign supplied fish, the value in nominal terms only would be five times as great. In terms of value created, the true economic value could be as much as ten times…