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经济学人精读 | 脱欧后的英国农业



本期导读本文节选自《经济学人》20201128期。英国脱欧派做出的许多答应都未能兑现,可是他们有一点说得很对,那就是脱离欧盟后,英国能够想出更好的农业政策。Agriculture in BritainPloughing its own furrowOutside the EU, Britain can farm greener and betterMany of the claims made by Brexiteers have turned out to be rubbish. Contrary to their assurances, Britain will not soon be signing a trade deal with America. The border between Ireland and Northern Ireland, which the Brexiteers said would not be a problem, turns out to be a big one. Britain will probably end up letting French and Spanish trawlers into its waters. But one of the Brexiteers’ boasts is entirely right: Britain really ought to be able to come up with better agricultural policies outside the EU. Brexiteer 指“英国脱欧派”,Brexit 就表现“脱欧”contrary 意思是“相对立的;相反的”,用作 contrary to sthtrawler 指“拖网渔船”,动词是trawl,意为“用拖网打鱼”boast 意思是名词“夸耀;夸口”,用作动词时表现“自夸;自吹自擂”It can hardly do worse. The common agricultural policy (CAP), which Britain leaves on January 1st after 47 years, has been a lousy deal for the country. At considerable cost to the taxpayer, it has subsidised intensive farming methods that have denuded the countryside (see Britain section), causing more ecological damage than climate change. Since 1970 the population of nesting farmland birds has been cut in half. Tariffs have raised the price of food. Some farmers have benefited from subsidies. But others have not, because the subsidies are capitalised into land values, raising the cost of getting into farming. lousy 意思是“很是糟的;极坏的”considerable 指“相当多(或大、重要等)的”,这里表现花费庞大。taxpayer 指“纳税人”subsidise 也写作 subsidize,意思是“资助;津贴;给…发津贴”,后文的subsidy 是它的名词,意为“补助;津贴金;津贴”denude 意思是“剥光;使光秃”,这里表现对乡村地域发生了庞大破坏。

tariff 指“关税”capitalise 也写作 capitalize,本意是“变现,变卖资产”,这里可以明白为“这些补助转换为土地的价值(或者说,这些补助使得土地增值)”;capitalise 名词形式是 capital。Soon after the Brexit vote in 2016, ministers talked bravely about doing away with farming subsidies and paying for public goods. Yet England has moved as slowly as a ruminating cow. With just five weeks left in the CAP, and some subsidy cuts beginning soon after, it has provided few details about what will replace them. Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales are even tardier. They will stick with the old subsidy system for the next few years.ruminate 意思是“(动物)反刍”,它另有另一个意思是“沉思;认真思考”tardy 意思是“行动缓慢的;拖拉的”stick with 是个动词搭配,意思是“继续做……”。



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