NFU issues no-deal Brexit warning
FARMERS have issued a stark warning to the Government that it needs to make decisions about how it will secure the nation’s food supplies as Brexit looms.
NFU president Minette Batters said that, fewer than 90 days from Brexit, there was still “enormous uncertainty” about the future and how domestic food production would fare.
The NFU says British agriculture could face huge disruption as a result of not being able to export agricultural products to the EU if its role as an exporter has not been reapproved by Brussels by March 29. The lamb industry could be particularly hit as 31% of its produce was exported in 2017.
In a no-deal, exports to the EU from the UK could face huge tariffs, with beef potentially seeing a 65% duty, and lamb suffering 46%, which could push up costs. Imports could also be affected, with severe delays at ports of essential items such as vet medicines, fertilisers, feed and machinery parts.
To avoid food price rises, the Government could lower import tariffs. This would open the UK to goods that are not produced to the high standards of food safety and animal welfare, the NFU said.
Sheep in Osmaston, by Peter Banks