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Farm chiefs' stark warning over ‘no deal’ Brexit

Farming organisations were concerned by technical notices saying UK exports could face a six-month pause.

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Farm chiefs' stark warning over ‘no deal’ Brexit

Farming organisations have urged the Government to reach a deal with the EU which ensures free and frictionless trade after the release of technical notices revealed the ‘catastrophic’ impact a ‘no deal’ scenario could have.

 

The NFU and the National Sheep Association (NSA) were concerned UK exports of animals and animal products could face a pause of six months while the EU approves the UK as an exporter.

 

Vets have warned it could leave parts of the workforce at breaking point.

 

Catastrophic

 

NFU president Minette Batters said it showed a ‘no deal’ scenario would be ‘catastrophic’ for the industry and urged negotiators to work to ‘achieve a deal that delivers free and frictionless trade’.


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NFU Cymru warned no deal would threaten the success story of the Welsh food and drink industry with its ambitious growth targets reliant on trade with the EU, most notably for protected geographical indicators (PGIs) on Welsh Lamb.

 

With 35-40 per cent of sheepmeat exported and 96 per cent of this going to the EU, NSA chief executive Phil Stocker warned the impact would be serious as this could not be replaced quickly with new markets.

 

He said: “There is even a suggestion the UK will allow imports to continue smoothly, while we accept a potential delay in getting approval to export.

 

“This will not help sheep farmers who will simply see oversupplies in the UK exacerbated.”

 

PGIs

 

However, he welcomed plans regarding PGIs in the UK post-Brexit and support to apply to the EU for continued use in the EU.

 

The British Veterinary Association (BVA) said a ‘no deal’ Brexit could add up to a logistical nightmare and lead to serious shortfalls in capacity for vets certifying animals and animal products entering and exiting the UK.

 

It highlighted warnings a ‘no deal’ Brexit could lead to a 325 per cent increase in the volume of products requiring certification.

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