Peter Hardwick, trade policy adviser to the British Meat Processors Association (BMPA), told the Irish Farmers Journal this week that after six months, the industry estimates that Brexit has doubled the administrative cost of doing export business with the EU.

He says this has contributed to the 80% reduction in beef exports and 33% reduction in sheepmeat exports, though reduced UK production will have had a bigger impact.

Hardwick expressed particular concern about UK trade policy in view of the deal recently agreed with Australia.

His particular issue is not just that huge levels of access have been granted for both beef and sheepmeat, but that there is no specification of what type of meat.

He uses the example of New Zealand, where in the past, they exported frozen lamb carcases to the UK.

Now, it is mainly chilled lamb legs and this means that while it requires 50,000 sheep to provide 1,000t of lamb carcases, it requires 200,000 sheep to create 1,000t of lamb legs.