Sheep

Sheep farmers have less reason to fear Brexit than any other sector. The EU is only 80% self-sufficient in sheepmeat. While the UK is our second largest sheepmeat export market after France, the 13,000t going to the UK is mostly offset by the 400,000 lambs imported into Ireland from the UK for slaughter. A hard Brexit would disadvantage British lamb exports to the rest of the EU. A quarter of the EU’s sheep are in the UK, and Irish exports could capitalise on any EU/UK trade restrictions. The processing sector faces the most danger. Processors say that imported lamb, which accounts for 10% of all slaughtered lamb, is necessary to maintain a critical mass of factory throughput. There is also the need to negotiate the fate of the preferential access that New Zealand and Australian lamb currently has into the EU.