A no-deal Brexit scenario would be “catastrophic” according to the UK National Farmers Union (NFU) and would put agri-food exports worth £13bn at serious risk.
Speaking after the recent UK government’s publication guidelines for animal exports in the event of a no-deal Brexit, president of the NFU Minette Batters pointed out that animal exports and products would face a cliff-edge scenario.
Batters highlighted that in the event of a no-deal Brexit the UK would have to become an approved exporter to the EU – an operation that could entail a six-month waiting period.
With the UK officially due to leave the EU in March 2019, tensions have been running high in both EU and UK political camps.
The UK prime minister Theresa May recently had her Chequer’s proposal for a Brexit deal refused by the EU in Brussels.
At a press conference in Downing Street after the rejection, she stated that the UK had always treated the EU with respect and blamed the EU for the Brexit stalemate.
However, farm organisations in the UK have not been impressed with the Conservative government’s lack of progress in negotiations.
Bar proposals to phase out direct subsidy payments, the UK government has been unclear on how agriculture will be impacted by Brexit.
“These technical notices confirm in black and white what we already knew: a no-deal scenario would be catastrophic for British agriculture,” the NFU president said.
“A scenario where farmers face an immediate trade embargo for many of their products would have devastating effects and would severely threaten livelihoods and businesses.”
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