Farmers in the UK will face more competition from imports after Brexit, a former UK government trade minister has said.
“You will face more competition, lower prices and potentially less subsidy at some point in the future, but with the opportunity to export more,” Lord Price said at an event at Queen’s University Belfast on Wednesday evening.
Lord Price is former managing director of British retail chain Waitrose and was Minister of State for Trade and Investment from February 2016 to September 2017.
His prediction for the outcome of Brexit was that the UK and EU would agree a comprehensive free trade agreement. However, he would not be drawn on how long negotiations would go on for.
Lord Price maintained that reaching a free trade agreement was more likely than no trade deal being agreed and was also more a likely outcome than the UK remaining in a customs union with the EU.
“What about chlorinated chicken that we hear so much talk about? It will be for DEFRA, DAERA, the FSA, etc, to regulate the UK food standards, not the department for international trade,” he maintained.
Lord Price said that he knew from his time in charge of Waitrose that products that they were exporting or importing had to comply with local standards on the likes of labelling and welfare.
“All of which means that the UK can strike mutually beneficial trade deals internationally, reducing the cost of goods to the British consumer,” he said.
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