Environmental Secretary Theresa Villiers confirmed this month that the UK has secured ‘national listed status’ which allows for the export of animal products to continue if there is a no-deal Brexit. This move provides certainty to a market which, according to defra, is worth more than £5 billion per year.
Notwithstanding the fact that this is a step in the right direction, the FUW remains concerned that this is no ‘silver bullet’ as UK producers will still need to meet new requirements and face potentially disastrous tariff rates and Tariff Rate Quotas (TRQs) in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
For example, under current no deal Brexit scenarios, UK cheddar exports would face a 57% tariff whereas the tariff for cheddar imported into the UK would be set at just 7%. The same applies to beef carcasses - UK exports to the EU would attract a 70% tariff compared with a 37% import tariff. For beef, this sits amidst a, TRQ of 124,000 tonnes which would not attract any tariff at all. These tariffs set by the UK Government risk opening the door to food produced to much lower animal health and environmental standards and could undermine the viability and sustainability of UK producers.