Brexit will deprive agri-food sector of exports

There is very little we can be sure of about Brexit. A Free Trade arrangement of some sort accompanied by a deal on free movement would mean that it made very little practical difference for many of us; a straight-out departure falling out of and with the EU would be considerably more problematic.

However, for the agri-food sector and farmers in general, it is hard to see how the situation can be salvaged. The reason for this is CAP (and CFP); this is designed precisely as a protectionist policy for European agriculture and fishing. There is no precedent for any country outside the EU to have free access to the Single Market for agriculture precisely because of the purpose of EU policy – protectionism.

It is being suggested that, given the balance of agricultural trade, perhaps the UK could be the first exception and receive free access to the Single Market in this area. Leaving aside that the whole point of leaving the EU, according to the likely next UK Government, is doing trade deals (which would surely include agriculture), this is politically unrealistic. EU protectionism will see UK produce discriminated against within the remaining EU, and that will be that. This means, regardless of subsidies, UK farmers will simply have no one to export to (at least without tariffs being applied).

Why did no one tell them that before the referendum? They did. Leave-voting farmers will have brought this upon themselves.


One thought on “Brexit will deprive agri-food sector of exports

  1. Rodney says:

    Rodney Magowan Press & PR Agency Tel;(UK) 028 9263 8567 Mob; 07802 351 281 e /Make the media your messenger/

    One point missed is that more UK produced food instead of being exported can be sold on the home market eg; lamb from Ulster, Wales etc now sold to the Low Countries and France can fill the gap on the UK market.

    At the same time our main rivals, the Irish, may well be priced out of the UK market where their produce is currently treated almost as ‘home produce.’

    The farmers in the RoI, includingmy brothers in law, face an even greater challenge.

    I attended the huge UFU meeting to debate this where mainland out MPs affirmed that ‘once we get out of the EU we farmers can sit down with the farm minister and sort out a sensible policy that suits us better than the CAP.’ And two thirds of those present ended the night saying they would vote out. Madness – turkeys voting for Xmas.

    Main reason is the equally mad EU red tape as enforced by our own over staffed civil service. A total turn off – as a part time farmer I find it plain stupid and a means of keeping civil servants semi employed! – Rodney

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