Welsh farmers are advised to brace for hard-Brexit
Hybu Cig Cymru-Meat Promotion Wales (HCC) is making sure that Welsh farmers are prepared to face the rigors of a hard-Brexit. HCC believes that the industry can thrive if free and unfettered trade is allowed to continue to crucial export markets for Welsh Lamb and Welsh Beef but at the same time is ready to admit that currently, there is no certainty that the UK will leave the European Union with an agreement.
A list of useful links, from a "Brexit portal" opened by Welsh Government Business Wales, to DEFRA regulations and French customs rules or updates regarding requirements on food exports to third countries, has been published on HCC website.
"If there is no agreement (No-Deal Brexit), then many of the trade conditions that have pertained for the last number of years will cease to operate. It's very likely there will be taxes levied on imports and exports of food (WTO tariffs), with particularly high tariffs on meat as compared to other goods - potentially 40-80% depending on the type of processing and cut. Some tariff-free imports of NZ lamb are likely to continue, with the UK and EU receiving half each of the previous quota. There would likely be tariffs on UK exports to Europe, and potentially some other countries where the UK can currently export to tariff-free as part of Europe-wide trade deals (e.g. Japan).
HCC has worked with AHDB and others to model potential effects on agriculture and processing and published a Horizon report which outlines some possibilities. Although - it's difficult to model with certainty. Also, particularly in the case of a no-deal Brexit, it's likely there will be changes in regulations, labelling, export paperwork etc," it is mentioned in the warning.
Welsh red meat sector is considered to be the biggest loser in a no-deal Brexit scenario, exports accounting for one-third of all the beef and lamb produced in the area.
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