Senior figures in the farming industry have cautiously welcomed news of the Brexit trade deal between the UK and the European Union, as some warn ‘the devil is in the detail’.
Fears of a No-deal Brexit were averted at the eleventh hour.
The prospect of No-deal would have seen tariffs imposed on British produce exported to Europe, making them less price-competitive compared to European producers.
As it stands, current trade in most agri-food products between the UK and EU will continue. However, a limited number of farm sectors face a complete ban on exports.
Chilled meats, a category which includes raw sausages and red minced meat, will be banned from export to the EU, although equivalent frozen meat products will still be allowed to be sold to the continent.
On Christmas Eve, the Government assured the agricultural industry that the EU will allow ‘almost all food and plant exports’ from Great Britain to continue after Brexit.
‘The National Farmers Union described it as a ‘critical step forward’.
MPs from the across the country had their
chance to share thoughts during a parliamentary debate on 30th December, before the deal was passed into UK law. Although welcoming the deal in principle, Bridgwater and West Somerset MP, Ian Liddell-Grainger, said efforts must be made ‘to build on upland farming communities’.
“Don’t use us [upland famers] as an excuse to say we’ll rewild at the drop of a hat,” added the MP.