Sunday, 24 March, 2019

British farming unions warn against no-deal Brexit

11 Jan 2019, 00:32 ( 2 Months ago) | updated: 14 Jan 2019, 01:19 ( 2 Months ago)

DF-Xinhua Report
Demonstrators hold placards outside the Houses of Parliament in London, Britain, on Jan. 7. 2019. File Photo Xinhua.

Four main farming unions in Britain Thursday warned that a no-deal Brexit would lead to higher food costs and drive some farmers out of business.

   The unions, representing farmers in all four constituent nations of Britain, said that a no-deal Brexit would hit export revenues through higher tariffs.

   Affected sectors facing especially high export tariffs into the EU from Britain included beef, with 65 percent tariff, lamb 46 percent tariff and chicken 27 percent.

   In addition to the four unions, the National Farmers Union (NFU), NFU Cymru, NFU Scotland and Ulster Farmers' Union, forecast that a no-deal Brexit would damage agricultural production as a result of the government potentially choosing to unilaterally lower import tariffs to control food price inflation.

   This could result in the market being open to imports of food produced to standards lower than that produced by British farmers, the unions warned.

   In a letter to all British Members of Parliament, the unions urged them to "take all the steps necessary to avoid such a departure coming to pass."

   "There is a very real risk that a disorderly Brexit will lead to an immediate reliance on overseas imports, produced to lower standards, while many UK farms struggle to survive," the four unions warned in their joint warning letter.

   "The implications, not only for domestic food supply but for the careful management of our cherished countryside, would represent a historic political failure," the unions added.

   "Our organizations remain committed to playing their part in managing Brexit in the best interests of farmers and the UK public... but we believe that leaving without a deal on March 29 will lead, very quickly, to the opposite outcome."