aspects of land
| spring / summer 2017
SOURCES: DEFRA BRITISH FOOD AND FARMING AT A GLANCE, 2016
BREXIT AND TARIFFS
It has a Tariff Rate Quota (TRQ) agreement with
Europe that allows a specified quantity of goods to be
imported at a reduced or zero tariff.This sees about
212,000 tonnes of New Zealand lamb brought into Europe
each year, with a significant proportion sold in the UK.
As Britain is self-sufficient in lamb, the import means
that UK farmers can export their surplus at a profit.
Without an agreement post Brexit, the EU will apply
tariffs on UK exports to the EU. This would make the
UK’s surplus lamb more expensive for EU buyers, so
less would be exported.The excess on the UK market
would reduce domestic prices and we would cease to be
a competitive market for New Zealand.
TARIFFS AREN’T JUST ABOUT MONEY
In addition, as Ian Bailey of Savills Research points out,
trade deals are not simply about economics. “If free trade
agreements were purely about the level of tariffs applied,
negotiation would be relatively straightforward. However,
politicians also have to work within the bounds of the
World Trade Organization (WTO). Its rules are complex
and limit the potential for a country to ban imports on the
grounds of, say, pesticide use or genetic modification even
if that practice is banned in the importing country.”
At the moment, EU regulations mean that there are
common standards of production within the EU. As all
producers have to meet these standards, they are all subject
to the same costs as there is tariff-free supply to the UK.
But exports out of the EU have to be competitive with
global prices, therefore any additional cost of meeting EU
standards has to be absorbed by the producer.
The market for
British lamb will
change once we
leave the EU
UK food is
exported to over
We have 73
foods and drinks
in the UK. These
are covered by
an EU reciprocal
will all need to be
food and drink
export by value is
whisky at £3.94
billion a year.
Top five agriculture and
food export locations
outside the EU
Would consumers accept different pesticide regulations?