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10

|

aspects of land

| spring / summer 2017

SOURCES: DEFRA BRITISH FOOD AND FARMING AT A GLANCE, 2016

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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

IN FIGURES

200

UK food is

exported to over

200 overseas

countries and

territories

73

We have 73

protected

regional and

traditional British

foods and drinks

in the UK. These

are covered by

an EU reciprocal

agreement and

will all need to be

renegotiated

post Brexit

£3.94

bn

Britain’s largest

food and drink

export by value is

whisky at £3.94

billion a year.

Hong Kong

£0.34

bn

United

Arab Emirates

£0.32

bn

Canada

£0.30

bn

Top five agriculture and

food export locations

outside the EU

Australia

£0.29

bn

5

United

States

£1.88

bn

1

2

3

4

Would consumers accept different pesticide regulations?

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