As a leaked cabinet letter warns of the chaos a no-deal Brexit could cause, we’ve looked at how it could affect the farming economy.
Earlier this month a leaked letter from cabinet secretary Sir Mark Sedwill warned that a no-deal Brexit could cause a 10% increase in food prices and a devastating UK-only recession worse than that of 2008.
This news came just days after the EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier warned that a no-deal Brexit is becoming more likely “day after day”.
As parliament currently work to try to stave off a no-deal outcome, we’ve looked at how this result could affect the farming economy.
The affects of a no-deal Brexit on the farming economy
Agriculture employs 3.8 million people and generates £113bn for Britain’s economy according to The UK in a Changing Europe. A no-deal Brexit is likely to throw the whole industry into turmoil, not just negatively affecting the farming economy, but Britain’s wider economy too.
Just a few of the potentially devastating effects a no-deal Brexit could have on UK farming include:
- A ban on the export of animal products from the UK to the EU until the UK is granted approval.
- Uncertainty over future import/export tariffs.
- A ban on exporting organic products as the EU will no longer recognise UK organic certification bodies until approval is granted. Organic exports account for around 20% of the dairy industry’s total organic sales.
The process of applying for approval for export is not a quick one and can take months, during which time many farms would suffer significant losses that could put them out of business.
National Farmer’s Union president Minette Batters has warned that “a no-deal Brexit would be disastrous, not only for our farmers but for the public too” and that it should be “avoided at all costs”.