Tariff-free element of Brexit deal ‘will be a particular relief for farmers’ – NFU

“The successful conclusion of a deal between the UK and EU is very positive news for British agriculture,” according to National Farmers’ Union (NFU) president Minette Batters.

The EU is our largest trading partner and we have been clear throughout negotiations that maintaining tariff-free access to the EU market is absolutely crucial for our food and farming industry, not only for farmers’ businesses and livelihoods, but for our ability to continue to provide a secure supply of quality, home-grown food for the nation.

“We will now analyse the details of this agreement to ensure it meets the needs of British food and farming.”

‘The tariff-free element’

Batters continued:

The tariff-free element will be a particular relief for farmers that rely heavily on the EU export market, such as our sheep farmers, as well as farmers across British agriculture that produce the safe, traceable and affordable food that underpins more than £14 billion worth of export sales each year to the EU.

“It does remain the case though that our relationship with the EU will experience a fundamental change at the end of the transition period on January 1, 2021 and we do anticipate that there will still be disruption to trade at the border.

“New checks, paperwork and requirements on traders will add costs and complexity.

It is vital that the government does all it can now to prioritise exports of our high quality, perishable agricultural products to make sure that these products are not left languishing in queues at the border when the changes take effect.

“With only days left until the end of the transition period and traders still facing a huge amount of disruption on the ground, I would urge both the UK and EU to now use the basis of this deal to continue talks to manage any disruption we may experience from January 1,” she concluded.