Posted on: 30 Jun 2017
A new report from the House of Lords has suggested that leaving the EU without first agreeing a trade deal could mean that up to 97 per cent of food and drink exports are at risk in the UK.
Evidence provided to the subcommittee revealed that a lot of food and drink production would be at risk because of non-tariff barriers, with the report exposing a real dependency on the single market and EU trade deals for farmers and food manufacturers in Britain, the Guardian reports.
Chair of the committee Robin Teverson was quoted by the news source as saying: “Post-Brexit, the UK’s agriculture and food sectors face enormous challenges. Life after the EU’s common agricultural policy will not be easy for the many UK farmers who rely on its financial support.”
He went on to note that the Brexit impact would soon start to sink in, especially for producers of sheep, cattle and pork.
Back in October last year, confidence in the food and drink industry was found to be increasingly fragile as a result of the Brexit vote. The sector is in fact the biggest in the UK, making up 16 per cent of all manufacturing by turnover and directly employing around 400,000 people across 6,620 companies, according to the Guardian.
In addition, the industry supports some 3.9 million jobs across the UK food chain (worth £108 billion). At the time, the Food and Drink Federation called for an industrial strategy partnership to be struck up with the government, as well as assurances for the workforce from the EU that they would still have the right to remain in this country.
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