UK feeling ‘disastrous impact’ of Brexit

By James Ridler contact

- Last updated on GMT

Farmers' Union of Wales president Glyn Roberts has warned of the disastrous impact leaving the EU already has had on the UK
Farmers' Union of Wales president Glyn Roberts has warned of the disastrous impact leaving the EU already has had on the UK
The UK food and drink industry is already feeling the “disastrous impact” of leaving the EU, according to the Farmers’ Union of Wales (FUW).

FUW president Glyn Roberts warned the impact would hit home more and more over the coming weeks, with contracts lost, prices affected and businesses suffering. He also highlighted the confusion still surrounding regulation, particularly with labelling.

Speaking at the organisation’s annual Farmhouse Breakfast, Roberts said: “With just weeks to go before Brexit, our producers do not know what they will need to stamp their produce with for it to be legal here or elsewhere in just a few weeks’ time.

“Exporters packing and shipping products now do not know whether the health and export certificates that accompany those shipments will be legal when they arrive on the other side of the world in just a few weeks’ time.”

Weeks to train

Producers reliant on EU supply chains now face having to train and become familiar with rules pertaining to hundreds of different export destinations in mere weeks, as the UK becomes a third country.

“We do not know what tariff rates will be charged on imports from other countries after March – as the draft tariffs will not be published until the end of February and need to be approved by parliament – so deals with importers must be reached with no knowledge of the additional costs likely to be incurred at ports,”​ Roberts added.

“And as Scottish agriculture minister Fergus Ewing pointed out in a letter last week​ to [secretary of state] Michael Gove, setting tariffs too low risks opening the floodgates to cheap food produced to different standards and causing considerable harm to our farmers and food industry, while also giving away negotiating capital for future trade negotiations.”

Rewrite Article 50

In response to the uncertainty surrounding Brexit and the future of UK food and drink, FUW has called for Article 50 to be completely rewritten in an effort to take back control of Brexit negotiations. 

Roberts also urged for contingency planning for a hard Brexit to be stepped up and for UK governments to work together to protect producers from a catastrophe on the same level witnessed during foot-and-mouth disease outbreaks.

Meanwhile, a no-deal Brexit could cost Scotland £14bn a year​, with the food and drink sector worst affected, the Confederation of British Industry has claimed.

Related news

Show more

comments

Post your comment

We will not publish your email address on the website

These comments have not been moderated. You are encouraged to participate with comments that are relevant to our news stories. You should not post comments that are abusive, threatening, defamatory, misleading or invasive of privacy. For the full terms and conditions for commenting see clause 7 of our Terms and Conditions ‘Participating in Online Communities’. These terms may be updated from time to time, so please read them before posting a comment. Any comment that violates these terms may be removed in its entirety as we do not edit comments. If you wish to complain about a comment please use the "REPORT ABUSE" button or contact the editors.

Follow us

Featured Events

View more

Products

View more