Brexit ‘no-deal’ will have a ‘withering impact’ on the UK’s livestock sectors


Richard Halleron, AgriLand (UK)

Apr 10, 2019


Stakeholder groups within Northern Ireland’s beef and lamb sectors have issued a withering perspective on the threat of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit. But, in reality, their fears can be echoed across the UK.


A combination of high tariffs, where exports are concerned, and the impact of cheap beef imports from regions such as South America, could serve to wipe out farm incomes across the livestock sectors, these stakeholders warn.


A statement outlining this was issued – in tandem – by the Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU), the Northern Ireland Meat Exporters’ Association and the Livestock and Meat Commission.


It read: “A no-deal Brexit is the absolute worst possible outcome for Northern Ireland’s beef and lamb industry. Worth £1.3billion to the local economy and representing 25% of total agri-food sector output, the ramifications are serious.


    A ‘no-deal’ will jeopardise our ability to export. It will undermine our domestic market. It is crucial that decision makers fully understand the devastating economic and social impact it will have on Northern Ireland, and that every effort is made to avoid it. This is not project fear. This is project fact.


“Vulnerable sectors, like beef and lamb, have been rightly nervous about what a no-deal Brexit UK trade policy will mean for their future. Information and facts released in recent weeks have made for stark reading. There will be steep tariff and regulatory barriers and we no longer need to speculate about the disastrous consequences for our farming industry,” continued the statement.


The three parties concerned also warned of the potential for countries such as the US and Brazil being able to export 230,000t of beef to the UK tariff-free, thereby increasing competition with cheaper-produced goods.


The stakeholders raised similar concerns regarding lamb, saying the “forecast is grim”, despite apparent intention to apply full tariffs...