EU buyers not committing to UK meat orders over fears of no-deal Brexit tariffs
Read the British Meat Processors Association's take on Brexit below.
The Pig Site
8 August 2019
A sense of panic is now gripping the UK meat industry as exporters see our Government frighten continental buyers with uncompromising threats of a no-deal Brexit.
According to a report from the British Meat Processors Association, The message that the UK is serious about leaving with no deal may not have convinced European politicians yet, but it has convinced continental retail buyers who are refusing to agree long term supply contracts with UK meat exporters.
If this continues, we could be witnessing the start of a structural and long-term decline in our nationís farming capacity and heritage. Sounds dramatic? Well, it will be.
Reduced orders from our biggest and closest trading partner (which are not easily and quickly replicated elsewhere) will filter all the way back to UK farmers who will bear the brunt of this loss of trade. It will put many out of business and, once theyíre gone, it wonít be easy to re-establish those farm businesses.
Turning their backs on the UK
European buyers considering buying British meat are now being confronted with multiple risks which theyíre not prepared to take.
Chief among them is the possibility that they may well be saddled with tariffs as high as 65 percent on certain imports that are due for delivery after 31 October. Committing to any orders or supply contracts that extend after the Brexit date therefore makes no sense whatsoever to our customers in Europe and, indeed, in the rest of the world.
Insurers that cover these consignments and facilitate the movement of goods between countries are refusing to indemnify against losses related to a no-deal Brexit. Couple that with a volatile exchange rate, mooted border delays and complete uncertainty surrounding whether Brexit will even happen on 31 October means the obvious solution for EU buyers is to source product from elsewhere.
This means that, come 31 October, British meat companies, who are now being forced to export day to day at "spot prices", could have the rug pulled from under them and see orders simply cease with no long-term supply contracts to soften the blow.
Will America save us?
Donít count on it. Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the US House of Representatives, along with various influential pro-Irish committees in Congress have made it abundantly clear that they will block any trade deal if Brexit harms the Good Friday Accord. In such a scenario, a UK/US trade deal would, in Mrs Pelosiís words, have "no chance whatsoever".
No-deal planning ...
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