The government has announced the UK’s new MFN tariff regime, the UK Global Tariff (UKGT). This will replace the EU’s Common External Tariff on 1 January 2021 at the end of the Transition Period.
In response, the four UK farming unions said: “We are pleased the government has listened and maintained many of the safeguards currently in place for UK farmers under its new UK Global Tariff schedule. This is particularly important in fulfilling the UK government’s commitment not to undermine our high food and farming standards.
“It is worth remembering, however, that these tariffs are likely to be negotiated away as part of any trade deals that will be struck in the coming months, and so those deals must include strong provisions ensuring food imports are produced to the same standards required of our own farmers.
"Not only will this help the government fulfil its vision of a sustainable and profitable UK farming sector but will also meet public demand that our standards are not undermined in future trade policy.
“Although the overall position appears to support UK farmers, we need to examine and fully consider all the implications of the simplifications involved. For instance, it is still likely that the changes will lead to increased competition for some domestically produced commodities and we will need to understand the precise nature and impact of that.
"We are also urging the government to provide clarity around its ability to adjust the tariffs announced today, in particular in the event that there is no negotiated agreement with the EU on a future relationship by the end of the year.”
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