The UK’s global tariff schedule must not allow imports of food produced in ways that would be illegal in this country, the NFU has said in response to the Government's launch of a consultation on future tariffs.
The Department for International Trade has launched a consultation into the global tariff schedule, which is due to enter into force on 1 January 2021. Until that point, the UK remains in the implementation period where we are bound by the EU’s Common External Tariff.
NFU chief EU exit and international trade adviser Gail Soutar said: “It is crucial that the UK’s global tariff schedule supports a thriving British agriculture. It is vital the government sets our external tariffs at a level that prevents a flood of imports of food produced in ways that don’t meet the standards expected of our farmers here in the UK.
“To do otherwise would contradict the government’s own stated commitment to our high animal welfare and environmental standards and would undermine British farmers. The UK’s trade and tariff policy needs to ensure the British public continues to have access to the safe, traceable and nutritious food British farmers have provided for generations.
“Getting this policy wrong could have devastating effects; impacting the viability of British farm businesses and their ability to produce food. Without tariff protections, we are in danger of opening up the UK to food that has been produced to standards far below what the British public expect and what is legally required here.
"The NFU will be responding to this consultation and putting forward our proposals for a tariff schedule that can deliver the positive vision we have for the future of UK agriculture that meets the expectations of farmers and the public alike.”
More of the NFU's work on trade deals and and standards:
- NFU responds to government statement on future trade deals with the rest of the world
- Letter to Prime Minister: NFU leads charge on trade and standards
- NFU President writes to The Times on food standards
- NFU media coverage: Food standards
- NFU calls for trade and standards commission to uphold food values post-Brexit
- EU Exit news and analysis