As the country embarks on a new journey outside of the European Union, NFU President Minette Batters outlines what the UK/EU trade deal will mean for British farming over the next few months.
Mrs Batters said: “The successful conclusion of a deal between the UK and EU is positive news for British agriculture. The EU is our largest trading partner and we have been clear throughout negotiations that maintaining tariff-free access to the EU market is absolutely crucial for our food and farming industry, not only for farmers’ businesses and livelihoods, but for our ability to continue to provide a secure supply of quality, home-grown food for the nation.
“The ability to continue trading tariff-free has alleviated a lot of pressure for those farmers that rely heavily on the EU export market, such as our sheep farmers, as well as farmers across British agriculture who produce the safe, traceable and affordable food that underpins more than £14 billion worth of export sales each year to the EU.
“It does remain the case though that our relationship with the EU has fundamentally changed and this will inevitably lead to disruption. While many traders seem to be holding off exporting agri-food goods to prevent delays at the border while we find our feet with the new system, volumes will pick up again soon and exporters will have to deal with additional checks, paperwork and requirements, all of which will add costs and complexity.
"It is therefore vital that government does all it can to clearly communicate the new rules and to prioritise exports of our high quality, perishable agricultural products so we don’t face a situation where products are left languishing in queues at the border.”
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