The NFU has issued a statement on UK-Australia trade negotiations after media reports suggested a 15-year transition to a zero-tariff, zero-quota trade deal will be offered.
NFU President Minette Batters said: “It is more than disappointing to hear this news via the media – if accurate, this will have a massive impact on British farming - and we are still waiting to hear from government.
“We continue to maintain that a tariff free trade deal with Australia will jeopardise our own farming industry and will cause the demise of many, many beef and sheep farms throughout the UK. This is true whether tariffs are dropped immediately or in 15 years’ time.
“We remain of the view that it is wholly irresponsible for government to sign a trade deal with no tariffs or quotas on sensitive products and which therefore undermines our own domestic economy and businesses.
“We are now asking for an urgent clarification from government as to how this trade deal is in line with their own policy about respecting sensitive areas and about the apparent ‘safeguards’ that the media are reporting government will put in place to protect British farming.”