Britain's National Farmers Union have asked for import tariffs on eggs, some dairy products, horticultural products, and grains, if Britain leaves the European Union with no deal, Reuters reported, Friday August 30th.
In March, the government under then Prime Minister Theresa May announced a plan to withdraw tariffs on many imports, including some dairy products and agricultural products, to avoid a so-called hard border with Ireland. Yet, British agricultural exports to the EU are expected to face tariffs under a no-deal scenario.
"There is no indication that such an arrangement will be reciprocated by the EU and there is nothing in practical terms to stop this trade becoming an open gateway for all EU goods entering the UK duty free," NFU president Minette Batters said in a statement.
Export tariffs on agricultural goods would most likely lead to a surplus of domestic products on the UK market, she said, while lower or no tariffs on imports would put further downward pressure on domestic producer prices.
The farming group also wrote to Prime Minister Boris Johnson asking the government to review its plan not to impose tariffs on the land border with Ireland, if it leaves the trading bloc without a deal on October 31st.
A no-deal Brexit would be a disaster for British farming, and any exit from the EU must be smooth and orderly, she said.
"If we leave without a deal the sudden change in our trading relationship with the EU will have severe impacts on the UK food and farming sectors, not least due to the tariff treatment of both imports and exports," she added.