British food, such as beef and lamb, will become “uncompetitive overnight” in foreign markets in the even of a no-deal Brexit, according to the Irish Independent.
The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board told members of parliament that departure from the EU sans agreement will result in the World Trade Organisation setting arrangements.
Sarah Baker, from the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board, told the parliament that this could see tariffs on agricultural goods top 50%.
“Agriculture is probably the most heavily-protected (sector) and therefore tariffs of above 50% are not unusual (under WTO terms),” Baker said. Products including beef, lamb and seed potatoes “would just become uncompetitive overnight”.
At present, there is no full exit deal, with the departure due to happen in March next year, and the UK government is split over Theresa May’s Chequers plan.
According to the Irish Independent, the Chequers plan is to accept a common rulebook over goods, and it was the ‘least bad’ option for Britain.
However, a failure of that plan would leave food producers with heavy tariffs.
In addition to uncompetitive exports, UK shoppers were warned by Patrick Coveney, CEO of Greencore, that they are going to have a hard time buying good fruit and vegetables all year round without “very pragmatic” arrangements post-Brexit.
© 2018 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Aidan O’Sullivan. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.