News ID: 237152
Published: 0820 GMT January 10, 2019

No-deal Brexit could bring British farming to its knees, MPs warned

No-deal Brexit could bring British farming to its knees, MPs warned

British farmers have pleaded with Members of Parliament to prevent a no-deal exit from the European Union (EU) in fear of its possible effects on the UK food industry.

Leaders of the British agriculture industry warned MPs that if no Brexit deal was struck with the EU it would only be the beginning of jacked up food prices, disrupted supply chain and farmers being out of work, The Guardian reported on Thursday, according to

UK Prime Minister Theresa May has warned that she would proceed with a no-deal Brexit in case lawmakers vote down an agreement that she has struck with the EU.

National Farmers Union (NFU) as well as three other key unions wrote in a letter that "Brexit will mean that, for the first time in a generation, UK politicians will have direct responsibility for ensuring our nation is properly fed. The implications, not only for domestic food supply but for the careful management of our cherished countryside, would represent a historic political failure."

The NFU, NFU Cymru, NFU Scotland and the Ulster Farmers’ Union were also concerned that up to 6,000 meat processing plants which export to the EU would face inspections by British officials before being certified by the EU, a process that would take up to six months.

This would lead to an “effective trade embargo on the export of UK animals and animal-based products,” they argued.

Another problem, they NFU said in a separate letter, was that British meat processing plants would be exposed to “draconian tariffs” designed to make any non-EU products "uncompetitive” against EU food.

The tariffs would go as high as 65 percent on beef, 46 percent on lamb and 27 percent on chicken, MPs have been told.

The Farmers' Union of Wales expressed fear that a no-deal Brexit could "wipe out" mountain sheep farming.

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