The CLA has set out the red lines which must not be crossed to secure the best possible trade deal for UK food and farming as the Prime Minister readies herself to trigger Article 50 which will formally begin the process of exiting the European Union.
How to establish a UK/EU Free Trade Agreement that works for the food and farming industry published today (17 March) explains why getting the right deal is so important, what red lines the UK government must not cross in negotiations with the EU and what the impact will be on the wider rural economy if the deal does not work in the best interests of the industry.
CLA President Ross Murray said: “Brexit is an opportunity for farmers but our future is reliant on having a sound trading relationship which suits both the UK and the EU. We have set out the red lines that the UK should not cross when negotiating the free trade agreement for the sector. We understand that the challenge ahead is a collective one. We are ready to work closely with Ministers and fellow farmers across the EU, to ensure we get the best possible deal for UK food and farming.”
Red lines the CLA says should not be crossed by the UK Government when negotiating the best possible free trade agreement for food and farming are:
- the UK must not unilaterally reduce its tariffs from those it currently applies as a member of the EU,
- UK producers must continue to benefit from Protected Designation of Origin and Protected Geographical Indication so Melton Mowbray pork pies and Welsh lamb cannot be replicated elsewhere,
- UK farmers who want to comply with EU regulations and trade with the EU must be able to do so and,
- there must be minimal friction for imports and exports between the UK and EU.
Following the triggering of Article 50, the UK/EU negotiations will commence. A series of ‘negotiating rounds’ will take place over the course of two years in which the terms of UK exit and the basis upon which future trade relations will take place will be established.
The CLA will be feeding in views to the Government via Defra and the Department for Exiting the European Union, as well as holding engagement meetings with European organisations in the weeks ahead.