The government’s new import tariff regime will provide certainty for farmers by largely maintaining import tariffs at present levels, the NFU said after legislation implementing the UK Global Tariff (UKGT) was laid in Parliament.
NFU President Minette Batters stressed the importance of applying the tariff rates set out in the UKGT should the UK fail to reach an agreement with the EU. This is especially important for domestically produced goods which would face very high tariff costs to export into the EU in a no-deal situation.
“The majority of British farmers will be pleased that the government is sticking to the tariff regime it announced in the Spring, whether or not we strike a deal with the EU. Doing so ensures fairness for farmers and will help to prevent a flood of new imports of food produced in ways that would be illegal here,” said Batters.
“Of course, these new tariff costs would come into force on imports from the EU in a no-deal scenario, which no-one wants to see. Such an outcome would have severe ramifications for the long-term future of British farming, despite the important protections the UKGT will provide. I would stress the importance of reaching a deal with the EU for our nation’s food and drink sector, which is currently worth more than £120 billion to the national economy.”