UK no-deal tariff beef plans ‘a direct hit’ of €800 million

The tariff regime in the event of a no-deal Brexit would be a disastrous scenario for Irish farmers, according to the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA).

After last night’s defeat of the withdrawal agreement in Westminster, IFA president Joe Healy said the prospect of a no deal has moved closer.

“Our most exposed sectors, particularly beef, simply will not survive the kind of tariffs being talked about. This would have a devastating effect in the rural economy,” he said.

We export over 50% of our beef to the UK. If this is subject to tariffs, it will be a ‘direct hit’ of almost €800 million on the sector.

If the UK decide to have zero tariffs on food imports this would also be hugely problematic as it is likely, under WTO rules, that zero tariffs would be applied to all countries.

This could expose Irish food to competition from low cost, low standard imports from non-EU countries.

A tariff rate quota regime would see a similar situation where Ireland would have to compete against low cost imports for our part of that quota.

Overall, any ‘no-deal’ UK regime will be very damaging for Irish farmers.

The IFA president said that the European Commission and the Government will have to honour the political commitments they have given to provide a comprehensive package in the event of a no-deal Brexit.