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Ed tells 5 Live listeners what a no deal Brexit would mean for bacon and sausages

30th Jul 2019 / By Alistair Driver

The NPA’s Ed Barker has told Radio 5 Live listeners how the UK pork industry could be seriously damaged by a no deal exit at the end of October.

EdBarkerNPAMichael Gove, now helping to formulate Brexit no deal preparations at the Cabinet Office, said at the weekend that the Government was now ‘working on the assumption’ of a no-deal Brexit. He was subsequently contradicted by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who said a no deal was still ‘a million-to-one’ chance, although he stressed it was important to prepare for the eventuality.

Either way, there is no doubt that the prospects of a no deal are increasing – and Ed was interviewed by Nicky Campbell on the 5 Live breakfast show, as part of a feature looking at the implications of a no deal for various breakfast ingredients.

You can hear Ed’s interview from about 8.10am here

He highlighted how UK pig producers would no longer have the protection of EU tariffs on imports from non-EU countries. These would be replaced, under Government proposals, by much lower tariffs, while UK pork exports to the EU would face new high tariffs.  

“It means we would be able to import food from anywhere around the world, as opposed to just Europe, from where we do at the moment," Ed said. "The cost of production in places like the USA, for example, is extremely low and they would comfortably be able to undercut the entire UK market.

“At the same time the UK exports about 50% of its pork to the EU and losing that market overnight would be a significant challenge, and would have a knock-on impact on producers and the way in which we can provide the nation’s bacon and sausages."

Ed, who highlighted the welfare standards of Red Tractor pork, stressed that it was difficult for the industry to prepare for the future, with uncertainty about whether ‘half of our entire market is going to be removed overnight’. “In a short space of time and with the uncertainty, there is only so much you can do,” he said.

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