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Ed's Brexit round-up

27th Oct 2017 / By Ed Barker

Post-Brexit immigration: Today the NPA has submitted its response to the Government’s Migration Advisory Committee, on the needs of migrant labour in the pig sector now and after Brexit. Recent AHDB Brexit analysis demonstrated that a lack of available labour was a major impediment for future growth in the sector, and our response reflects the need to attract new talent, through both domestic and migrant labour. A big thanks to members who helped provide responses to our questionnaire – it provided some very illuminating responses, which we will publicise soon.

Export opportunities: Last week, the NPA held a useful meeting with George Eustice MP, Defra Food and Farming Minister, to discuss export opportunities, disease controls in the event of a ‘no deal’ and a replacement CAP in the UK. The latter point perhaps provided the most insightful thinking, where the Government are actively thinking over measures to address market volatility, improving skills, innovation and investment.

Trade remedies: The NPA has also been in interesting discussions with the Dept of International Trade on ‘trade remedies’. These are basically measures that countries can deploy if they feel that another country is unfairly subsidising a certain sector or trying to ‘dump’ a product on another country’s market to gain market share. Because the UK will be leaving the EU, it means that we will have to come up with our own mechanisms as to when these measures are taken out (this is currently undertaken by the EU). For example, how do we know another country is unfairly subsidizing or dumping products? What should the threshold be before enacting retaliatory tariffs? Although this has happened in the UK’s airplane and steel industries, our food sectors have largely remained free from this whilst in the EU. Outside of the EU, many may want to try and exploit the uncertainty to gain market share and we need to be prepared that the pig sector is not targeted. Trade remedies are, like many things, something you hope you will never need to use, but must have them ready just in case!

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