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50 Brexit questions for Government on Backing British Farming Day

11th Sep 2019 / By Alistair Driver

With 50 days until, in theory at least, we leave the EU, the NFU, with input from NPA, has set out 50 outstanding questions for Government regarding the Brexit process.

Back British FarmingToday is Back British Farming Day, when, despite the prorogation of Parliament, the farming industry makes its case to MPs about what it contributes to the economy and society. 

As the threat of an October 31 no deal looms, the NFU has marked the day by posing the questions that farmers desparately need answers to. 

The NPA had an input into the questions, which cover a number of issues of huge relevance to the pig sectors, including new export tariffs, the impact of reduced import tariffs, import standards, access to China and labour availability.

NPA senior policy advisor Ed Barker said: "This long list of unanswered questions shows just how many hugely important issues remain unresolved when it comes to a Brexit no deal for the pig sector and the whole of agriculture." 

Questions most relevant to the pig sector include:

What is the Government doing to ensure that on day 1 of a no deal exit there is no disruption to our terms of trade with key export markets such as China as a result of the change in the UK’s trading status outside of the EU?

What is the UK doing to address the high agricultural tariffs the UK would suddenly face on EU exports?

The UK exports more than £1.2bn worth of beef, pork, lamb and poultry to the EU. In the event that the EU applies its full external tariff on UK exports, this would equate to £647m new taxes on our products. What compensation will be made available to UK livestock farmers?

Will the Government commit to swift remedial action to prevent a flood of imports entering the UK market as a result of the UK’s import tariffs being set at zero or too low?

What steps is the Government taking to establish a Trade and Standards Commission to ensure UK farmers are not undercut by product entering the UK market that does not meet our production standards?

Will the Government reinstate the former tariff protections in place prior to a no-deal once a free and frictionless trade deal with the EU is secured?

What steps are the Government taking to ensure that farmers are not made to pay for and arrange for the disposal of unmarketable livestock, particularly in the pig and poultry sectors?

What action is Government taking to secure the approval of the UK as a country listed for the export of animals and products of animal origin to the EU?

Will the government guarantee that live animals and perishable fresh produce will have priority for swift passage at the borders?

How will the government ensure farmers and growers can recruit sufficient workers in the final few critical months of the year?

Is the Government committed to maintaining a common rule book with the EU for agri-food, in order to minimise friction at the border?

Will there be sufficient vets trained and available to perform all the required government Official Veterinary functions?

Is the Government confident that the UK farmed livestock sector will be able to access vital medicines in the short and medium term so that animal health and welfare is not compromised?

To see the full list of questions, click here