CLA responds to meaningful vote result as potential tariff regime is published

13 March 2019

UK and EU flags

CLA (Country Land and Business Association) Deputy President Mark Bridgeman said:

“With time now of the essence, it is vital that an agreement is found that can command the support of the House of Commons, so progress can be made on breaking the current political deadlock. This is likely to require an extension of Article 50.”

“While the result of yesterday’s vote should come as no surprise, it leaves rural businesses still facing significant uncertainty about what the UK’s future relationship with the EU will be. We believe the best course to avoid huge disruption for farming and negative consequences for the rural economy, is for MPs to unite today in numbers to reject a “no deal” Brexit.”

Commenting on the release of the UK’s import tariff regime in the event of a “no deal” Brexit, Mr Bridgeman said:

“We welcome the limited protections announced today for some areas of the farming industry. However, we should be under no illusion about the consequences of these tariffs coming into force. Under this potential trading regime many of our products will become uncompetitive in Europe, while quotas for global tariff-free imports will create further uncertainty.

“It is vital that the Government makes clear that there will be early action to help those producers directly affected manage the impact. Market interventions and encouraging consumers to “buy British”, will also help mitigate economic and social hardship in the event of a “no deal” Brexit and significant market disruptions.”