June 27, 2016

European Farmers Brace for Trade Fallout in Wake of Brexit

 |  By: Bloomberg News

The U.K.’s decision to walk away from the European Union may throw billions of pounds worth of agriculture trade into question as politicians prepare for a lengthy wrangle over future policy.

The EU is the biggest customer for U.K. food and drink exports, with last year’s sales, excluding alcohol, valued at 8.9 billion pounds ($12.2 billion), according to the Food & Drink Federation. Britain is also a major importer from countries including the Netherlands, France, Ireland and Germany.

Refining existing policies may be lengthy and difficult: The U.K. has two years to negotiate its exit and nobody knows yet what type of trade deals will be secured. While a weaker pound would make exports of U.K. products including grains more attractive, German farm cooperatives’ group DRV warned on Friday that Brexit could lead to a patchwork trade policy in Europe that might have “far-reaching, negative consequences” for exports.