European Farmers Brace for Trade Fallout in Wake of Brexit
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.
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