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Minister warns farmers could face 40% export tariffs

March 21, 2017 3:40 PM

South Lakeland MP Tim Farron has warned that the government is showing a "dangerous complacency" about the impact of leaving the single market on the farming industry. Last week a leading government minister warned that agricultural exports could face tariffs of between 30-40% on their exports to the EU.

At a Select Committee interrogation last week, Brexit Minister David Davis MP admitted that the UK could face "very high [tariff] numbers on agriculture", confirming that it was "correct" that these could be as high as 30% to 40%.

Tim has tabled a written parliamentary question to ask David Davis "what assessment he has made of the impact of potential tariff increases on the UK agriculture industry if the UK leaves the single market" and to call on the government to set out measures to "to protect the future viability of UK farming".

Tim said: "It is frankly shocking to hear the Minister announce in a relaxed tone that our farmers could face tariffs of up to 40% on EU exports from 2019. With two thirds of our farming exports going to the EU, this would spell disaster for the industry.

"Leading Ministers in this government are guilty of a dangerous complacency about what leaving the single market will mean for British businesses. If this is the alternative, there should be no question of the UK leaving the single market."