Wednesday, 18 November 2020
Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
210. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine his views on whether Brexit will have a positive impact on any policy area or sector under the remit of his Department; and if the details of same will be provided. [37171/20]
Brexit poses enormous challenges for the agrifood and fisheries sectors by virtue of their exposure to the UK market. The UK is our largest market, with exports of €5.5 billion in 2019. This represents 38% of total agrifood exports in 2019. The UK also remains our largest import market, with imports of €4.6 billion in 2019.
If there is no agreement in the EU-UK negotiations, tariffs will apply on exports to and imports from Great Britain. My Department estimates a total tariff burden of €2 - €2.5 billion on overall trade (exports and imports). This would have a very negative impact across the entire sector.
Even with an agreement, the need to comply with the new customs and regulatory requirements will increase the cost of trade and will result in delays in the movement of animals and goods, although every effort will be made to ensure the minimum possible disruption to trade flows and supply chains.
With fewer than 50 days until the end of the transition period, time is very short and businesses in the agrifood sector need to urgently take action to ensure they are prepared for the enduring changes that will arise on 1st January 2021.