Livestock Industry

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 10th June 2019.

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Photo of Nicholas Soames Nicholas Soames Conservative, Mid Sussex

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what guidance he has given to sheep farmers in the event of the UK leaving the EU without a deal.

Photo of Nicholas Soames Nicholas Soames Conservative, Mid Sussex

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what the effect will be on upland sheep farmers of the UK leaving the EU without a deal.

Photo of Robert Goodwill Robert Goodwill The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The Government recognises the particular concerns of the sheep sector in the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal as over 30% of UK sheepmeat production is exported to our near neighbours in the EU. Leaving the EU without a deal at the end of October would reduce returns for all sheep producers with the impact likely to be greater in the upland areas given the later pattern of marketing from these regions.

This is why it is important to reach an agreement on our withdrawal from the EU. However, as any responsible Government would, we are also preparing for the possibility of ‘no deal’ and we are in close contact with representatives of the sheep sector across the UK regarding contingency plans to minimise disruption for the sector.

Specific guidance for the food and drink sector is published on gov.uk. This includes advice for importers and exporters of animal products, food labelling, tariffs, data protection and more. Furthermore, alongside the publication of technical notices, we continue to work closely with farmers, businesses and trade associations across the food and drink sector to keep them informed of EU departure preparations.

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