Brexit impact on beef and lamb

Access to the European market, regulatory burden and an agricultural policy that delivers confidence – these are the key issues for livestock farmers post-Brexit.

That was the overarching message as livestock chairman from all four UK farming unions met in London to discuss the potential impact on the beef and lamb sectors of the vote to leave the European Union.

The worthwhile meeting saw all four unions unanimous over what the priorities were for both the beef and lamb sectors post-referendum.

Speaking after the meeting, NFU Scotland Livestock Committee Chairman, Charlie Adam, said: “It is vital that the UK Unions work closely throughout the Brexit process.

“We share many challenges and all want the best out of the situation for farmers.

“We are working on solutions for the top three topics - trade, regulation and farm support. On trade, our livestock farmers, particularly sheep, need access to European markets to support our production and price while the quality of our beef merits trade arrangements that recognise existing and potential markets.

“We need to use Brexit as an opportunity to focus support and policy on those doing the farming and to see a move towards more sensible regulation and proportionate policing.”

NFU livestock chairman Charles Sercombe said: “It was agreed that on trade we need to ensure we continue to have access to the important European market for our beef and lamb but at the same time, it is important that discussions to secure access to new markets around the world continue.

“Agreements that allow access to the UK market must take into account the sensitive status of UK produced beef and lamb in future free trade or WTO discussions.”