The study concluded that Brexit will mean a sharp increase in competition for the European sector, as the UK would be on an equal footing with other global exporters.
As far as Spain is concerned, its pork and wine exports to the UK would be hugely affected, but it would be easier to maintain its sales of fruit and vegetables at their current level.
Farm Europe insisted that the EU “cannot be content in waiting and seeing what the consequences will be” and urged its institutions to begin thinking of life after the UK, in particular when it comes to the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). The think tank said that the EU should already begin to plan for a policy of 27 member states.
The need for a new trade deal is, naturally, one of the main talking points, especially since the UK imports 60% of its foodstuffs, 75% of that from the EU.
According to the study, which used official UK government statistics, the EU exported €35.5 billion in food and drink to the outgoing member state last year. In contrast, the UK exported €13.89 billion to the rest of the bloc.
Spain, in particular, sold foodstuffs worth €3.2 billion and imported just over €1 billion. The report predicted that the meat sector would suffer a “cold shower” as a result of Brexit and would only add to the problems currently posed by the EU’s Russian export ban.
It also forecasted that EU pork exports would become much more dependent on China, but acknowledged that Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands would be harder hit than Spain.
Wine imports and their link to Brexit took an amusing turn yesterday (10 October) when Conservative MEP Daniel Hannan tried to make a point about Chilean wine and tariffs.
The pro-Brexit parliamentarian erroneously said that the wine wouldn’t be 14% more expensive, as per a report handed to British trade minister Liam Fox, and that the UK would in fact be able to scrap the “32% EU tariff” it is currently subject to.
Unfortunately for Hannan, he was quoting mistaken figures that were corrected earlier this year and Chilean wine is actually imported tariff-free under the terms of a trade agreement between the EU and Chile. The MEP later admitted his error after many of his Twitter follows pointed out his mistake and reminded him that maybe the UK should consult experts on matters of global trade.
Turns out the EU applies a 32% tariff to all New World wine except Chile's. Mea culpa.
— Daniel Hannan (@DanielJHannan) October 10, 2016