A cross-party group of MEPs have written to the International Trade secretary Liam Fox accusing him of underestimating the complexities of negotiating a trade framework for farmers and food producers after we leave the EU.
The letter questions whether UK exports will continue to be recognised as being of EU origin during the transition period; whether third countries will continue to recognise UK products as meeting EU sanitary standards and whether designated origin protections, offered for example to West Country Cheddar cheese and Cornish pasties, will continue post-Brexit.
Molly, who represents the strongly rural and agricultural South West, said:
“Liam Fox’s infamous claim that securing a trade deal with the EU post Brexit would be the “easiest in human history” has been exposed as total bluster and bravado. It has become clear that negotiating a trading framework – especially one which protects our farmers and food producers – will be complex and time-consuming.
“It’s time for Liam Fox to compost his rhetoric and face up to the difficult and unresolved questions about what framework will govern the export of agricultural and food products during the transition period and beyond.
“As MEPs from across the political spectrum, representing farmers and food exporters, we are deeply concerned that the underestimation of the difficulty of this process will impact negatively on rural communities and on British trade.”