Molly has warned that dairy farmers in the region face ruin if Boris Johnson succeeds in pushing through a no deal Brexit. She has highlighted Coombe Castle dairy in Wiltshire as just one example of a business that would face huge tariff barriers if the UK crashed out of the EU. A third of its business involves exporting cheese to Canada. This is currently zero-rated in terms of tariffs, but under WTO terms Coombe Castle dairy would face a 245% tariff on their cheese exports to Canada.
As well as demonstrating how disastrous leaving the EU without a deal would be, Molly says it also exposes Liam Fox’s promise to ‘roll over trade deals’ as ‘mythical wishful thinking’. The international trade secretary was sacked yesterday in Johnson’s reshuffle.
Molly, who sits on the European Parliament’s Agriculture Committee, said:
“The election of Boris Johnson as Tory leader will no doubt raise alarm bells in milking sheds across the South West. There will be no sunlit uplands for the region’s farmers. Instead they face falling off the cliff if we crash out of the EU.
“Meanwhile, the promise of rolling over trade deals, such as the EU-Canada deal which guarantees zero tariffs on agricultural exports, has been exposed as wishful thinking. So far, a pitiful seven trade deals have been secured out of 69 countries that the UK currently trades with under preferential EU free trade agreements.
“A no deal Brexit is an economic cesspit. Despite the pit falls of the Common Agricultural Policy, it is clear that in trading terms the best deal for farmers is the one we currently have as EU members.”