Meat industry warns of possible Brexit trade war

The British Meat Processors Association (BMPA) has expressed concern over the impact on the supply chain if the UK government suspends its Brexit deal with the EU.

In recent weeks, Brexit Minister Lord Frost has announced that choosing to trigger Article 16 to suspend the Northern Ireland Protocol remains an option if “significant gaps” with the EU cannot be bridged. It has been reported that Brussels is ready for immediate retaliatory action against the UK if the government suspends the protocol.

“The uncertainty would be devastating”

The BMPA said it was “increasingly concerned” about the prospect of short-term damage and much higher tariffs on exports if the trade deal is ultimately canceled.

Nick Allen, the organization’s chief executive, said The independent : “Trade on WTO terms would be appalling for the meat industry. The idea that we are once again concerned with trade on WTO terms is incredibly depressing. “

He continued: “We are fighting enough food inflation without damaging trade war and retaliatory measures. Another year of uncertainty would be devastating for our industry and the entire food sector – it means that all the investments our economy needs could be put on hold. “

“A big concern”

The Road Haulage Association (RHA) fears the EU will insist on more stringent checks at Calais and other border points, causing delays for UK truck drivers and ripple disruption.

Rod McKenzie, RHA policy director, said “a trade war wouldn’t be pretty.” He went on to say that the possibility of a trade war is “of great concern to all of us in the logistics business.”

He added: “If Article 16 is triggered, we know the EU is going to be upset and they are probably going to want to react. My big concern is still the supply chains. If the EU fights back, it could further disrupt the highly stressed supply chains that currently exist. “

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