Northern Ireland’s post-Brexit agriculture

(VOVWORLD) -The British exit from the EU will greatly impact North Ireland, particularly its agriculture, which depends mostly on exports to the EU.
Northern Ireland’s post-Brexit agriculture - ảnh 1A farm in Northern Ireland (photo:

Northern Ireland has 25,000 farms and 60,000 farmers and food producers. One third of its export revenue comes from cheese, milk, and beef exported to the EU. Irish farmers will be challenged when Britain leaves the EU because of high import tariffs on agricultural products from non-EU countries. For example the EU import tariff for milk and cheese is 41% and 22% for meat. Agricultural products from Ireland will lose competitiveness in the French and German markets.

The Livestock and Meat Commission for Northern Ireland (LMC) is concerned that agricultural profits will shrink if Britain reverts to WTO trading conditions after failing to agree on a post-Brexit trade deal with the EU. One option is that Britain could apply a unilateral one-door trade policy, which means it will reduce import tariffs on key agricultural producers without any reciprocal agreement in place. In that case Northern Ireland’s meat industry could decline by 21%, with exports to the EU "collapsing" over 90%. The beef and sheep industry fears huge losses from a switch to WTO rules. A second option is that both Britain and the EU could impose import tariffs based on the EU’s common tariffs and mutual recognition of food hygiene standards. The LMC says the best solution to protect its livestock industry would be a free trade agreement between Britain and the EU and a 5-year transition period after Brexit.

Brexit also means agricultural subsidy reductions. The EU’s Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) says a dairy farm of 260 acres in Northern Ireland receives an annual subsidy of about 90,000 USD. Without the CAP Irish farmers would have no profit and would have to close their farms. After Brexit, Britain will have to create a subsidy mechanism similar to the CAP for Irish farmers. 

In Northern Ireland, people have demonstrated to protest Brexit and requested special conditions to protect their livelihoods.