Oral Question: No Deal Preparations for Farming and the Food and Drinks Sector


John Stevenson: Farming and the food and drinks manufacturing sector matter to the economy of Carlisle and Cumbria. Clearly, future relations with the EU will also be significant to those industries. Can the Minister confirm that he believes that adequate preparations are being made for the eventuality of a no deal, to ensure that both those industries can function properly?

Michael Gove: My hon. Friend is absolutely right. One of the sectors that we most need to help and support is of course the haulage sector—this follows on from the question asked by Hilary Benn—and we are moving at pace in order to meet many of its concerns. However, as I have said at the Dispatch Box today and previously, the sector that faces some of the biggest challenges in the event of a no-deal exit is undoubtedly agriculture, and within agriculture, undoubtedly upland farmers, particularly sheep farmers. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is working on steps to ensure that if, as we anticipate, a common external tariff is placed on sheepmeat exports, and therefore the price of sheepmeat falls, we can support hill farmers, who do so much for our country by producing high-quality food and safeguarding the environment we love.


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