NSA states the case for necessary continuation of free trade negotiations

8th September 2020

With news that Prime Minister Boris Johnson has pledged to walk confidentially away from negotiations if a trade deal cannot be secured by the 15th October, the National Sheep Association (NSA) is once again stressing the importance of future tariff free EU trade for the UK sheep industry. 

NSA Chief Executive Phil Stocker says: “All the work that is going into developing new trade agreements outside of the EU is fine, but these cannot replace our trade volumes to the EU in the time scales we are talking about. Therefore, NSA is continuing to urge Ministers to do whatever they can to reach a free trade deal despite the time to do this quickly disappearing. To walk away without a deal as Mr Johnson is suggesting he will do sooner than we may have anticipated is a worrying concern for our industry.

“The only saving grace in what we are hearing from the latest negotiations is that the UK is holding fast to go its own way with state aid, meaning that the Governments will have to offer support to British industries that will be affected by a no-deal Brexit. Our UK sheep sector is so reliant on the EU market that if things go wrong we will be expecting support to carry us through these potentially turbulent times until global markets settle down and the opportunity to re-establish our role in global trade arises once again.”