Published On: Tue, Jun 9th, 2020

Brexit news: Brussels farmers issue statement in no deal fear | World | News

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An umbrella organisation of EU farmers and the food and drink industry, Copa-Cogeca, has given a stark warning of the dangers of a no deal Brexit. This comes as there is increasing concern talks could collapse after the last round of negotiations between the UK and EU made little progress. Last Friday, EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said “there has been no significant progress” in talks between the EU and the UK.

Copa Cogeca is urging transitional rules to be put in place so trade between the EU and the UK does not collapse at the beginning of 2021.

The association is concerned at the growing risk of no agreement and how this could affect supply chains.

They want to see a quota-free and duty-free agricultural and food trade.

They said: “We are pushing for the review of alternative, temporary agreements that could be implemented from early 2021 if it should not be possible to conclude a free trade agreement this year”.

The EU is the UK’s largest trading partner and accounts for 45 percent of exports and 53 percent of imports.

As it stands, Boris Johnson has said he will not extend the transition period further than 2020.

SEE MORE: EU fishing row: How UK’s fleet has nearly HALVED in 30 years

COVID-19 has meant Brexit talks have been taking place by video call.

Although both sides have been involved in four rounds of talks on fisheries, no progress had been made towards a deal.

The British Retail Consortium has warned that the UK could face food shortages worse than COVID-19 if there is a no Brexit deal.

Director of food and sustainability, Andrew Opie, said: “If we get a disorderly Brexit, we potentially face a bigger challenge than the food supply chain faced with COVID.”

Additional reporting by Monika Pallenberg

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