Sinn Féin MEP for the Midlands North West, Matt Carthy, has welcomed the adoption of a Regulation dividing agricultural tariff concessions post-Brexit. Speaking following the adoption of the Report in Strasbourg on Wednesday, Carthy said:
“Consolation in Brexit terms is rare. However I am pleased that MEPs have this week endorsed the methodology for dividing tariff rate quotas between Britain and the EU post-Brexit.
“As the lead author the Agriculture and Rural Development Committee opinion on this regulation, I am glad to see this file concluded in a timely manner to prepare the sector for all eventualities of Brexit.
“The EU currently has 87 agricultural quotas at fixed tariffs with countries all over the world. Brexit brought about the danger that EU markets would have to buy large consignments of goods, such as beef or lamb, that otherwise would have gone to British markets, having the potential to flood domestic markets and drive down prices.
“This week’s vote will hopefully ensure that there will be no displacement of products that have the ability to drive down domestic prices.
“In my report on behalf of the Agriculture Committee, I fought to ensure that the renegotiation going on at WTO level on this issue is limited to this division according to strict methodology. It should result in no greater market access nor no more favourable terms of access for third countries. This is to ensure that sensitive agricultural products are protected.
“I am pleased that a Joint Statement has been added to the Annex of the Regulation to ensure this division can be altered to take account of any eventuality, including for instance the North of Ireland remaining in the Single Market. Such a re-division of concessions would have to be carried out in a fully transparent manner, in consultation with the European Parliament.
“I will continue to follow this matter closely as the European Commission approaches global trading partners to divide these concessions in the WTO”.