Phil Stocker, NSA CEO, said “we absolutely do not want a no-deal on Brexit”, due to the fact that the vast majority of the 35% of UK lamb exported from the UK goes into the EU, and added that it would be “irresponsible” not to be ready and prepare for this possibility.
He suggested the sector should “step up efforts” to open new export markets outside of the EU and do more to boost domestic demand for sheep meat. He added: “These are all things that will make sense for the sector even if we do get a deal, so it’s a win-win to put the work in now.”
Stocker said: “Negotiations could still go very badly wrong and there is a risk we could crash out, fall back to WTO rules and face huge trade disruption – so we need to be ready and that is why it’s important to prepare for a no deal.
“Using Brexit and the taking back control of some our regulatory functions, and a growing change of attitude within government departments to want to support industry rather than constantly being fearful of compliance with EU regulations, there are real opportunities to make progress.”