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While the possibility of the UK crashing out of the EU has been postponed for the time being (at least until 31 October 2019), it unfortunately remains an eventuality which must be prepared for.

ICOS therefore welcomes the recent statement made by European Agricultural Commissioner, Phil Hogan, committing the EU to “early intervention” with a “package of support” to assist farmers and give confidence to the market in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

Speaking on 8th April, Hogan outlined details of DG AGRI’s contingency planning for a disorderly Brexit, which include preparations to utilise market management measures such as public intervention and private storage to ease market disturbance and targeted direct aid for specific sectors and Member States which are particularly exposed. This would be assisted through increased De Minimis support and the possibility for Member States to reallocate Rural Development funding within their current programme (although this possibility is limited).

Additionally, in reaction to the UKs proposed tariff schedule, which would apply duties of 32% on butter (€60.5/100kg) and 13% on cheddar (€22.1/100kg) the Commission has updated its Market Access Database to include the UK in an effort to help exporters deal with the potential new situation.

Alison Graham – European Affairs Executive