Brexit update | Beef + Lamb New Zealand

Brexit update

We want to update you on an important development relating to the Brexit negotiations between the European Union and the United Kingdom and its potential impact on the sheep and beef sector.
Wednesday, 25 July 2018

At the end of May, the EU launched public consultation on its proposal to “apportion” or split its World Trade Organisation (WTO) quotas. This proposed approach would essentially see our sheepmeat and beef quotas split according to the percentage of the quota that New Zealand exports to the UK versus Continental Europe.

In a joint submission to the EU Commission, the Meat Industry Association and Beef + Lamb New Zealand outlined our strong opposition to this approach. Our position is that this proposal erodes our access opportunity.

The tariff rate quotas also form part of the EU’s WTO commitments and are legally binding rights and obligations. We have made it clear that we expect the UK and the EU to honour their legal obligations and commitments.

Following the EU’s consultation, the UK and EU this week officially notified to the WTO their draft tariff schedules, which propose to split tariff rate quotas that allow access for New Zealand sheepmeat and beef exports.

Beef + Lamb New Zealand and MIA released a joint statement firmly rejecting this approach and setting out our opposition to the split approach. To reinforce our concerns about the proposal, we have dispatched a team to Europe, so we can continue to advocate on behalf of farmers.

B+LNZ General Manager Policy and Advocacy, Dave Harrison, together with MIA Manager Trade Sirma Karapeeva and our two Europe-based industry representatives, Jeff Grant (London) and Ben O’Brien (Brussels), have met key negotiators and officials in London, Brussels and Geneva this week.

They set out our sector’s opposition to splitting quotas and talked through our perspective and history of responsible and market-driven trade.

Our team also met with key industry leaders in the UK to follow up on their visit to New Zealand earlier this year as we seek opportunities for further collaboration.

Closer collaboration on mutual areas of interest will play an important role in strengthening our relationship with an important market for New Zealand.

With the appointment of Jeff Grant to support the red meat sector’s response to Brexit, we will be at the forefront of the discussions in Europe over the next few months and will keep you informed of any further developments.