EU agrees post-Brexit carve up of third country import quotas for farming produce
New quotas on the amounts of farming produce the EU will accept from third countries after Brexit was agreed in Brussels on Monday.
The EU has in place a series of “tariff rate quotas”, allowing in agricultural producers such as the United States, Australia, New Zealand and Latin American countries to export a certain amount of live animals, meat, dairy and other produce free of tariffs.
In preparation for the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, the European Council today authorised the Commission to open formal negotiations within the World Trade Organisation (WTO) on how to divide up existing EU tariff rate quotas (TRQs) between the EU27 and the UK.
After Brexit, the EU will continue to apply its scheduled commitments for goods, but its existing quantitative commitments, in particular the TRQs for agricultural, fish and industrial products, will require adjustments to take into account the fact that the EU's WTO schedule will no longer be applicable to the UK.
The amended EU regulation lists products from the 11,500 tonnes of beef from the United States and Canada, for which the EU27 will take on 99.8pc, to the 228,389 tonnes of New Zealand lamb, which will be split 50-50.
The European Union needs to negotiate the new allocations with other World Trade Organization members with a substantial interest.
The preamble to regulation said that such negotiations may not be concluded given the short time period available - Britain is set to leave the EU on March 29.
However, many of those WTO members have expressed concerns and some question whether the 2013-2015 period is typical.