UK post-Brexit trade deals are 'minor' says Bradshaw
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Vice-President of the National Farmers’ Union, Tom Bradshaw, told Express.co.uk he and his members were finding it difficult to champion post-Brexit trade deals as he saw little benefits for his members. Mr Bradshaw was concerned the agriculture products imported from places like New Zealand and Australia did not meet the same standards as UK farms and feared food quality would ultimately fall. He added only a fraction of a percent of total trade was conducted with New Zealand meaning there were far more risks than benefits from the deal, which he explained.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, Mr Bradshaw revealed his concerns over the New Zealand and Australia post-Brexit trade deal which he fears could hurt British farmers.
He explained: “We’re trading with the EU, we always had the same standards and we had access to 550 million people on our doorstep that were literally 20 miles away.
“And so that’s why trade was deemed to be easy with the EU.
“We’re now looking at countries far further afield that have different production standards, which makes it a lot more challenging.
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“If you’re looking at GDP growth for the country, and it’s suggested there was going to be a huge benefit for the country as a whole, then I think we’d be finding a far more difficult to object to the trade deals.
“But these are minor trade deals in terms of UK GDP and that makes it really difficult for us to find any reason to celebrate.
“Because ultimately, we want things that are going to help grow the UK economy, help agriculture thrive.
“And at the moment, it feels like we’re just desperate to get these headline moments rather than the substance of a trade deal which is going to be a benefit.”
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As part of the New Zealand trade deal, tariffs will be removed from clothing, ships, bulldozers, and New Zealand agriculture goods.
Red tape will also be slashed so professionals will be able to work in New Zealand more easily.
However, the impact on the UK’s economy has been challenged by analysts after it was pointed out the UK only conducts 0.2 percent of its trade with New Zealand.
The Department of International Trade (DIT), who are championing the deal, said in its own analysis that the deal would have a “limited effect” on the UK GDP over the next 15 years.
They forecast it could have an impact as low as 0.01 percent to -0.01 percent.
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Mr Bradshaw told Express.co.uk he was more concerned about the food standards entering this country as it would be difficult to differentiate New Zealand meat from UK meat if they used in things like ready meals.
The farming boss wanted safeguards put in place to ensure the public did not see their food standards decrease as a result of the deal.
Mr Bradshaw added he has been in conversation with the UK Government about the issues he has but found it difficult to be heard as the Tory majority allows them to do whatever they want.
Instead, Mr Bradshaw was looking for “small wins” to hopefully build up into something bigger.
Mr Bradshaw also explained if the UK and New Zealand were able to utilise their different seasons then they could match up their import and exports to maximise the availability fo products in their markets.
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