BMPA warns of “very damaging” effects of removing NI protocol on food prices
Speaking on Radio Ulster’s The Nolan Show, trade policy adviser for the British Meat Processors Association (BMPA) Peter Hardwick said the impacts of the UK government discarding the Northern Ireland (NI) Protocol could potentially be “very damaging” for the food sector.
When asked about the impacts on food prices if the British government were to “unilaterally pull” the NI Protocol, Hardwick said the result would depend upon the EU’s reaction to the move. He said: “[The EU] have a number of options, and those include looking more widely at the trading cooperation agreement (TCA). This is because the Protocol is an integral part of the TCA. “
Hardwick added that, in a trade war situation, the EU might announce that the existing TCA is no longer an agreement because the UK has broken it. He said that the EU might then start imposing tariffs on British goods as a punitive measure.
He went onto explain that tariffs in the beef sector for anyone who doesn’t have a trade agreement with the EU run from 60% to 100%. According to Hardwick, the ad valorem equivalent duty for beef carcases is around 100%.
He concluded: “It would massively increase food prices, that’s the simple answer.”
Hardwick also discussed some misinterpretations of what Article 16 does and doesn’t allow for. He said: “It think we have to be very clear that Article 16 allows for quite a lot of scope but it also says very clearly that the measures should be temporary in nature. They are not an excuse for getting rid of the NI Protocol. They may allow or permit a government to modify parts of it for a period of time until a better solution is found. So, anyone who thinks that Article 16 is a better way of getting rid of the protocol hasn’t read it carefully.”