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Faisal Islam @faisalislam
, 12 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
New #brexitforensics today ... on sheep, WTO tariff quotas, leave-voting Wales, & the complicated domestic politics of shiny new free trade deals with eg...NZ/Oz and China...@fmwales Carwyn Jones warning against a “behind closed doors stitch up” that could “destroy Welsh farming”
1. Sheep farming an extreme example to take, but it is a very real one - 90% of exports to EU, frictionless trade - so much to lose from any changes to arrangements with EU OR any opportunities to offer competitors chance for market share
2. Then there is a myriad of other factors - sterling devaluation helping for now, but 60% processing workforce at main abattoirs are EU citizens. Chief vet estimates 325% increase in checks outside customs union.
At Holyhead the old lairage is now an Asda/Macdonalds- at recent parliamentary hearing there was a suggestion of reclaiming land from the Irish Sea in order to literally make the space for necessary export queues from ex Customs Union checks
4. The point of risking introducing some friction in trade with biggest European markets is to get better access elsewhere - equation might offer something in US for Welsh farmers eventually... but that rather outweighed by...
5. ... dash for quick trade deals with Southern Hemisphere agricultural giants - Nz, Oz, mecosur - is clearly going to require much greater access and therefore competition from their agri-exports - lamb beef & sugar
6. But our Commonwealth allies will be v accommodating in new deals, right?
Well in the only trade negotiation that is actually going on right now - the attempt to regularise the WTO tariff rate quotas so U.K. can be full member - it’s hardball on eg lamb export quota carve up.
7. So I interviewed Australian HC Alexander Downer who said that the deal Liam Fox did at WTO on carving up EU TRQs
“What you have done there is a deal with the EU which is highly protectionist... you’re putting forward even more restrictions on our trade than currently exist”
8. Interestingly the ERG letter from Brexiter Tory MPs seems to advocate abandoning the Fox EU-U.K. deal and have bilateral negotiations with the like of NZ and Oz - unclear where that leaves U.K. WTO schedules... but that is why likes of Welsh FM worrying about “stitch up”
9. But Downer also makes the plausible point that such trade would lead to cheaper food (same as Mogg)... others also say NZ style Big Bang in agriculture will lead to increase in productivity efficiency etc for likes of Welsh sheep farmers
10. Good fact: New Zealand lamb is produced and processed in a way that allows it to last 80-90 days versus 30 days for Welsh lamb - they are just way ahead on the industrialisation of this. But that means avg farms of 2-3000 sheep, not 70-100 (as in Wales)
11. And the message I got in Wales is that would have a huge impact on the landscape, way of life and Welsh language too - and that you can apply most of the thread essentially to the steel industry and a free trade deal with China too #brexitforensics
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