No-deal Brexit risks cattle winnow in NI, attention insiders warn

4 min read

A brew of Friesian and Hereford cows

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One source told Newsnight a culling of cattle could start within weeks of a no-deal Brexit

Some 45,000 dairy cows could be culled in Northern Ireland, in a eventuality of a no-deal Brexit if new aloft tariffs are practical to British milk, comparison attention total have warned.

Northern Ireland is quite unprotected since about a third of a dairy outlay is processed in a Republic of Ireland, that would continue to be partial of a EU.

The UK is due to leave a EU on 31 Oct and one source pronounced a culling of cattle could start within weeks of that date if that happened though a UK and EU similar a deal.

BBC Newsnight has been told that officials and ministers from a Department for a Environment, Farming and Rural Affairs (Defra), have been warned about a intensity for a “major winnow of dairy cattle, though they are not listening”.

In a matter Defra said: “A widespread winnow of stock is positively not something that a supervision anticipates nor is formulation for in a eventuality of no-deal.

“We will always behind Britain and Northern Ireland’s good farmers and make certain that Brexit works for them.

“The supervision is boosting a preparations to safeguard we are entirely prepared to leave a EU on 31 October, whatever a circumstances.”

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But another attention insider told Newsnight that notwithstanding their warnings there had been a “metaphorical shrug of a shoulders from ministers”.

It comes after reports on Monday that a primary minister’s de facto arch of staff, Dominic Cummings had pronounced all supervision departments should be “interrogated” on Brexit planning and lift any issues with No 10 as shortly as possible.

There are approximately 310,700 dairy cattle in Northern Ireland, and a attention exports between 700 and 800 million litres of divert to a Republic of Ireland any year.

At benefaction a normal trade cost of a litre of British divert is 26p. In a eventuality of a no-deal Brexit, where 19p tariffs could be applied, that cost would be pushed adult to 45p in a Republic.

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However, a concerns are not usually formed on a introduction of tariffs, that would make British divert expensive.

Customs checks and paperwork relating to traceability and standards could supplement serve complications, and crucially it might no longer be authorised to brew divert from a north and south.

The fear among producers in Northern Ireland is that, if no agreement is reached and normal trade relations with a south turn difficult, a nation will be left with a bolt of divert that it will not be means to routine or sell.

An attention insider said: “Dairy herds have to be milked, it’s not like we can leave a divert in a cows they would grow adult and eventually die.

“If there is no market, and farmers can't sell their milk, they could usually keep going for a really brief period.

“We’re articulate about hundreds of thousands of litres of divert going to waste, and afterwards a farmers would have no choice though to revoke their herds.”

Industry insiders contend they arrived during a figure carrying deliberate Northern Irish estimate plants maximising their outlay and some divert being sent to other tools of a UK.

Dairy farmers in Northern Ireland and a rest of a UK could face a serve hazard if stream supervision skeleton to request a 0% tariff on dairy imports in a eventuality of a no-deal Brexit concede unfamiliar divert to enter a UK marketplace during a analogous advantage.

Michael Bell, executive executive of Northern Ireland Food and Drink Association (NIFDA), said: “The impact of a no-deal Brexit on food and splash – Northern Ireland’s largest industrial zone – will potentially be really severe.

“Given a faith on EU exports, and a fact that a agri-food zone on a island of Ireland is rarely integrated, withdrawal a European Union though a understanding would leave us singly exposed.

“Locally, a lack of a Northern Ireland executive during a time of measureless doubt for a attention is a vital problem.

“The Northern Ireland food attention and a economy as a whole is potentially confronting rare difficulty, nonetheless we sojourn though ministers means to take critical decisions and quarrel a corner.

“I would strongly titillate a UK government, and a internal politicians, to work together to equivocate a no-deal during all costs, before it is too late.”

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