Brexit preparedness : EU prepared to support European farmers in possible « no-deal » scenario


While the Withdrawal Agreement negotiated between the EU and the UK remains the best possible outcome, the EU is prepared for a possible “no-deal” scenario in the area of agriculture. The EU remains focused on protecting the agriculture and farming interests of EU citizens. The Common Agricultural Policy has existing tools that can be activated in the event of market disturbances and can act as safety nets, such as public intervention, private storage, crisis prevention and risk management. The European Commission has already used such measures as well as state aid in the past, for example during the 2014-16 period, to address market imbalance and to help farmers in short term cash flow difficulties. At a press conference today in Brussels, Commission for agriculture, Phil Hogan said: “Today, we are talking about a no-deal scenario, in which case what we can say with certainty is that there will be significant disruption to certain agricultural markets. Confident in that knowledge and if left unchecked, we have come to the conclusion that the European Commission has a legal obligation to intervene and we will. Early intervention has the benefit of providing not alone support to farmers, but gives confidence to the market of the Commission’s commitment to the agri-food sector.  I would remind you that the Commission has considerable experience in deploying market support measures on occasions of significant market disturbance.” The Commission also published today in its Market Access Database detailed information on the rules that the UK would apply on its imports from the EU in the event of a “no-deal” scenario. It is based on information made publicly available by the United Kingdom authorities. The database contains information for 121 countries, and as of today, it also provides the same level of information for exports to the UK as for any other EU trade partners such as the US or China. Commissioner Hogan’s speaking points are online. More information about agri-food trade between the EU and the UK and contingency planning in the area of agriculture can be found here.