A joint statement from the Meat Industry Association (MIA) and Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) stated that the progress “removes some of the uncertainty around Brexit and the impact on New Zealand”.
The UK’s exit from the EU on 31 January is a political exit, with the UK’s existing trade relationship with the EU remaining in place until the transition period is completed or a bilateral trade agreement has been agreed and implemented between the two (whichever comes first), meaning there will be no change to New Zealand’s access until then.
“We encourage the UK and the EU to use the transition period to 31 December 2020 wisely to negotiate the terms of their bilateral trade relationship,” said Sirma Karapeeva, trade and economic manager at MIA. “Once this is in place, third party countries such as New Zealand will have a great deal more certainty about the trading conditions.”
“We are supportive of a UK/NZ FTA negotiation once the UK is able to engage in this process and believes it is an opportunity to strike a high-quality, ambitious and comprehensive deal,” added Karapeeva. “The current EU/NZ trade negotiations are underway and the red meat sector is looking for an outcome that builds on its current WTO access rights.”
B+LNZ's senior manager of international trade Esther Guy-Meakin added that processors have worked collaboratively with the New Zealand Meat Board and the New Zealand Government to prepare for Brexit.
“We have invested heavily in contingency planning, particularly around administrative issues, quota management and export documentation. This gives the sector some confidence to continue to trade into both the UK and EU markets,” said Guy-Meakin.
“Depending on the EU/UK bilateral trade agreement, there is still some uncertainty about how the market will respond, particularly if the UK is unable to secure favourable rules for its meat exports to the EU. This will have consequences for third party countries, including New Zealand who are trading into both markets.”
GlobalMeatNews caught up with the New Zealand meat industry’s representative in the UK, Jeff Grant, to discuss the impact of Brexit on its producers and processors.