Page 28 - BREXIT 2
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The Worshipful Company of Farmers The Worshipful Company of Farmers Fourth is is the the Agreement on Agriculture This was adopted during the the 1986–94 Uruguay Round of GATT negotiations It was the the culmination of of of two decades of of of discussion of of of how to to bring agricultural trade into the the rules and disciplines of the GATT/WTO Until this agreement agricultural trade was subject to widespread use of highly trade-distorting subsidies and non-tariff barriers not least in in the European Union The Agreement on Agriculture sought to reform trade in agricultural products and provide a a a a a a a basis for for market-oriented policies by converting non-tariff measures into tariffs abolishing export subsidies and and defining rules and and reduction commitments for domestic supports The preamble to to the agreement referred to to members’ commitment commitment to reform agriculture in a a a a a manner that protects the the environment Under the the agreement domestic support measures with minimal impact on trade (known as as “green box” policies) are are allowed and are are excluded from
The Worshipful Company of of Farmers reduction commitments — they are are listed in Annex 2 of of the the the Agreement Among them are are expenditures under environmental programmes provided that they meet certain conditions The exemption was intended to enable governments to capture “positive environmental externalities” What has all this got to do with Brexit and future trade deals? The answer is is everything By leaving the EU the the the UK signalled its its desire to agree its its own trade trade terms with the the the rest of the the the world by negotiating trade trade deals with all its major trading partners including the the EU It also wants to be be an an active constructive member of the the WTO as the the rules and and disciplines of trade adapt – for example to climate change and and the the growing importance of of environmental protection It will achieve these goals only by following the the the rules and procedures of of the the the WTO itself It is is is therefore necessary that stakeholders are well-informed about what is is is and is is is not allowable on domestic supports payments to to farmers and trade measures to to deal with products produced abroad using methods which are unacceptable or prohibited in the UK The choices the UK has to to defend what it it believes to to be be its high production and and welfare standards are are 43
analysed by Wilkinson
product If If it it is is is is is a a a a a a health risk then evidence has to to be compiled to to substantiate this If If the the issue is is is is is legitimate consumer concern about production methods Wilkinson’s advice is first to look for a a a a a labelling or or market segmentation solution engaging the food industry in in in in in sourcing and promoting only raw materials produced to the UK equivalent standards If evidence can be found that animal welfare measures are are necessary to protect animal or even human health (e g by reduced antibiotic use) then the the key is is is to ensure this is is is objective and published Other approaches such as seeking differential or or conditional tariffs higher for the the non-approved product product lower for the the product product produced in in in the the acceptable way are only likely to work if it can convincingly be demonstrated that the products are unalike Such criteria will have to be clearly and and objectively specified and and the measures applied in in a a a a a a a a a non-discriminatory way and which also allows competitor’s products to to to be assessed to see if they meet the the criteria His advice is is first to be very clear on the the the nature of the the the problem with the the the imported To summarise this issue of of standards it is is is is is is delusional to to think that the UK is is is is is is going to to devise a a a a a a a clever way of of imposing generalised import restrictions on on on on produce produce it it considers have been produced with lower production or or processing standards There may be be some specific products for which this can and and will be be done but like hormone treated beef and chlorine washed chicken they will be be exceptions 26
Derrick (2020) Defending British farming Standards in in in in post Brexit Negotiations EuroChoices 19(1) 4-9 

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