Millions of lambs ‘may go to waste’ after no-deal Brexit

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The imposition of tariffs and regulatory checks in the event of a no-deal could lead to millions of lamb carcasses going to waste, a rural group warns.

A no-deal after the transition period ends on 31 December 2020 will have a detrimental effect on the UK farming sectors most dependent on trade with the EU.

Between 2013-17, 82% of the UK beef and 78% of the dairy/eggs and fruit and vegetables that were exported went to the bloc.

But it is the lamb sector that is considered to be one of the most vulnerable, with 89% of all sheep-meat exports finding their way to the EU.

Estimates by the Country Land and Business Association (CLA) show that if exports remain at 2019 levels, but tariffs are imposed, about 3 million lamb carcasses normally destined for the EU would not find a market there.

Millions of lambs would have to come back to the UK market, leading to depressed prices and nearly two million carcasses unsold.

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