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Farming union reveals fix to ‘align’ and protect UK from zero-tariff New Zealand deal ruin

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Tom Bradshaw spoke to Express.co.uk about his and his fellow farmers’ concerns about the New Zealand trade deal and its impact on UK farmers. Mr Bradshaw was worried there was not much reciprocity for British agriculture businesses as New Zealand has opened up its trade to a much larger market whereas UK farmers see only a new market a fraction in size. But Mr Bradshaw gave his verdict on the deal and how certain measures could be introduced to protect farmers, arguing both countries should make the most of their peak seasons to do it.

Speaking to Express.co.uk, Mr Bradshaw was asked how UK farmers could benefit from the deal and what they would like to see to make it work for them.

He explained: “We have 70 million consumers, they’ve got five million in New Zealand. 

“So that doesn’t feel very reciprocal as a starting point. 

“But it’s going to be about seasonality and making sure that we can export to their country in our peak season and then we may be able to import from New Zealand in their peak season and in our offseason.

“Making sure that the two countries really do align and work out how we trade for the interests of both countries. 

“With that population, that differential is never going to make that easy and I guess that’s why we’re really concerned.”

Mr Bradshaw then used some agriculture sub-sectors as examples for what could be done to protect both sides.

He continued: “If you look at some sectors that could come under, we’re less than 50 percent self-sufficient in apples and in New Zealand, horticulture is a really big sector. 

“We wouldn’t want to undermine our horticultural sector which got huge opportunity to grow, it’s a bulky product so when we’re looking at carbon footprints and importing it’s something that we should be pretty nervous about. 

“And we really should be looking to drive the growth of that sector here in the UK rather than importing products to replace it.”

The New Zealand trade deal was announced almost a month ago which lifts tariffs on goods such as clothing, ships and agriculture.

Professionals will also find it easier to work in New Zealand as red tape is slashed.

Red tape will also be slashed so professionals will be able to work in New Zealand more easily.

However, analysts suggest the deal’s impact on the UK’s economy is fairly small as the UK only conducts 0.2 percent of its trade with New Zealand.

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The Department of International Trade (DIT), which is championing the deal, said in its own analysis that the deal would have a “limited effect” on the UK GDP over the next 15 years.

They believe the deal could have an impact as low as 0.01 percent or even -0.01 percent.

Mr Bradshaw also told Express.co.uk he was worried about the food standards dropping in the country if further agriculture deals were carried out.

He explained many prepared recipes, like ready meals, could use New Zealand goods in them which would prevent the British consumer from making an informed choice.

Mr Bradshaw added he has been in conversation with the UK Government about the issues he has but found it difficult to be heard as the Tory majority allows them to do whatever they want.

Instead, Mr Bradshaw was looking for “small wins” to hopefully build up into something bigger.



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