The text of Michael Gove's speech to the Oxford Farming Conference: Defra Secretary
He comments, 'I cannot, here, entirely pre-empt the outcome of the Government’s Spending Review.' Indeed, but it is of crucial importance and the Treasury has a long held suspicion of farming subsidies. Gove claims, 'Embracing change, supporting reform is the key to unlocking the Treasury’s special box.'
The Secretary of State admitted, 'It’s a grim but inescapable fact that in the event of a no-deal Brexit, the effective tariffs on beef and sheep meat would be above 40% - in some cases well above that. While exchange rates might take some of the strain, the costs imposed by new tariffs would undoubtedly exceed any adjustment in the currency markets.'
In addition, 'The combination of significant tariffs when none exist now, friction and checks at the border when none exist now and requirements to re-route or pay more for transport when current arrangements are frictionless, will all add to costs for producers. As will new labelling requirements, potential delays in the recognition of organic products, potentially reduced labour flows and the need to provide export health certificates for the EU market which are not needed now.'
'Nobody can be blithe or blasé about the real impact on food producers of leaving without a deal.'