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Brian is a seasoned agricultural policy analyst who writes for IEG Policy on the CAP and a wide range of other policy issues. He is a former Director and Brussels Correspondent of Agra Europe.
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Latest From Brian Gardner
Before leaping into any bilateral trade deal with the United States, UK politicians should consider why the long-drawn negotiations on a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) with the EU has not only been fraught with disagreement, but is seemingly now dead in the water.
The British Government wants to negotiate its own trade deals with other countries outside Europe. This is seen as one of the ‘Leave’ campaigners primary reasons for wanting to quit the European Union and why, subsequently, to achieve this aim the Government does not want to be a member of either the EU ‘Customs Union’ or the Single Market.
While not the major preoccupation of European Union lawmakers in the coming years of CAP development, there is little doubt that the UK’s departure from the EU in or soon after 2019 (Brexit) will have a profound effect on the direction and nature of future changes. This is for two reasons: the resulting budget constraints and the removal of a major reforming influence on the debate on future line of development.
Current discussions of post-Brexit agriculture policy tend to be concentrated on the issue of the domestic support measures, if any, to replace the lavish but inefficient CAP direct subsidy system. Less attention is given to the trade atmosphere within which British farming will have to operate and the effect this will have on farm and food prices.
Minimal market management is rapidly becoming the theme of the European Commission’s operation of EU agriculture policy. This is becoming clear from recent actions of the Brussels executive and the statements of senior officials.
The European Union is in the process of negotiating trade agreements with at least half a dozen countries and the current putative arrangements are likely to have very important implications for the agrifood sectors.