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MPs examine impact of free trade deals on Northern Ireland food and farming

24 January 2022

The Northern Ireland Affairs Committee of MPs examine the impact of the UK’s new free trade deals with Australia and New Zealand on Northern Ireland’s economy. The deals phase out tariffs on most UK trade with Australia and New Zealand and are the first new deals to be negotiated since the UK left the EU.

Purpose of the session

Initial analyses by the Department for International Trade predicted Northern Ireland would be the only UK country to be negatively impacted by both deals. An updated analysis for the UK-Australia deal now shows no negative impact. Neither analysis considers, however, any impacts arising from the Northern Ireland Protocol. The Protocol could affect how much Northern Ireland can benefit from the deals as goods imported directly from Australia and New Zealand may be subject to EU tariffs. 

In the first panel, the Committee will hear from representatives of the food and agriculture sector in Northern Ireland. The session will explore concerns that imports from Australia and New Zealand will undercut Northern Ireland’s farmers and consider the potential effect of inconsistencies in food production and animal welfare standards.

In the second panel, the Committee will hear from the High Commissioners for New Zealand and Australia on their respective deals, including the opportunities and challenges associated with trading into the Northern Ireland market.

Witness

Wednesday 26 January 2022

From 09:30

Panel 1:

Michael Bell, Executive Director, Northern Ireland Food and Drink Association Victor Chestnutt, President, Ulster Farmers Union

Ian Stevenson, Chief Executive, Livestock and Meat Commission, NI

Panel 2:

Hon. George Brandis QC, High Commissioner for Australia to the United Kingdom, Australian High Commission 

Bede Corry, High Commissioner for New Zealand to the United Kingdom, New Zealand High Commission

Further information

Image: Unsplash