Brexit will mean hard cheese for Dutch agricultural trade: report

A hard Brexit could lead to a decline in Dutch agricultural production of €500m a year, or roughly 2%, according to a report published on Friday by researchers at Wageningen University.

The report said that even after Brexit, Britain will continue to be an important market for the Dutch agricultural sector, specifically for Dutch poultry, flowers, vegetables and fruit.

In 2017, the British market made up 9% of total Dutch agricultural exports. However, a ‘hard Brexit, where there would be no agreements between the EU and Britain regarding a new trade relationship, would have consequences for Dutch exports,’ the report said.

In this scenario, agreements made within the WTO would be used and trade would be hindered by import tariffs and higher trade costs, the report said.

In addition, once Britain leaves the EU, significant investment in systems and human resources from both the British and Dutch/EU sides will be required in order to assure smooth customs facilities, the study warned.

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