Thierry Pouch, the director of the economic studies department at the French Chambers of Agriculture, claims that the French government will have to allocate financial aid to farmers to help them live through the aftermath of potential "hard Brexit". The restoration of customs duties and non-tariff barriers will be a powerful blow to French agriculture exports to the United Kingdom.
"I hardly see how the government could help French exporters who will face custom duties and sanitary control which also will be toughened by London, how help them given the tariff and non-tariff barriers? One of possible solutions would be financial help to farmers, in order to adapt and find alternative markets, to try to compensate the losses of losing the UK market ... I don't see how we could help them, other with than with financial aid to live through the shock which Brexit represents," Pouch said.
According to the expert, the United Kingdom is the third largest market for French agricultural products, after Belgium and Germany. The French Chambers of Agriculture claim that the losses for its agricultural sector in case of "hard Brexit" at 500 million Euros ($570 million), with the overall damage to the French economy of 3 billion euros.
Pouch explained that the agricultural exports would suffer the hardest blow since some products would face up to 50 percent of tariffs and additional checks.
"If there is a 'hard Brexit,' the UK will restore its customs duties as the WTO member. The imports will become more expensive. There is a number of products which will be affected by these customs duties - and firstly it's agricultural food products that are mostly concerned by the customs duties increase from 10 to 50 percent, like meat, grain, sugar and confectionery products, milk and dairy products, flour, fruit, wine," he said.