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Brexit, trade agreements, and CAP reform

Swinbank, A. (2017) Brexit, trade agreements, and CAP reform. Eurochoices, 16 (2). pp. 4-9. ISSN 1478-0917

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1111/1746-692X.12156


Although a number of reforms have significantly changed the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) over the past two decades, a defining characteristic of the policy is its prohibitively high import tariffs on a number of key commodities as tariff cuts have not formed part of CAP reform. These high tariffs, whilst protecting EU producers, complicate the EU’s attempts to negotiate Free Trade Area (FTA) agreements around the world, and will likewise be problematic for agri-food trade with a post-Brexit UK, particularly over the politically sensitive border between EU27 and the UK on the island of Ireland. An open border could be more easily secured if the UK’s tariff barriers on CAP products matched those of EU27. This, however, implies either that the UK will have to abandon its plans to pursue ‘free-trade’ policies with other countries around the world, or that EU27 needs to complete its reform of the CAP by unilaterally reducing its tariff barriers. It seems highly unlikely that the challenges posed by Brexit would prompt the EU to unilaterally reduce its excessively high CAP tariffs.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development > Department of Agri-Food Economics & Marketing
ID Code:72126


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