A Leader article in The Economist says the food industry would suffer from EU protectionism, with farmers facing tariffs of 40% or more on lamb and beef exports. Research by UK in a Changing Europe, an academic think-tank, suggests that food prices would rise by as much as 4%.
The government’s own modelling suggests the hit to GDP after 15 years would be almost 8% with no deal, against less than 5% for a thin Canadian-style one.
It says the only big obstacles to an agreement are fish and the EU’s desire for a credible regime to police state aid to industry.
Fisheries contribute barely 0.2% of European GDP and both sides would suffer from there being no deal. European vessels would lose access to richer British waters; British fishermen would lose tariff-free access to the EU market, which buys 70% of their catch. The French are insisting that the EU’s over-generous quotas should persist after Britain leaves.