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Volume 637: debated on Thursday 15 March 2018

14. What steps he is taking to ensure that farmers can continue to access EU markets after the UK leaves the EU. (904392)

As the Secretary of State explained in December, we want to ensure that UK producers have the maximum freedom to trade with and operate in European markets and to let European producers do the same in the UK. At the same time, we have a unique opportunity to support a thriving and self-reliant farming sector that is more competitive, productive and profitable, to protect our precious natural environment for future generations and to deliver on our manifesto commitment to provide stability for farmers as we leave the EU.

One third of British-grown lamb is exported, 90% of it to EU markets and much of it from my constituency. Can my hon. Friend reassure the House that access to these markets will continue to be friction-free and tariff-free post Brexit?

I will seek to provide that reassurance. As the Prime Minister outlined in her Mansion House speech, we want a deep and special partnership with the EU that allows the freest and most frictionless possible trade in goods, so we do not want the introduction of any tariffs or quotas, and we will want to ensure open markets for each other’s products, including agricultural products. We are confident that it is in our mutual interests to agree such an FTA.