THE National Sheep Association (NSA) has welcomed the announcement from the UK Government of listed EU status.

This will allow UK sheepmeat exporters to continue to sell to the EU post-Brexit. NSA was concerned leaving without this assurance would have led to serious disruptions in the UK market.

Eleanor Phipps of NSA said: “NSA is very pleased to hear this news as it means there will be no period of lost trade. UK farmers can rest assured there will remain a market for their products in the EU from the point we leave, potentially as soon as this Friday. “It is pleasing this information has come now before the next Brexit deadline, which is just three days away. Had we left without listed status being secured, sheepmeat exporters would have lost access to the EU market overnight with no knowledge of when it may be returned, which would have been very damaging for the industry.

"With the assurance exporters can rest assured the market will remain if we leave without a deal.”

NSA is however still emphasising the risks of a no-deal as tariffs will apply to UK lamb exports.

Miss Phipps said: “In order to utilise the now secured EU market for UK sheepmeat, exporters will have to face the 40-50 percent tariffs to export as NSA has previously warned. In that context, we’re still very clear that a no deal Brexit would not be desirable for our industry.”