BARONESS McIntosh of Pickering has quizzed the Government on its proposed tariffs in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

Speaking in the House of Lords, and reported in Hansard, she asked what assessment the Government had made on the impact of the tariffs on UK farming and when they would expire.

Lord Gardiner, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at Defra, said there would be tariff rate quotas on beef, poultry, sugar and rice as well as tariffs for lamb, pigmeat, butter and cheddar-type cheeses. These would last for up to 12 months. Further tariffs would be retained on products such as bananas, where access to the UK is important for developing countries.

Baroness McIntosh welcomed the proposals but asked why eggs, cereals and horticulture had not been included, and why whole animal products were included but not specified meat cuts, which was the norm.

Lord Gardiner said they had tried to take a balanced approach. The tariff regime would be temporary. They wanted to protect sensitive sectors such as sheep, while there were other areas where prices were important to the consumer.

Other peers also spoke.

Lord Cunningham of Felling was concerned eggs had been excluded from the proposals. He said: "We have much higher welfare standards for egg production in this country than many other countries that will seek to exploit our market. It seems a very odd omission and could seriously damage egg production in the country."

Lord Gardiner said domestic production was around 86 per cent of UK supply. "We remain committed to high standards of food safety and animal welfare," he said. "Existing UK import standards will still apply. The level of tariff applied does not change what can and cannot be imported."

Lord Cameron of Dillington spoke of "serious dangers" posed to agriculture by EU tariffs on our exports in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

"If, for example, our beef exports were to suffer the current EU tariff of 80 per cent to 90 per cent or our lamb industry were to export through a 35 per cent to 40 per cent tariff it would kill those two industries dead and undermine the agricultural economy of large swathes of our countryside."

Lord Gardiner said that was why a no deal scenario had to be avoided.