NFU President Meurig Raymond is urging both Leave and Remain campaigners to give ‘real answers’ to the NFU’s Referendum questions asked on behalf of farmer members.
In a debate on the EU at Cereals 2016 today, Meurig Raymond will say that both sides of the EU Referendum campaign have left a lot of questions unanswered for the farming community. He added that the NFU economists have scrutinised spending promises made by the Vote Leave campaign.
Mr Raymond said: “In the week before the EU Referendum, the questions we have been asking from the outset remain unanswered by both sides.
“If we stay in, how will our concerns about EU regulation, a better CAP and science-based product approvals be met? If we leave, the Vote Leave campaign stated all current payments to the UK from the EU budget - including those to farmers - would be maintained until 2020. How can the Vote Leave campaign guarantee that their promises would be delivered?
“The NFU’s own rough calculations on Vote Leave’s spending promises suggest that more funding for the NHS, removal of VAT on fuel, reduction in Council Tax would amount to £112 billion. This is more than ten times our net EU budget contribution.
“This calculation ignores the potential reduction in GDP as a result of Brexit. According to the Institute of Fiscal Studies a one per cent reduction in GDP would require £14 billion of public spending cuts or tax increases.
“In the final days before the vote, the NFU is calling for real answers to questions, not empty rhetoric.
“Whatever the outcome on the morning of the June 24, the NFU’s overall aim is to ensure that British farming can thrive, with fair access to markets, labour and the same levels of support as is available to its competitors. We will work with the government following the EU referendum to make certain of this.”