The UK Farming Roundtable, which consists of organisations representing farmers and growers from all agricultural sectors across the UK, has today warned of the severe impacts that a ‘no-deal’ departure from the EU in March 2019 would have for UK food and farming.
On behalf of the Roundtable, NFU President Minette Batters said: “The members of the Roundtable were clear in their view that a ‘no-deal Brexit’ would be disastrous, not only for our farmers but for the public too, who rely on our ability to provide them with a sustainable, safe and affordable supply of high quality, British food.
“With less than three months until the scheduled day of departure, the Roundtable was concerned that ‘no-deal’ remains a real possibility in the absence of any clear majority for an alternative outcome.
“The Roundtable was particularly concerned that some Parliamentarians continue to make the case that ‘no-deal’ would be a manageable and acceptable outcome to Brexit. Members of the UK Farming Roundtable categorically do not share such a view.”
Mrs Batters added: “Agriculture is the bedrock of the UK’s largest manufacturing industry, food and drink, which is worth £113 billion to the UK economy. Volatile farm gate prices and interrupted supplies would put not only the 500,000 farming jobs at risk, but the many firms that supply these farm and land management businesses.
“Our organisations remain committed to playing their part in managing Brexit in the best interests of both farmers and the UK public in the years ahead, but we believe that leaving without a deal on March 29 will lead, very quickly, to a struggling farming sector.
“There is a very real risk that a disorderly Brexit will lead to an immediate reliance on overseas imports which have been produced to lower standards, while many UK farms struggle to survive. The implications, not only for the domestic food supply and our wider economy, but for the careful management of our cherished countryside, would represent an historic political failure.
"A no-deal Brexit must be avoided at all costs.”
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