UK and EU agree terms for Brexit transition period - NFU reaction

EU UK split and map of UK in the landscape_49750

The NFU has given a cautious welcome to details of a 21-month transitional period as part of the agreement to the UK leaving the EU.

Brexit negotiators David Davis and Michel Barnier have announced that the transitional period is set to last from 29 March 2019 to December 2020, with the UK being able to negotiate and sign trade deals during this implementation stage.

NFU President Minette Batters said: “Today’s announcement helps to have a bit more certainty for our farming businesses although clarity on the details is key. There is still outstanding vital information which food and farming businesses need to understand.

“It’s vital that there is a smooth transitional period for the farming industry, avoiding any cliff-edge scenario. This is best achieved by retaining membership of the EU Customs Union until a settled free trade relationship comes into force. The industry needs continuity after the date of withdrawal to ensure that farmers can continue to produce safe, traceable and affordable food and provide other environmental and economic benefits for the nation.

“The NFU has long called for frictionless trade with the EU, free of tariffs and non-tariff barriers. As our largest trading partner - over 70% of our exports of food and non-alcoholic drinks being sent to EU markets - access to the EU must be a top priority.

“We also understand that government will pay the 2019 BPS scheme on the same basis as now – a welcome assurance for our farmers making business decisions now such as for planting and animal rearing. We look forward to working with Government as it introduces its own reforms to the farm payments system from 2020 - one that supports farms that are profitable, productive and competitive.”

  • Posted by: Archie SaulPosted on: 19/04/2018 13:30:15

    Comment: Food seems to be rarely mentioned in the Defra consultation document. It is vital that we have access to the European and global markets,but our labour costs are extremely high compared to many,as is the general cost of living in the UK. The government must not source cheap food at less quality standards than grown here. We need a good and skilled labour force to plant and harvest our horticultural crops. The automation of harvesting is not quite tomorrow`s technology but it is changing fast.. Younger farmers need encouraging,those with better computer skills and who can adopt new technologies better than the older generation.
    The environment needs looking after in every landscape but what does for" the public good "really mean? Soil,air water qualities are important,but the public must not have open access to agricultural land.Organic farming will not feed the world,and GM technology should be encouraged.
    Direct payments should be looked at but a fair system evolved for all,not just penalising the larger growers. Biodiversity must be encouraged.Farming red tape needs simplifying,we comply with most supermarket protoculs,surely these annual inspections should be enough if you pass.Fairness in the supply chain!!!
    I could go on but I believe these are the most salient points to a document that can be interpreted to be very ambiguous.
    Archie Saul