NFU Council agrees resolution on the EU Referendum

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18 April 2016 - NFU Council agrees the following resolution on the EU Referendum:

The NFU recognises and respects the diversity of views among its membership. The NFU’s position is based solely on an evaluation of the agricultural merits of the case and the NFU is fully aware there are many wider issues at stake.

The NFU will not be actively campaigning in the referendum; it will not be joining with any campaign groups and it will not, in any circumstances, advise its members how to vote.

It is, however, the case that the Electoral Commission rules governing the referendum in effect mean that the NFU will be required to register to enable it to continue to carry out its essential role of informing members of the issues as they affect farmers.

The NFU Council resolves that on the balance of existing evidence available to us at present, the interests of farmers are best served by our continuing membership of the European Union.

Whether the vote is to stay or to leave, the NFU will always lobby to obtain the best possible deal for British farmers.

The vote at NFU council looked at key issues including:

  • The implications for our agricultural trade with the EU and the rest of the world
  • The balance of risks of a national farm policy versus the CAP
  • The impact of the agricultural uncertainty following a vote to leave
  • The potential impacts for the wider food chain
  • The consequence for farming regulation, in or out
  • The consequences for agricultural labour availability
  • The consequence for agricultural product approvals
  • The consequences for science and R&D relating to agriculture

NFU Council comprises of farmer representatives from each county and farming sector.

28 roadshows have been held across the country to enable NFU members to debate and discuss the key issues of the impact of leaving the EU on farming.

The views expressed by the authors of the comments below are theirs alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the NFU.

  • Posted by: Robin LimbPosted on: 18/04/2016 18:38:11

    Comment: I fully understand the difficulty of trying to remain impartial and at the same time reflecting the unanimous views of former presidents - Lord Plumb, Peter Kendall, and others such as current president Meurig Raymond, Guy Smith, Paul Temple, et al...they can't all be wrong...
  • Posted by: David HPosted on: 18/04/2016 21:22:24

    Comment: Eminently sensible and well considered statement.
  • Posted by: Oliver DowdingPosted on: 18/04/2016 22:50:16

    Comment: The right verdict. Well done for getting off the fence on this.
  • Posted by: Z JanPosted on: 19/04/2016 16:39:46

    Comment: I think it's for the Britain's benefit to stay in the EU. Leaving EU would have a massive impact in economy, investment, agriculture, security, living cost and etc. The survey shows that the people who support Brexit are the people who only have up to GCSE qualification and obviously they're not fully educated they just follow the sheeps. They don't actually think about Britain's future.
  • Posted by: David BrycePosted on: 19/04/2016 22:16:50

    Comment: Michael gove said on the radio this morning food will become much cheaper if we brexit . Is it not cheap enough already . Obviously farmers will take the hit for this price reduction . Laughable
  • Posted by: robert staceyPosted on: 21/04/2016 07:10:49

    Comment: As Essex County delegate my position going to NFU council was that the majority of my members wanted the NFU to remain neutral, this was also the view of a number of other delegates, however this view had been taken without realising the full implications of a neutral position and after a frank debate on the issue I firmly believe that the right decision was reached.