NFU President Minette Batters has responded to the statement from the Prime Minister today setting out her resignation as Conservative party leader. She said:
“I would like to thank the Prime Minister for her efforts and her willingness to engage with the food and farming sector at this crucial time.
“It is essential that a future Prime Minister ensures that the Article 50 extension is used constructively and a solution is found which enables the UK to leave the EU in an orderly way to avoid a ‘no deal’ scenario which would be catastrophic to British farming.
“The NFU will continue to assess any Brexit solution against the six principles agreed at an extraordinary meeting of NFU Council last year, which includes achieving as free and frictionless trade as possible, ensuring the UK’s international trade pursuits do not undermine our own high production standards and avoiding a no-deal scenario.
“It is frustrating that the Agriculture Bill’s progress remains at a stalemate in Parliament and it is unlikely to make any progress during a leadership contest. These delays simply further compound the uncertainty facing farmers. Our members will be expecting any future Prime Minister to address this as a priority, recognising the strategic importance of food and farming to the nation.
“Farmers and growers are still facing many pressing, practical issues on a daily basis, from broadband and rural crime to plant health and climate change and we look to a future Prime Minister to show leadership in these areas that ensures British farming remains productive and resilient.”