UK farming unions seek support from European counterparts on Brexit

UK Farming unions have written to their counterparts in Europe, seeking their support in avoiding a ‘No Deal’ Brexit.

Faced with ongoing division amongst politicians and continued uncertainty, the Presidents of NFU Scotland, Ulster Farmers’ Union, NFU and NFU Cymru have written to the presidents of farming unions in Europe stating their unequivocal position that a no deal exit would be economically disastrous, and that it is in every nation’s interest that we avoid a catastrophic, disorderly exit of the UK from the EU. 

Given the UK’s request for a further extension, the UK Unions have asked for sufficient time to be granted to establish a way forward that recognises the needs of farming businesses across Europe. Any extension must be used constructively and not merely delay a ‘no deal’, setting up another ‘cliff edge’ scenario.

Ulster Farmers’ Union president, Ivor Ferguson, a signatory to the letter said: “For months now we have been calling for clarity. It is crucial politicians in the UK and across Europe prioritise the needs of businesses and the welfare and long-term prosperity of the agri-food sector.

“Like all EU farming Unions, our organisations represent thousands of farming families and it is unbelievable and unacceptable that we are still operating without any certainty on a future trading relationship.  This is having real world business consequences right now as well as causing unnecessary stress and huge anxiety for farmers, both at home and across the EU, who simply don’t know what trading conditions they will be operating under in the future. We continue to call for politicians to ensure free and frictionless trade and alignment on high standards of production. 

“We are redoubling our efforts to ensure that our crystal-clear message on the dangers of a ‘No Deal’ reach Prime Minister Theresa May in advance of the European Council meeting tomorrow (10 April).  We know many farming unions in Europe share many of our views and are equally concerned about the impact of Brexit on their own farming sectors.  We now urge them to continue to relay that message to their Heads of State in the strongest possible manner.”

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