News 6 commentsupdate:Jun 27, 2016

Brexit: "Inevitable uncertainty feared for British farmers"

“The vote to leave the European Union will inevitably lead to a period of uncertainty in a number of areas that are of vital importance to Britain’s farmers,” Meurig Raymond, the president of UK agriculture group, NFU has said in lieu of the historic referendum vote.

On June 23rd, voters across the UK voted against staying within the European Union, with a 52% majority.

"The NFU will engage fully and constructively with the British government to construct new arrangements. This needs to happen as soon as possible," Raymond said in a statement.

Photo: ANP, Lex Van Lieshout.

Ensure that British farming is not disadvantaged

"Our members will rightly want to know the impact on their businesses as a matter of urgency.  We understand that the negotiations will take some time to deliver but it is vital that there is early commitment to ensure British farming is not disadvantaged. It is vital that British farming is profitable and remains competitive, it is the bedrock of the food industry – Britain's largest manufacturing sector.

"The NFU has called an extraordinary meeting of NFU Council, its governing body, next Friday July 1 2016."  The NFU's principles will be:

  • To achieve the best possible access to Europe's markets, which will remain extremely important to Britain's farmers.
  • To get access to markets in the rest of the world, while ensuring we are protected from imports which are produced to lower standards.
  • To ensure our farmers and growers can get the necessary supplies of labour, both seasonal and full-time.
  • To build a British agricultural policy which is as simple as possible, adapted to our needs and guarantees parity of treatment with European farmers, who will still be our principal competitors. There must be a common framework of a British policy, while allowing a necessary degree of flexibility to devolved governments.
  • Regulations and product approvals must be proportionate and based on risk and science.

Priorities for the poultry sector

In light of the result NFU Poultry Board Chairman, Duncan Priestner said "Our main priority now will be to ensure we have a supply of people willing to work on our farms and in our processing plants. In the EU, free labour movement has been good for the poultry industry – economic migration remains high on our list."

"Trade has to be fair, not least for exports of dark meat and trading stock, so we will be seeking reassurance and support from government on trade rules and will be urging them to ensure science based regulations. Research and development must be adequately resourced and supported. We need to use the next few years wisely to make sure that initial uncertainty around the UK's decision is managed and that confidence and willingness to invest is maintained."

British Poultry Council disappointed with vote result

Speaking to UK-based sister publication Poultry World, John Reed, British Poultry Council chairman, said he was disappointed with the result, adding it was too early to comment on specific issues: "As with most businesses, we are disappointed. But the decision is the decision. We are already seeing fluctuations in the currency markets and sterling has been all over the place.

"We are in for a particularly rough ride and there will be winners and losers, but the poultry industry is pretty resilient and has managed without government subsidy. I am sure this resilience will continue," he said. Reed was also concerned at the lack of any Plan B within Defra.

The BPC has been spent more than 4 years in talks at a bilateral level with China to gain access to their extensive market, but there is no knowledge of how the Brexit decision will influence negotiations.



    The whole OUT episode just shows how bad most of our MPs really are. 1st they did not for a moment consider that they were so wrong about the UK folks not wishing to be controlled by outsiders. 2nd they thought their gravy train would go on forever. 3rd My take is it also shows just how incompetent you all are, more like sheep than the leaders we as a country need. 4th They imposed on us what they wanted over may years thinking we were the sheep not yourselves. --- The answer ? --- Well, all you MPs wake up. --- Get over it and start doing what you should have been doing for many of your lazy past years. You now have the answer, start the process of getting us out of the biggest mistaken mess that you and Parliament made years ago. You have the mandate from the people. If you are incapable or cannot bring yourself to follow the people then resign just like our recent Prime Minister has done, try to be Honorable MPs, that has to be your decision, we know that will be hard however we all expect you to do it. --- Then bring in all the nations of the WORLD together and build business with all equally. Make all of us proud to be part of the whole worlds leading countries not serfs to the big corrupt eu that beggars their neighbours !

  • A.L.W. de Gee

    Since the UK receives more subsidies from the EU then they pay, it is a big surprise that farmers wanted to leave the EU.


    Well said E.G. Lovett


    A.i.w.de Gee, You are joking I assume ? One of the first things we poultry farmers lost was red Maize from the USA and Canada a huge tax was put on it to suit the French yellow maze which of course is not good for laying eggs. As Poultry Farmers we do NOT get any subsidies so please understand we in the UK pay into the corrupt eu coffers at least twice what is dribbled back and that is only after so many jobsworths have their paws on it first. The sooner we go back to the original idea of a COMMON MARKET the better. Unfortunately all the gravy train politicians moved the goal posts and we now have the dictatorship that we have now ! So thank goodness we voted OUT I would just stop all payments immediately now just to concentrate the corrupt eu moguls ! WE are OUT !

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