Brexit

Farming unions warn over consequences of no-deal Brexit

The NFU, NFU Cymru, NFU Scotland and Ulster Farmers' Union joined forces to say that a no-deal would have "serious implications" for the agriculture sector. Picture by Anna Gowthorpe, Press Association
Shaun Connolly

Farming unions have called on MPs to prevent a no-deal Brexit because of the impact such a scenario would have on the UK food sector.

The organisations have urged MPs to "take all steps necessary" to ensure Britain leaves the bloc with an agreement.

The NFU, NFU Cymru, NFU Scotland and Ulster Farmers' Union joined forces to say that a no deal would have "serious implications" for the sector.

They said such a scenario could lead to "huge disruption" and an "effective trade embargo on the export of UK animals and animal-based products".

In a letter to MPs, the unions said: "Brexit will mean that, for the first time in a generation, UK politicians will have direct responsibility for ensuring our nation is properly fed.

"Yet, in the face of this fundamental responsibility, there is a very real risk that a disorderly Brexit will lead to an immediate reliance on overseas imports, produced to lower standards, while many UK farms struggle to survive.

"The implications, not only for domestic food supply but for the careful management of our cherished countryside, would represent an historic political failure.

"Our organisations remain committed to playing their part in managing Brexit in the best interests of farmers and the UK public in the years ahead, but we believe that leaving without a deal on March 29 will lead, very quickly, to the opposite outcome.

"We urge MPs, in light of the central role Parliament will play in the coming days in resolving this impasse, to recognise the severe impact No Deal will have and to take all steps necessary to avoid such a departure coming to pass."

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