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From the editor: Praying for currency miracles is a dangerous game

To suggest that a potential drop in the value of the pound could offset some of the negative implications of World Trade Organisation tariffs seems as dangerous as it is preposterous, but that is exactly what Farming Minister and noted Brexiteer George Eustice has done this week.

His comments have been met with scorn by industry leaders, and quite rightly. They are views which seem at odds with the belief many have that Brexit will embolden, not weaken, the economy, and add another layer of farce as the EU exit date draws near.

 

It also makes you wonder whether, really, our politicians are now bothered about the impact Brexit will have on the farming sector, especially when you consider that a drop in sterling would turn the screw on input costs and push them up.

 

And this is at a time when many are already struggling with the price of fertiliser, feed and fodder.

 

Concerns are also mounting about future labour provision, with the potential impact on vets, the processing sector and larger scale farms a theme running throughout this week’s Farmers Guardian.

 

With the UK labour market already tight and many who want to work actually in work, the need for foreign staff has been clear for a while.


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Whether the Government has acknowledged this, however, is not clear, but there are many parts of agriculture which will need access to overseas labour to keep them running, whether in or out of Europe, and is why the likes of the NFU and others are keeping it near the top of their agendas.

 

With most of the country living in urban areas and with seemingly little comprehension of where their food comes from, maybe the likes of Mr Eustice are now turning their thoughts to keeping food as cheap as possible for the majority of the populous in the event of a catastrophic no-deal scenario.

 

By letting exports flood in, maybe they hope to quell rising public anger towards the political mess our MPs are overseeing.

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