From the editor: United States trade deal with Europe could be Trumped


THERE is a brilliant teaser for the latest season of the BBC’s Have I Got News for You programme which sees presenters Ian Hislop and Paul Merton looking into a crystal ball earlier this year and ridiculing ‘predictions’ that the UK would leave the European Union, David Cameron would resign and Theresa May would become Prime Minister, while Ed Balls would star on Strictly Come Dancing and Boris Johnson would be made Foreign Secretary.


Perhaps the only ‘unbelievable’ scenario the duo omitted was the fact Donald Trump would beat Hillary Clinton in the US presidential election.

And that was no joke.


On Wednesday, as Farmers Guardian went to press, Donald Trump made his first speech as President-elect of the United States as the world looked on – partly with intrigue, partly with disbelief.


While social media was predictably swamped with a tirade of witty jokes about Trump’s victory – some of them extremely funny and certainly offering some light relief among the hysteria – the financial institutions rallied in the face of sliding markets and tumbling share prices.


It is a scenario which echoed that of June 24, when we woke up to the news the UK had voted to leave the European Union. Again, many experienced feelings of disbelief and intrigue.


A bit like the aftershock of an earthquake, the consequences of such a historic decision will affect the global markets for years to come.

The billionaire businessman has already signalled his dislike of free trade agreements and threatened to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership.


Negotiations between the EU and the US over the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership could also be dropped.


We are told time and time again UK farming operates in a global market, so these agreements matter to us and the future of our industry.


Farming is a long-term business, often having to cope with short-term political decisions. In this era of growing global uncertainty, politicians, lobbyists and professional negotiators must be of the highest quality, and, perhaps more importantly, be determined to achieve the best outcomes for their sector and country.


Which is why it is so important our leaders find a middle ground and develop the best deal they can.


Lives and businesses depend on it.


And finally...


The Field Nurse initiative which our late colleague Louise Hartley was a great supporter of is having a huge impact on the lives of farmers and their families.


This weeks from the editor comes from Olivia Midgley, Head of News and Business

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