From the editor: Brexit - Ignore 'project fear', only you can decide

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As the EU Referendum vote draws ever nearer, FG editor, Ben Briggs argues how only individuals can decide which way to vote, even against a backdrop of racist scaremongering from MPs.


"What does discussing UK farming post-Brexit and vaccinating a badger in Wales have in common? Answer: both seem speculative at best.

"The shocking figures (page 4) from Wales this week that vaccinating badgers cost almost £1 million last year, while cattle slaughtered as a result of TB spiked, should force civil servants and Ministers to hang their heads in shame.

"In any other week it would have been front-page news, but today, standing on the cusp of next Thursday’s (June 23) immense EU Referendum vote, the Brexit debate holds sway.

"The figures (page 1), showing farmers are split when it comes to which way to vote in the Referendum, are actually a surprise to me, as many in the farming and rural community I have spoken to seem to be leaning towards voting out.

"Some are ardent in their belief that the UK, with a new sense of identity, sovereignty and control, would prosper outside of Europe.


"Others, meanwhile, are jacked up on xenophobic rhetoric and the belief global immigration and its impact on the UK would be solved if we came out of Europe.

"The biggest thing to strike me, however, has been the uncertainty many feel and constant questions to Farmers Guardian staff asking ‘which way should I vote?’

"Ultimately, FG is here to present the facts and the great analysis this week (pages 6-7) shows what could be won and lost. The decision ultimately lies with the individual voter.

"Some believe the £3bn in Common Agricultural Policy subsidies and access to EU markets are worth hanging on to, while others believe both will be retained in one form or another if we exit the EU.

"Whichever way you are thinking about the vote, it is fair to say farmers can agree on one thing: next week’s Referendum has the capacity to shape the future of UK agriculture like nothing else for several generations. See you on the other side."

Ben Briggs
Posted by Ben Briggs
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