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Whether we leave the EU with a deal or no deal, supermarket shelves won’t be empty

2019 has been a wonderful growing season, so I have no concerns about food shortages, whether the UK leaves the EU with a deal or not, says Neil Farmer, an arable and sheep farmer from the Herefordshire-Worcestershire border.

I have been in possession of an English language O-Level for forty years, but in the time since I have learned a few new words, including some I can’t print here.


The latest new word is ‘prorogue’, which means discontinuing a session of Parliament without dissolving it.


Boris Johnson hit the ground running once he became Prime Minister, and for me, he was a breath of fresh air.


For a wee while I actually believed Brexit would finally happen on October 31, deal or no deal, but now of course once again it is in doubt.


The plan to prorogue Parliament seemed a bit strange at a time when, in my view, MPs needed to work seven days a week to get a Brexit deal agreed.




That said, nothing has been sorted out in the last two and a half years, so suspending Parliament for a few weeks probably won’t make much difference.


In fact, it might help the powers that be negotiate a workable deal behind the scenes.


Perhaps Boris thought he was being clever closing down Parliament for a few weeks in an attempt to disable the remainers, but this has now spectacularly backfired.


The possibility of no deal has been postponed again, and the Government is unable to call an election, so at half time it’s Brexiteers 1, remainers 1.


It looks like the stalemate is going to continue as Parliament voted against Mrs May’s proposed deal and has now voted against no deal.


I can’t see how any deal or otherwise will ever be agreed.




All of this reminds me of another new word I learned in recent years, and in fact it was named by the Oxford English Dictionary as word of the Year in 2013.


I’m sure Malcolm Tucker from the BBC show The Thick Of It would agree with me that it perfectly sums up Brexit: Omnishambles.


After the 2016 referendum and David Cameron’s resignation as Prime Minister, a Tory leadership election followed.


Boris Johnson was seen as a front runner but chose not to stand after Michael Gove, who originally supported Boris’ campaign, announced his own candidacy.


This was seen by many as a stab in the back and led to Theresa May becoming leader virtually unopposed.




With hindsight, this was a great shame as Theresa May’s leadership achieved very little with regard to Brexit and was basically three wasted years.


If Boris had become Prime Minister in 2016, we would have had three years of his enthusiasm, probably not had the 2017 election with the subsequent loss of the Conservative majority, and Brexit would now be a distant memory, with the UK having left Europe with a very satisfactory deal.


But we are where we are, and Project Fear shows no signs of letting up.


The latest scare story is that medicines will be in short supply and the supermarket shelves will be half empty by November 2 if we leave the EU with no deal.


Whoever spouted this clearly hasn’t spent any time on a farm this summer.




2019 has been the most wonderful growing season. Our wheat crop has been equal to, if not better than the record years of 1984 and 1996.


We have had very heavy crops of hay and the aftermaths have grown exceptionally.


Our neighbour’s potatoes have looked fantastic all summer and our fodder beet, planted on May 21 into a virtual dust bowl, which stubbornly refused to grow all through June and July, suddenly took off after I applied some very lumpy 20-10-10 and it rained the next day.


Even the lambs are doing OK, having not had to suffer the Beast From the East and the drought of 2018.


I believe there will be plenty of food available this winter, even if we leave the EU with no deal.


Neil can be found tweeting at @Nelliefarmhouse

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