British farmers have plenty of experience managing risk, and they are more than capable of surviving leaving the EU. Doom-mongers need to stop using them as a hammer to bash Brexit, says farmer and Brexit Party MEP Rupert Lowe.
In the agricultural industry, there is risk everywhere. If you wanted a stress-free life, then farming is not the career for you.
It has given me a few more grey hairs over the years than I like to admit, but I love the work and would not give it up for anything.
There are many who doubt the ability of British farmers to deal with risk and think a no-deal Brexit would decimate the industry overnight.
It is Project Fear 2.0 and it simply will not wash.
British farmers are among the most innovative, entrepreneurial and resilient in the world.
If we can make a success of farming with the British weather, then a clean Brexit should cause us few worries!
There may be some short-term disruption, but with adequate support and leadership from the Government, a whole host of opportunities will arise from a clean Brexit.
We are lucky we have Theresa Villiers, a woman of real principle, as Defra Secretary.
She voted against Theresa May’s wretched treaty three times, and as a true Eurosceptic, understands the damage EU regulation has inflicted upon our industry.
My main concern is the fact that because our Government has been so dependent on the European Union it is incapable of sending a cheque on time.
They must learn to stand on their own two feet and stop relying on bureaucrats in Brussels taking decisions for them.
We must not forget that any handouts from the Common Agricultural Policy are simply our money being recycled and returned to us, with huge chunks taken out and terms and conditions applied.
A clean break with the EU rulebook would allow us a real competitive advantage with our European competitors.
French President Emmanuel Macron and co are desperate for us to be locked into the Withdrawal Agreement for this reason and are willing to threaten a trade war to force it upon us.
Any talk of tariffs must be put into context. The EU has a substantial (approximately €25 billion) trade surplus in agriculture products with Great Britain.
It is simply not in their interest to start applying tariffs to our produce. By creating a bare bones free trade agreement which meets World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules, such as the one drawn up by Cambridge law academic Lorand Bartels, we can continue trading until a long-term solution can be found.
This common sense solution would negate many of the adverse impacts of a clean Brexit.
So my message to the doom-mongers is this: Put your narrow political interests aside and stop using British farmers as a political hammer to bash Brexit.
Let’s come together as an industry and make the most of the fantastic opportunities Brexit provides us.
Rupert can be found tweeting at @RupertLowe10