Agricultural leaders and farmers have given a mixed response to Parliament’s backing for a snap General Election on December 12.
Just one day after rejecting the Prime Minister’s call for an election on December 12, MPs voted for a public ballot on the same day, by 438 to 20.
Tim Breitmeyer, president of the CLA, welcomed the decision, saying he hoped a General Election might ‘cure the political paralysis’ surrounding Brexit.
“Political parties now owe it to rural communities to lay out robust and ambitious plans to unlock the potential of the rural economy, particularly in recognising the unique role we play in delivering growth and jobs, while answering society’s demands for food production and on the environment,” he said.
This view was echoed by FUW president Glyn Roberts, who described the current situation as a ‘vacuum’, with Parliament unable or unwilling to deliver a solution to Brexit.
Mr Roberts went on to say a General Election might ‘remove the uncertainty’, though he warned it must not be seen as a ‘single issue’ poll.
But TFA chief executive George Dunn suggested it was ‘bizarre’ to use the 12-week extension granted by the EU for an election, pointing out it would be January before a new Parliament was able to properly function.
Instead, he said attention should be focused on carefully scrutinising the proposed EU Withdrawal Bill put forward by the Government just a matter of days ago.
NFU Cymru president John Davies said the union would be spending the following weeks working with all political parties to understand how they plan to support the farming sector.
“Top of our list will be to consider the approach of each party to securing the best possible trading arrangements with our nearest and most valuable export market, the EU27, and ensuring our own high standards of production are not undermined,” he added.
“We will also be paying very close attention to what each party has to say about Treasury funding for future support for agriculture.”
According to a Twitter poll conducted by Farmers Guardian, farmers are similarly divided on the prospect of a December election, but a majority supported the idea.
The poll, with 147 votes, found 59 per cent wanted an election, 30 per cent did not, and 12 per cent did not know.
FARMERS: MPs could vote for a General Election today. What are your thoughts on this? Vote and tell me in the comments! Please RT— Abi Kay (@FGAbiKay)
FARMERS: MPs could vote for a General Election today. What are your thoughts on this? Vote and tell me in the comments! Please RT— Abi Kay (@FGAbiKay) October 29, 2019