Following the Prime Minister’s shock decision to hold another general election on June 8, farming groups have called on all the political parties to spell out their post-Brexit plans for agriculture to farmers.
The decision to press ahead with a fresh election just two years after the last one was greeted with caution given the already uncertain situation in the country.
NFU president Meurig Raymond said: “With farming arguably the sector most impacted by Brexit, NFU members will want to understand how each of the political parties plans to support profitable, productive and progressive agriculture and horticulture in the future.”
In Scotland, NFUS president Andrew McCornick echoed this call, saying all the parties now had an opportunity to clearly state what their vision is for agriculture in the post-Brexit era.
“NFUS will seek to influence and scrutinise those manifestos and we will pull together our own document re-iterating our priorities for Scottish farmers and crofters”, he added.
The Farmers’ Union of Wales also pledged to publish its own general election manifesto, but president Glyn Roberts advised politicians not to be distracted from the Brexit process.
He said: “The timing of this election will do nothing to aid progress in establishing a UK framework for agriculture and we urge the Westminster Government not to ignore the critical issues at hand.”
Devolution arrangements for farming were key for NFU Cymru, with president Stephen James saying he would be looking to see what each of the parties had to say about working with devolved administrations.
The Tenant Farmers’ Association challenged the next UK Government to increase self-sufficiency in food and said it would be ‘looking closely’ at all the party manifestos to understand what each would do with agriculture post-Brexit.
Chief executive George Dunn added: “Whatever the makeup of the next UK administration, it must not underestimate the need to ensure it has a forward-looking, comprehensive programme for British agriculture which protects it against unfair competition both at home and abroad, builds resilience and supports it to produce the wider benefits enjoyed by all for which there is no market return.”
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