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What may have started as Defra Secretary George Eustice’s declaration of ‘tidying up loose ends’ on Brexit quickly escalated into Ed Miliband’s ‘trashing the reputation of this country’. e reneging on the Withdrawal Agreement and the frank Parliamentary admission that any change would be breaking international law highlights the fundamental di culty of accommodating an open border between Northern Ireland and the EU, which was supposedly part of the deal which appears not to have been quite so ‘oven ready’ as portrayed. What all this shows, with just a few short weeks le , is the cloud of confusion about what next year will ultimately bring us and makes a nonsense of producer a empts at future business planning. But with all the uncertainty of 11th hour trade deals fogging the prospects for UK agriculture, economist Sean Rickard res a salutary salvo across our bows with his belief about the consequences of present Government thinking. Feeding the nation His fear is that without a properly thought-out agricultural policy for feeding the nation, future Governments will rely on imported food and one-third of UK farmers will go to the wall in the next ve years. But on a less gloomy note the NFU has submi ed its plan to Defra on contract reform, and what it would most like to see is a more harmonious industry, whereby much needed opportunities to secure a bigger slice of the domestic dairy market and seize export opportunities, can ourish. At the very heart of this is the removal of buyers’ discretionary pricing to be replaced by a fully transparent and mutually agreed pricing mechanism between producer and processor. is to be backed by legislative power by some such Milk Code Adjudicator to see any new regulations are enforced. at puts considerable pressure on processors to change their practices which is something they understandably are reluctant to do, so achieving a progressive, but equitable, solution won’t be easy. At long last, a er years of squabbling and opposition, are we in danger of seeing peace breaking out in the dairy sector? We would dearly like to think so!