This report has been circling its way round the blogosphere and the farming community for the last month so there is a good chance you have already come across it. Nonetheless I thought it was worth flagging up again in the light of the open letter to the Times newspaper, published last Saturday, in which 42 prominent individuals within the farming industry stated their position of being against Brexit and launched the ‘Farmers for In‘ group campaign. The group is led by former NFU President Peter Kendall and other signatories include former Defra minister Sir Jim Paice, former NFU Scotland president George Lyon and Farmers’ Union of Wales president Glyn Roberts. Note however, how current farming minister George Eustice’s signature was lacking – he is an active member of the leave campaign – splitting DEFRA opinion (DEFRA Secretary Liz Truss advocates remaining a member).
Now, 42 signatories isn’t that many in the grand scheme of things and farming opinion remains divided (as it does in many other industries). For example, a recent poll of farmers in Kent showed a majority wishing to leave (caution – the poll was of just 150 farmers at a meeting to discuss the Brexit). However, the recent report from Allan Buckwell has concluded overwhelmingly that UK farmers will be better off remaining within the EU for several key reasons including:
- support measures will in all likelihood be lower
- prices would be depressed
- costs to trade would increase
- there will be hardship in the short term
I suggest you read the executive summary of the report for a comprehensive overview of the case against. Buckwell is balanced but the case for staying comes through strongly.
For more info visit http://www.farmerslivery.org.uk/news-events/events/launch-of-the-report-on-the-possible-agricultural-implications-of-brexit-monday-february-7th-2016