After a long debate earlier this week the National Farmers Union council voted overwhelmingly to support the campaign to remain within the European Union.
The following resolution was agreed:
“The NFU Council resolves that on the balance of existing evidence available to us at present, the interests of farmers are best served by our continuing membership of the European Union.”
Now, I completely understand that they have to be seen to be representing the majority of their members’ views on the matter and they have a duty to inform their members of the issues as they see fit. However, despite agreeing with the position they have taken (it is probably clear from previous posts that I am an anti-Brexiteer) and understanding why they have taken it (remaining neutral would have limited their spending allowance for ‘informing’ their members of the issues as they see them) I hope that it doesn’t influence the way their members vote.
One of my pet hates is when organisational conformity pushes the propaganda of a single view towards a collective of individuals. When the NFU says that they will be ‘informing’ their members what they really mean is that they will be laying out the arguments of a certain view. They may not be actively campaigning but their viewpoint will still be put across through more subtle means. I hope that all farmers (as opposed to just NFU members) will look at multiple arguments from multiple channels and make their minds up for what is right for them as individuals, their business and their family, not be swayed by the propaganda of a single view. Personally, I hope that they will come to the decision that we are better off ‘IN’ than out, but what I hope for most is that they stick up for their own position whatever that might be and come to that decision in a way that works best for them.
So, thank you for telling us your position NFU, but it won’t be influencing how I vote on June 23rd.