Brexit could harm farming industry, warning

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A Manchester Metropolitan University lecturer has warned that a British exit from the European Union is likely to have a negative effect on the country’s farming industry.

Charlie Clutterbuck, an Associate Lecturer in Hollings faculty’s Department of Food, Nutrition and Hospitality, took part in a debate on the effect a Brexit would have on Britain’s food and farming industries.

His talk focused on the knock-on effects of the country’s cheap food and farm policy, and asked whether policy makers pursuing free market ideals really have farmers’ best interests at heart.

Charlie said: “Sadly, all too often, British Governments of whatever colour have taken a much less supportive approach to farming than they have been forced to take as members of the European Union. The big question we are having to answer is, ‘would this situation get better as a result of Brexit?’ And the answer would have to be no, it is more likely to be worse. The main political feel behind Brexit in the UK is towards a ‘freer market capitalism’ and laissez faire economics – compared with the more ‘social capital’ of EU, where there are more protections for family farms.”

Charlie was one of the industry experts who appeared at the event in Manchester, which was organised by The Kindling Trust and national charity the Food Ethics Council. The debate was be chaired by Dan Crossley of the Food Ethics Council.