Ulster Unionist MEP Jim Nicholson met with Minette Batters, President of the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) in Brussels this week to discuss the UK’s trading relationships and agricultural policy post-Brexit.
Commenting Mr Nicholson said: “My meeting with NFU President Minette Batters this week was a useful opportunity to discuss both the current state-of-play with the Brexit process and crucially what farmers and growers want to see in relation to the UK’s post-Brexit trading relationships and agricultural policy beyond the CAP.
“It is clear that a ‘no-deal’ Brexit would hit UK food and farming hard, especially the beef and sheep sectors. We must therefore fix the Withdrawal Agreement and in particular the backstop to avoid the ‘no deal’ outcome which would have serious consequences for both the United Kingdom and the European Union.
“In terms of the UK’s future trade policy UK agriculture must not be used as a bargaining chip in negotiations. The UK’s farmers produce food to the highest standards when it comes to; animal welfare, food safety and environmental protection.
“It is therefore important for both the UK’s farmers and consumers that post-Brexit trade deals do not open up the UK market to cheap food produced to lower standards.”