TUV leader Jim Allister has said the scaremongering from the Remain campaign about the future of farming outside the EU begs the question if they have ever paused to consider the parlous state of agriculture inside the EU.
He added: “Here is the reality of farming under Brussels control:
o hideous bureaucracy;
o ludicrous rules;
o nonsense cross-compliance;
o diminishing CAP support, with no assurance beyond 2021;
o no help when crisis hits, as experienced by milk producers;
o falling returns and rising input costs;
o restraint on trade with the growth markets.
“It is against the reality of this discouraging background that life outside the EU must be contemplated. There the UK can, without restraint, increase trade with the growth parts of the world, making our own trade deals, instead of waiting on Brussels and being tied to the stagnant EU.
“Above all, we could spend our own money on our own people - putting the £20 billion per year we pour into Brussels to far better use.
“It is indisputable that such would include an agricultural support package - there was such long before we ever heard of the EU and there will be hereafter, because it is in the mutual interest of everyone - consumer and producer,” he said.
“The difference outside the EU is that we get to shape support to meet our interests, not the interests of inefficient olive farmers in Southern Europe, and as a nation we control our own destiny, able to elect and sack those who govern us.
“The choice on 23rd June lies between surrendering our future to the ever closer union of the EU, with its failed Eurozone and moribund economy, where we are a diminishing pawn, or retaking control of our own destiny and future as part of the fifth biggest economy on the world.
“It’s about clinging pitifully to yesterday’s failed idea, or moving forward with self belief and control to a better and brighter future,” he added.