Following the series of votes on a number of amendments in the House of Commons on Tuesday night, Ulster Farmers’ Union president, Ivor Ferguson said while the votes take us another step closer towards leaving the EU, the UFU remains a concerned at just how that will happen.
He went on to say the union was working closely with the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) in relation to planning for a ‘no deal’ outcome.
Mr Ferguson said: “We respect the referendum result and that the UK will leave the EU, however, the uncertainty is very damaging. With the 29th March less than 60 days away, decisions need to be taken urgently and a deal agreed. Leaving the EU without a deal would be catastrophic for Northern Ireland’s farming families and their businesses.
“No deal means high tariffs on our exports creating an effective trade embargo and the possibility of lower standard imports flooding the UK market. These practical issues will have an immediate and profound impact on farmers. Causing major disruptions to the supply chain, crippling the industry and rendering our farmers uncompetitive.
“The amendment that was agreed by Parliament last night to avoid a no deal situation is not legally binding but does send a strong political signal to the Government that there is not a majority of MPs in favour of a no deal.
“We are continuing to work closely with DAERA on ‘no deal’ contingency planning. However, in addition to this practical and logistical planning, to prevent the total collapse of our farming industry, farmers will need separate and additional funding for off-setting crisis measures.”