UK farmers urge MPs to avoid no-deal Brexit

Farmers’ representatives from all four UK countries have united to highlight their concerns over a potentially “catastrophic” no-deal Brexit.

The Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU) and its counterparts in England, Scotland and Wales are urging MPs to “take all necessary steps” to ensure that UK farmers won’t face cripplingly high tariffs on exports to the European Union after March 29.

Brexit concerns: Photo: Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA Wire

Brexit concerns: Photo: Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA Wire

In a letter to every Member of Parliament ahead of the Commons vote on the prime minister’s Brexit deal, the farming unions have said that elected representatives should “recognise the severe impact no deal will have” and to “take all steps necessary to avoid such a departure coming to pass”.

They also said: “There is a very real risk that a disorderly Brexit will lead to an immediate reliance on overseas imports, produced to lower standards, while many UK farms struggle to survive.

“The implications, not only for domestic food supply but for the careful management of our cherished countryside, would represent an historic political failure.”

The unions go on to say: “Our organisations remain committed to playing their part in managing Brexit in the best interests of farmers and the UK public in the years ahead, but we believe that leaving without a deal on March 29 will lead, very quickly, to the opposite outcome.”