Ulster Unionist MEP Jim Nicholson has reiterated his call for the interests of the UK’s farmers, growers and agri-food industry to be safeguarded in the free trade agreements signed by the UK post-Brexit.
Commenting Mr Nicholson, pictured, said:“The former head of the NFU, Peter Kendall recently outlined his concerns about post-Brexit free trade agreements and their potential impact on UK agriculture.
“I share Mr Kendall’s concerns. Brexit means that the UK will be able to pursue an independent trade policy, this presents opportunities but also risks for UK agriculture and the various sectors within the industry.
“International Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox and his team of negotiators must robustly defend the interests of UK agriculture in negotiations. UK agri-food as a whole is a great economic success story, supporting many thousands of jobs. Agriculture underpins our rural communities whilst our farmers and growers are custodians of the countryside. The long-term strategic importance of supporting UK farming and food production must also be recognised by UK negotiators.”
Mr Nicholson concluded: “The UK’s farmers and growers produce food to the highest production, animal welfare, environmental and traceability standards and their interests must be safeguarded in the trade deals signed and implemented once we exit the European Union.
“UK agriculture is too important; economically, socially and environmentally to be undermined by post-Brexit trade deals.”