The presidents of the four farming unions have jointly issued a call for farmers to make their voices known at the ballot box today.
On the day of the European elections, Meurig Raymond (NFU), Nigel Miller (NFUScotland), Stephen James (NFUCymru) and Ian Marshall (Ulster Farmers Union) urged their members to send strong champions for British farming back to Brussels tomorrow.
NFU president Meurig Raymond said: “More than ever before, our MEPs have a direct influence on the laws which affect British farmers. It’s vital that members get to the polls tomorrow and elect MEPs who will become staunch allies in the European Parliament. There are enormous pieces of legislation coming up and we need to make sure they all deliver for British farming. We cannot allow the wasted opportunity of the CAP reform – including the lunacy of the 3-crop rule – to happen again.”
Nigel Miller, NFUS president, also commented “Over the last five years, the UK’s MEPs have done a good job securing policies that recognise and complement Scotland’s unique national circumstances. We urgently need this to continue. 2014 is clearly a huge year for Scotland and our six MEPs will have a vital role to play. It’s only a year or two before the CAP mid-term review is upon us, and it’s essential we have farmer-friendly MEPs on our side.”
NFU Cymru president Stephen James added “European policies and legislation do play a major role in shaping the framework in which farming operates in Wales and we look to our MEPs to help maximise the potential of our industry through the creation of a policy environment in which Welsh farmers and growers can thrive.”
Ian Marshall, Ulster Farmers Union president, also said: “We have a strong track record of working with all the UK’s MEPs in Brussels for more than forty years. This new crop of MEPs must be enthusiastic and engaged about farming in Northern Ireland if our sector is to continue to prosper. Every farmer must do all they can to use their vote tomorrow – you can be sure that farmers across Europe will be doing their best to get farming allies in Parliament; we can’t afford to let that opportunity pass us by.”
Voters in the UK will elect 73 Members of the European Parliament in tomorrow’s election. Results will be published on Sunday 25th May.