Brexit impasse causing 'huge anxiety' for British farmers, NFU says

NFU President Minette Batters said it is 'appalling' that with two weeks to go there is no agreement
NFU President Minette Batters said it is 'appalling' that with two weeks to go there is no agreement

The continued Brexit uncertainty is causing 'unnecessary stress and huge anxiety' on British farmers who do not know what trading conditions they will be operating in under a fortnight's time, the NFU says.

It comes as the Prime Minister is defeated on part of her Brexit deal – the withdrawal agreement - in the House of Commons on Friday (29 March).

Theresa May and her cabinet are now looking for ways to bring her deal back to MPs for a fourth attempt.

She has until 12 April to seek a longer extension to the Brexit talks to avoid leaving with 'no deal', which the farming industry believes could harm businesses and cause disruption.



Thirteen farming organisations have already written to MPs urging an 'orderly Brexit' by Wednesday 3 April. Failing this, they have urged the government to request a further extension to the Article 50 negotiations.

NFU President Minette Batters said: “It is appalling that with just two weeks to go there is currently no agreement or clear way ahead which will avoid a catastrophic, disorderly exit from the EU.



“British farmers, just like wider British businesses, have been placed in an awful position of uncertainty by our own government and parliament.

“This is having real world business consequences right now as well as causing unnecessary stress and huge anxiety on British farmers who simply don’t know what trading conditions they will be operating under in a fortnight’s time.”

She said that a 'no deal' exit would be 'economically disastrous' for British farming and is something that 'no responsible politician should contemplate'.

“We stand with other farming organisations in our call for Parliament to unite around a single clear option and if this isn’t possible then government must request an extension to the Article 50 negotiations that provides sufficient time to allow MPs and government to establish a single way forward,” Mrs Batters added.