Many farmers voted leave without fully realising the consequences, John Montagu, 11th Earl of Sandwich said during a House of Lords debate.
The House of Lords yesterday debated the impact of Brexit on farmers, and the government’s response to this as it prepares to begin negotiating Britain’s exit from the EU.
The debate was called by Conservative Baroness Anne McIntosh, a former shadow minister for environment, food and rural affairs and former chair of the EFRA Committee
The Earl of Sandwich was one of the biggest critics of leaving the EU in the debate.
He said: "Generally, I think there has been considerable dismay among farmers since Brexit simply because of the threat to their farm payments.
"The new Secretary of State will have to persuade the Chancellor that smaller farmers and hill farmers will not be able to carry on unless they are given stronger reassurances of support.
"In 2013, farmers received €2.6 billion under Pillar 1 and €637 million for agri-environment and rural development under “green” Pillar 2.
"How will the government ensure that British farmers continue to receive these payments?
"There are fears that direct payments will be significantly less under the new Government because of the continuing need for austerity.
"Farmers will have to receive this level of support or the whole fabric of rural society and the countryside will collapse—we heard of the situation in Wales.
The Earl then went on to talk about the fluctuating milk prices, and how it is a 'continual source of grievance' for farmers.
"There is wide disparity between farmers supplying milk to supermarkets at 30p a pint, or close to it, and others sending milk to companies like Arla for processed milk products with a price for ever in the low 20s.
"This is the result of oversupply worldwide and I will not go into it now. The EU has helped with emergency payments, but can we assume that this Government, outside the EU, will do any better?"