Four UK farming unions have written to major European agricultural groups stating that a no-deal exit from the EU would be 'economically disastrous'.
In a joint letter, the unions have pleaded with their counterparts in Europe seeking support in avoiding a no-deal scenario as the UK faces ongoing division amongst politicians and continued uncertainty.
The Presidents of the NFU, NFU Scotland, Ulster Farmers’ Union and NFU Cymru say it is in 'every nation’s interest' that the UK avoids a 'catastrophic, disorderly' exit of the UK from the EU.
Given the UK’s request for a further extension, the unions have asked for sufficient time to be granted to establish a consensus that recognises the needs of farming businesses across Europe.
The unions say any extension must be used 'constructively' which mustn't delay a no-deal, which they say will set up another 'cliff edge scenario.'
“For months now we have been calling for clarity. It is crucial politicians in the UK and across Europe prioritise the needs of businesses and the welfare and long-term prosperity of the agri-food sector,” the union presidents said.
“Like all EU farming unions, our organisations represent thousands of farming families and it is unbelievable and unacceptable that we are still operating without any certainty on a future trading relationship.”
They added: “This is having real world business consequences right now as well as causing unnecessary stress and huge anxiety for farmers, both at home and across the EU, who simply don’t know what trading conditions they will be operating under in the future.”