Food for thought from a Cumbrian Farmer!

Everything should be fine, but there is a big, dark cloud lurking on the horizon: the possibility of a no-deal Brexit. This is a threat to everything we do. The uncertainty around Brexit and the prospect of trade tariffs that would cripple our business is a real worry. The future direction of UK-produced food is simply unknown.

Will we be forced to adhere to ever higher standards, while our government allows food to be imported from countries where farmers adhere to welfare or other standards that would, rightly, be illegal on my farm? Will our politicians assure British farmers that they will avoid a disastrous no-deal Brexit?

Politicians visit farms and livestock auction markets and tell farmers: “Don’t worry chaps, it’ll all be fine.” Then we hear them on the radio proclaiming that the great prize of Brexit will be cheaper food.

All this plays to my very real fear that we will be sold out as the British government desperately seeks trade deals with anyone who will have us. I believe they would happily open up our highly regulated food sector to all-comers if they’ll buy our financial services.

Selling out British farming could end up being the legacy of Brexit. My fear is that free-trading ministers, who are frustrated by what they dismiss as the “red tape” of the EU, could sacrifice rural Britain in a heartbeat if it meant a trade deal with the US.

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