Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Government giving mixed messages to agriculture

With Parliament now dissolved, the House of Lords Energy and Environment Sub-Committee has produced its report on Brexit and agriculture: Brexit report

The report implies that Government has not sorted out its priorities in relation to the sector: 'The Government is currently giving mixed messages to the agricultural sector. Its vision for the UK as a leading free-trade nation with low tariff barriers to the outside world does not sit easily with its declared commitment to high quality and welfare standards in the UK farming sector. Combining and delivering these two objectives will be a considerable challenge.'

The report notes the reliance of the UK agri-food sector on both permanent and seasonal labour from other EU countries. 'This is an immediate challenge which the Government must address urgently.'

The report warns, 'Farmers risk high tariffs and non-tariff barriers on exports, which could render their business uncompetitive, while simultaneously having to adjust to a new UK policy for funding.'

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