Following Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal defeat, farming groups, including the National Farmers Union (NFU) and the Country Land and Business Association (CLA), are warning against crashing out of the European Union with no deal.
The groups agree that a no-deal Brexit, which is looking increasingly likely according to the NFU, would have a ‘serious impact’ on rural businesses as the political crisis surrounding leaving the EU deepens.
As a spokesman for the CLA commented, losing the vote at this critical stage means rural businesses continue to face significant uncertainty on the nature of the UK’s departure from the EU.
He added that the Government must come up with a plan which can provide the opportunities that leaving the EU presents. The plan must include actions to protect farms, businesses and communities across the countryside and help ensure that there is a free and frictionless trade between the UK and EU.
Moreover, a spokeswoman for the NFU said that the uncertainty around Brexit has already damaged business confidence and investment decisions throughout the food and farming industry.
She went on to say that the NFU has always said that reaching a Brexit deal is a priority, as long as it is one that allows for free and frictionless trade with the EU, which is the UK’s biggest trading partner.
The National Sheep Association (NSA) agreed that not having a deal in sight is “very concerning”, as leaving with no deal in place would be “extremely damaging for sheep farming” and the wider agricultural industry.