NFU leaders are due to meet the UK’s Brexit ministers, David Davis and Dr Liam Fox, over the next few weeks, with union president, Meurig Raymond, warning that the industry is embarking on “our biggest conversation for at least 40 years”.
Mr Raymond used his monthly NFU website blog to address the Brexit issue, taking the opportunity to urge members to contribute fully to the debate.
“It is vital that we hear the view of our members to help develop our policy asks which will support a strong and successful farming sector following Brexit,” he said, adding that the union’s officeholder team and professional staff, will be touring the country over the next six weeks to listen to the aspirations of the membership in the development of the correct Brexit policy.
“I hope the majority of our members, particularly the younger generation, will not just attend our regional meetings but will come armed with their views and opinions. After all, it will be their future as much as anyone else’s that we will be discussing.”
Having already held discussions with Defra secretary, Andrea Leadsom, and Chancellor, Philip Hammond, the union’s top team is now preparing to take their Brexit requirements to David Davis, Secretary of State at the Department for Exit of the European Union, and Dr Liam Fox, Secretary of State for Trade.
“The announcement of guaranteeing the existing level of agricultural support until 2020 will remove some of the uncertainty should we leave the European Union before then,” said Mr Raymond (pictured above). “I firmly believe this much-needed short term clarity will help to deliver longer-term confidence which is exactly what farm businesses need right now.”
He also commented that the meeting with Chancellor Hammond had included discussion across many issues, from domestic agricultural support to access to labour and possible trade deals.
“It was a very useful meeting as we approach the Autumn Statement and I hope it will mark the beginning of a strong working relationship with the Treasury,” he said.