The National Farmers’ Union (NFU) believes that the interests of British farmers are best served by the UK’s continuing membership of the European Union.
While stressing that it recognises and respects the diversity of views among its membership, the NFU’s position on Brexit was made clear after a decision reached by the NFU Council. The union said its decision was based solely on an evaluation of the agricultural merits of the case and that it is fully aware there are many wider issues at stake.
“The NFU will not be actively campaigning in the referendum; it will not be joining with any campaign groups and it will not, in any circumstances, advise its members how to vote,” stated the union.
“It is, however, the case that the Electoral Commission rules governing the referendum in effect mean that the NFU will be required to register to enable it to continue to carry out its essential role of informing members of the issues as they affect farmers.”
It was in that context that the union added: “The NFU Council resolves that on the balance of existing evidence available to us at present, the interests of farmers are best served by our continuing membership of the European Union.”
It also said, however, that whether the vote is to stay or to leave, the NFU will always lobby to obtain the best possible deal for British farmers.