NFU president Minette Batters has said that delaying Article 50 is not going to help British farmers and food producers.
Responding to the announcement from the Prime Minister that there could be an extension of Article 50 if her deal is voted down on March 12, Mrs Batters said: “The NFU has always maintained that leaving the EU without a deal would be a catastrophe for British farming. The statement by the Prime Minister that there may be a vote on extending Article 50 if her deal is voted down does lessen the chances of leaving with no deal 16 days later on March 29.
“However, any extension of Article 50 does not take ‘no deal’ off the table completely, it would simply delay the exit date.”
Mrs Batters said any extension would continue to be no certainty for British farmers as to what the UK’s trading relationship would be with the EU after this date.
She added: “I maintain it is unacceptable for British businesses, including farmers, to be in this position. It is vital that, if there is to be an extension, that time is spent productively by parliament in delivering a deal which will work for Britain.
“Simply delaying Article 50 and the associated uncertainty is not going to help British farmers and food producers – and wider British business – by itself.”