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UK farming unions respond to Brexit vote defeat

13 March 2019, at 9:31a.m.

The National Farmers Unions and other trade bodies react to the Prime Minister's defeat in the House of Commons.

Following the Prime Minister’s defeat on her Brexit deal in the House of Commons, the Presidents of the UK’s four farming unions have urged MPs to take whatever measures are necessary to remove the possibility of leaving the EU without an agreement, whether on 29 March or at any other point in the future.

NFU President Minette Batters, NFU Cymru President John Davies, NFU Scotland President Andrew McCornick and Ulster Farmers’ Union President Ivor Ferguson issued the following statement in the wake of the vote in Parliament:

“The outcome of the vote means there is no realistic possibility of achieving an orderly departure from the EU on 29 March. A no deal exit from the EU would be a catastrophe for British farming and food production.

“Therefore some sort of extension of the Article 50 deadline will be necessary. It is critical that the Government and MPs identify a clear strategy to secure Parliament’s support for a negotiated Brexit deal between the UK and the EU and use any extension of Article 50 constructively. We cannot simply delay the prospect of no deal.

“This continued uncertainty is having real world consequences on farming businesses – and wider British industry – already. It is time for MPs to consider the concessions they will need to accommodate to support a deal that finally brings to an end the enormous and damaging uncertainty that is already undermining our food and farming sectors.”