NFU president Minette Batters has congratulated Boris Johnson on his election as Conservative party leader and urged him to do everything in his power to ensure that our departure from the EU is carried out in a smooth and orderly way.
The NFU has been clear that an orderly departure, that includes free and frictionless trade with the EU, is crucial in delivering the best outcome for British food production.
Leaving the EU with a trade deal is vital to allow farm businesses and Britain’s food producers to have a viable and sustainable future – continuing to produce food to some of the highest global standards whilst at the same time protecting the iconic British natural environment.
Mrs Batters said: “British farming is one of the nation’s most important assets, delivering safe, traceable and affordable food to millions, all while taking care of the beautiful countryside we have such great pride in. It underpins the nation’s largest manufacturing sector, food and drink, contributing more than £120 billion to the economy and employing almost four million people.
“To achieve the best outcome from Brexit, we need to leave the EU in a smooth and orderly way. A deal with the EU is crucial to maintaining free trade with our closest neighbours and largest trading partners, as well as access to people that want to come to the UK to work on farms.”
She added: “Mr Johnson has an opportunity to develop a new agricultural policy that works for Britain by creating a sustainable, vibrant and competitive future for our farming sector.
“We need to see policies that allow farm businesses to innovate, that help farmers rise to the challenge of tackling climate change, that enable farms access to the workers that pick, pack and grade our fruit, veg and flowers, and crucially an Agriculture Bill that is fit for purpose for the rising challenges of food production.
“I look forward to working with the incoming Prime Minister and his Government to ensure we can achieve this and that British farming is recognised as strategically important for the nation.”