Farmers in Hampshire expecting ‘uncertainty’

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FARMERS are calling a meeting to decide a way forward in the wake of Brexit.

Farmers across Hampshire and West Sussex have been reacting to the referendum result this morning.

Meurig Raymond, president of the NFU, based in Petersfield, said: ‘The vote to leave the European Union will inevitably lead to a period of uncertainty in a number of areas that are of vital importance to Britain’s farmers.

‘The NFU will engage fully and constructively with the British government to construct new arrangements. This needs to happen as soon as possible.

‘Our members will rightly want to know the impact on their businesses as a matter of urgency. We understand that the negotiations will take some time to deliver but it is vital that there is early commitment to ensure British farming is not disadvantaged. It is vital that British farming is profitable and remains competitive, it is the bedrock of the food industry – Britain’s largest manufacturing sector.

‘The NFU has called an extraordinary meeting of NFU Council, its governing body, next Friday July 1 2016.’

The statement added: ‘The NFU’s principles will be:

- To achieve the best possible access Europe’s markets, which will remain extremely important to Britain’s farmers.

- To get access to markets in the rest of the world, while ensuring we are protected from imports which are produced to lower standards.

- To ensure our farmers and growers can get the necessary supplies of labour, both seasonal and full-time.

- To build a British agricultural policy which is as simple as possible, adapted to our needs and guarantees parity of treatment with European farmers, who will still be our principal competitors. There must be a common framework of a British policy, while allowing a necessary degree of flexibility to devolved governments.

- Regulations and product approvals must be proportionate and based on risk and science.’