By John Murray
THE main concern for Ayrshire farmers surrounding Brexit is ‘the uncertainty’ an industry spokesperson said today.
While a recent survey carried out for the National Farmers Union, at the tail end of the summer, said 74% of the farmers questioned hadn’t made any changes to their business for leaving the European Union, NFU Ayrshire regional manager, Christine Cuthbertson said: “It’s difficult to prepare if you don’t know what you are preparing for.
“Farmers have to make decisions now regarding what crops to plant or when to put their sheep out in the field for breeding, for example, but it’s all stops and starts and they just don’t know what’s happening with imports or exports or stockpiling for lamb or beef.”
Christine said it would be difficult for her organisation’s members ‘to carry on as normal’.
The other huge concern for farmers and people working in ‘down-stream processing’ for the agriculture industry, is the threat of a ‘no deal’ Brexit.
“It’s hard to invest in your business if you don’t know where you are supposed to be investing.
“These are family industries that don’t know what is happening with new tariffs on things like feed stuff.
“In addition, the quality of Scottish lamb and beef has to be protected.”
In response to the Oliver Letwin amendment which saw Boris Johnston having to ask for an extension to the Brexit process. NFU President Minette Batters released the following statement on the organisation’s website.
“These developments will no doubt be deeply frustrating for many farmers, who are keen to move on from the current Brexit impasse. However, while it is crucial that our departure from the EU is an orderly one, the terms of our future relationship will have a lasting impact on the future of UK farming for decades to come.”