Eastern region’s farmers facing an uncertain future without EU Referendum commitments


15 March 2016

By Keri Constantatou

The eastern region’s farm businesses and rural communities face an uncertain future if Ministers fail to instigate carefully considered, long-term plans upon the result of the European Union (EU) referendum, the CLA says.

The organisation, which represents 33,000 landowners, farmers and rural businesses across England and Wales, has published a report today (9 March) that demands decision makers give immediate commitments to farmers and rural businesses that they are equally prepared for Brexit or a vote to stay in the EU.

The document, ‘Leave or Remain: The decisions politicians must make to support the rural economy’, comes in the wake of recent statements from Ministers that there is no ‘Plan B’ for farming in the event the UK public votes to leave.

CLA East Regional Director Ben Underwood said: “To campaign or govern without giving answers on how the rural economy will be sustained in the future, whether we leave or remain, undermines confidence and gives concern as to the future security of the rural economy.

“The impact of a reduction in funding for the rural economy regardless of the result on 23 June should not be underestimated.

“We have published this report in order to push Ministers to confirm whether they are prepared for all eventualities: if the UK votes to leave, the uncertainties for farming and other rural businesses are immediate and need to be addressed swiftly; if we vote to remain, there are still critical commitments that Ministers will need to make before the next Common Agricultural Policy budget is agreed in 2020.

“The report is very clear on the four principal issues that need to be addressed in order to secure the continued health of the rural economy: direct payments to the agricultural sector; trade; regulation; and the labour market.”

The document also provides CLA members with information on the processes and decisions leading up to the Referendum – and what might happen afterwards.

“We’re not telling our members how to vote, but we make it very clear that we will be fighting to defend their interests whatever the outcome,” added Mr Underwood.

“Whether it is Plan A or Plan B, the CLA will be playing a leading role in helping to secure the future of UK agriculture and the rural economy.”

Gepp & Sons have possibly the most experienced and established Rural Services Legal Team in the region. If you have any legal questions relating to farming and businesses in the rural community please contact Edward Worthy on either 01245 493939 or worthye@gepp.co.uk

The above is not legal advice; the article was first published by the CLA and is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues.