If you value our farmers then vote to remain in EU
Our farmers will be devastated if we leave the EU.
Huge tariffs – for example 85 per cent on beef, 45 per cent on lamb – will at a stroke remove us from the European market. Many farmers breed primarily for export.
The USA has made it clear that access for its farm products to the UK market is a priority. We shall be flooded with cheap US products (as the UK will be desperate to secure a trade arrangement with the US).
The shortage of labour from the EU has already put many farmers into difficulty. It is caused by the collapse in the pound after the referendum, meaning that it is no longer worthwhile for workers from the mainland to come here. Horticulture, orchards and market gardening are especially in peril.
Payments under the CAP are important to most farmers. In some cases – hill farms – 90 per cent of their income may come via the CAP. Our government has promised to maintain these only until 2022. After that, anything may happen.
Farming may be a fairly small sector of the economy: but its importance is out of all proportion to this, farmers maintain both our landscapes and our food security in an uncertain world. They, of course, will support Remain. All who value their work should do so too.
P F Phillips, Minsterley
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