TODAY’S visit to Skipton by the NFU’s relatively new president Minette Batters to open the new livestock sales complex at Craven Cattle Mart is very timely as the Government struggles to break the Brexit deadlock over customs.
Sheep exports from Britain to the EU top £300m a year – and helps to sustain those Yorkshire hill farmers who have managed to survive countless challenges to have afflicted their industry in recent times.
This sum represents 95 per cent of all such sheep exports. And while there will be more scope for sending meat and farm produce to other nations, farming – like so many other sectors of the economy – does need the Government to strike a deal with Brussels at the earliest opportunity so business can continue as seamlessly as possible when the UK leaves the EU. With Yorkshire home to 30 per cent of the country’s sheep, it’s not just the NFU who should be speaking to farmers today but Government trade ministers too.