From the farmers who produce raw ingredients, to the companies that supply them and the industries that produce their goods and sell them on to consumers, there is little doubt that a huge number of agriculture-related businesses in Yorkshire will be deeply affected when the UK’s membership of the European Union ends.
Scores rely on EU workers, many are part of complex supply chains involving partners in other member states and almost all are affected by regulations set by Brussels. As such, it is little surprise that the UK’s food and farming industry has come together both to warn their businesses are already being affected by Brexit-related uncertainty and also to call on the Government to maintain free and frictionless trade with the EU.
The 36 organisations, including the National Farmers’ Union and Dairy UK, are far from the only ones wanting greater clarity from the Government on how Brexit will unfold and what the future direction of the country will be. Their intervention comes as a newspaper poll shows widespread confusion over the Government’s vision, with almost three in four voters unclear on what Prime Minister Theresa May wants overall.
To try and improve public understanding, a series of major speeches are to be given in the coming weeks by Mrs May and senior Cabinet colleagues like Boris Johnson, Liam Fox and David Davis.
The intended aim of the speeches is to put “meat on the bones” of the Government’s Brexit vision for the general public. Twenty months on from the referendum decision and now with little more than a year until the country’s exit from European Union, it is not just the farming sector that would welcome a better idea of our nation’s future but those working within it will be among the most affected. Livelihoods depend on the Government getting this right.