THE four UK farming unions have agreed a set of priorities for achieving the best Brexit outcome for UK farming.

Presidents Barclay Bell, Ulster Farmers’ Union; Minette Batters, National Farmers’ Union; Andrew McCornick, NFU Scotland; and John Davies, NFU Cymru, have called on the Government to get behind farmers and the high quality, safe and affordable food they produce.

The statement comes as the UK moves to the next phase of Brexit negotiations following the sign-off on the framework for a future relationship between the UK and EU.

The presidents said: “Brexit is going to bring fundamental change to our sector, a sector that has been driven by European farm and environmental regulation for more than 40 years. While we are leaving the political union, we must retain frictionless access to European markets.

“Governments across the UK are ‘taking back control’ for agricultural policy. The farming ministers in all four regions must collaborate, as the UK farming unions are doing.

“We want to see policy changes that are fair to all farms irrespective of size or system, with sufficient time for farm businesses to adapt. Alongside, better regulation with support and promotion of UK farming standards that protect the single UK market from competitive distortions.

“Replacing the CAP with domestic farm policy measures alone will be insufficient to see farming thrive. We also need a comprehensive approach with all parts of Government across the UK contributing, including delivering fair trade deals, continued access to labour and improved application of new technology. In particular, farmers need to be equal partners in the supply chain. Our ambition is a post-Brexit supply chain that is fair and equitable for all.

“UK farmers have a great story to tell. We call on all farmers, at this historic moment of change, to speak up for what they deliver for the UK – great food, iconic landscapes and high standards. With the right policy, Britain’s farms can be more profitable, productive and progressive.”