CLA brings European farmers and landowners together for Brexit talks

25 May 2017

The CLA which represents landowners, farmers and rural businesses has organised a delegation of members from across England and Wales to meet with MEPs, EU officials a trade bodies in the European Parliament on 31 May.  The delegation’s message is that it is in the interests of the whole European food and farming industry that a successful free trade agreement is secured.

CLA Deputy President Tim Breitmeyer said: “This event brings European farmers and landowners together to show our common commitment to agreeing a positive future trading relationship between the UK and EU. There is bright future for EU agriculture and the wider food sector, but we have to work together to ensure that the politicians deliver the right deal for our industry with its hundreds of thousands of businesses and millions of consumers.

“This event is unique opportunity for UK business leaders to discuss the details of a deal and establish a common ground. The devil is in the detail, extending beyond tariff arrangements into a wide raft of regulatory agreement. A priority for us is securing wide support from across the industry for the importance of delivering a smooth transition that allows businesses to carry on running their operations and making plans for the future, whatever the timeframes of the political negotiations turn out to be.

Tom Green from Spearhead International, a European farming group supplying food processors, manufacturers and retailers based in Cambridgeshire will talk to the delegates about his trading relationship with EU markets. He said: “It is hard to think of a greater change for British Agriculture than that which Brexit heralds – having spent the past 20 years building our business across 5 EU countries, I welcome this opportunity to discuss priority outcomes from the negotiation process; how do we maintain and enhance the best elements of our current trading relationships with the EU, and maximise the opportunities for innovation and change offered by this unprecedented challenge?”

The CLA has published How to establish a UK/EU Free Trade Agreement that works for the food and farming industry setting out the red lines which must not be crossed to secure the best possible trade deal post-Brexit. Read the policy briefing in full here.