CLA President Ross Murray addressed crowds at the Suffolk Show today with a direct challenge to government to draw up a Plan B for agriculture and the rural economy should the British public vote to leave the EU in the referendum on 23 June.
Speaking at the Suffolk showground at a breakfast seminar this morning (1 June), the CLA President said rural issues and the future of UK farming have scarcely featured in the government’s campaign to remain within the EU as he set out what Ministers should be planning for if Britain opts out.
Mr Murray said: “Throughout campaign we have been asking both sides to set out clearly their plans for the future of the rural economy. It is a deep concern for all farmers and other rural business owners that Ministers have admitted that no Plan B for agriculture has been drawn up should Britain vote to leave. This is surprising given that 61% of the total EU budget allocation to the UK in 2013 was for the rural economy.
“It is vital the Government prepares for all eventualities. We will not leave these things to chance and so the CLA will be ready. The day after the poll, whether we have voted to stay in or to leave, we will be ready to set out for Government the decisions that must be made to support our farmers at this difficult economic time.”
"The CLA report, Leave or Remain, sets out the facts to help rural business owners understand the issues which directly affect them, namely trade, support, regulation and the labour market. Ultimately, the public must decide for themselves and the Government must be ready to act in the best interests of agriculture."
Read the CLA report Leave or Remain: www.cla.org.uk/euresearch