Farming News - Jeremy Hunt pledges £6bn for farmers in no-deal Brexit

Jeremy Hunt pledges £6bn for farmers in no-deal Brexit

01 Jul 2019
Frontdesk / Finance

Tory leadership contender Jeremy Hunt is to outline his plans for a no-deal Brexit later, including a £6bn pledge to the fishing and farming industries and help for small businesses.

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The Foreign Secretary will pledge to set up a temporary No Deal Relief Programme, including the war chest for farmers and fishermen exporting to Europe, to ease transition out of the European Union and honour international obligations.

He will say: “If you’re a sheep farmer in Shropshire or a fisherman in Peterhead I have a simple message for you – I know you face uncertainty if we have to leave the EU without a deal.

“I will mitigate the impact of no-deal Brexit on you and step in to help smooth those short-term difficulties.

“If we could do it for the bankers in the financial crisis, we can do it for our fishermen, farmers and small businesses now.”

Tim Breitmeyer, President of the CLA responded by saying:

“This announcement recognises the unique circumstances of the sector and the negative consequences of a ‘no deal’ scenario for a significant number of farmers up and down the land. This is especially true for sectors such as sheep farming where the deadline of 31 October could not come at a worse time.

“However, it must not mask the real issues with a ‘no deal’ Brexit. Whoever wins the leadership race will need to negotiate a future trade deal with the EU which is as free and frictionless as possible, every effort should be spent towards achieving that goal and securing the primary export market for a huge proportion of the UK’s agricultural production.

“Mr Hunt’s proposals are also unclear in some areas. Described as “temporary” there is little detail on timeframes nor, most importantly, what follows once they are concluded.  Is it longer term relief or structural reform? Without further details then this could be viewed as simply another example of kicking the can down the road.”