Farming chief: No-deal Brexit could kill a quarter of rural businesses
- Credit: supplied
The costs of a no-deal Brexit could spell bankruptcy for up to a quarter of the UK's rural businesses, it has been estimated.
The president of lobbying group the Country Land and Business Association (CLA), Tim Breitmeyer, said that many farmers and other rural businesses were already struggling and for up to a quarter of them, a no-deal Brexit could "tip some businesses over the top".
"Agriculture is not making very much money," he told the Guardian. "[...] If you have a tariff to add to your problems, if you have increased costs to add to your problems, it's only going to make matters worse and tip some businesses over the top.
"Now I don't know whether that's 15% or 25% but I'm absolutely sure there will be quite a few farming businesses for which it actually just tips them into receivership."
The rural vote in the UK was overwhelmingly to Leave, but Breitmeyer called this "a protest vote for the fact that Britain got abandoned".
You may also want to watch:
He said that many rural voters are now considering voting Liberal Democrat rather than Tory.
"There are an awful lot of people who are really questioning whether next time round that [Tory] is the way they are going to vote," he said to the Guardian. "I think there will be quite a lot of people who look to see whether the Liberal Democrats [have better policies].
- 1 The Prime Minister is out of his league
- 2 Empty shelves are partly down to Brexit - but Leavers won't admit it
- 3 The cannabis conundrum
- 4 Can King Louis turn back the clock?
- 5 Why Germany's Greens failed to rise on floods
- 6 Party politics will not save us from the Tories - we need drastic action
- 7 Boris Johnson: The sado-populist prime minister
- 8 Has something shifted in sado-populist Britain?
- 9 Would Javid have renamed ICU wards 'Drama Queen Zones'?
- 10 Cost of Brexit is already 38 times more than the money set aside for levelling up
When Breitmeyer took over the helm at the CLA in 2017, he told the East Anglian Daily Times that Brexit "will impact on rural areas more than any other part of the economy" but that it also provides opportunities to improve farming.
Liberal Democrat MP Tim Farron, who supports the pro-EU Best for Britain campaign, reacted to the warning by saying: "British agriculture faces a number of challenges, but none as severe as the prospect of a no-deal Brexit.
"For all the promises this government has made to farmers, a quarter of rural farms could go bust as a result of their flagship policy.
"No real support has been offered to these people, and that's not right.
"We cannot let Brexit impoverish our countryside."
Become a Supporter
The New European is proud of its journalism and we hope you are proud of it too. We believe our voice is important - both in representing the pro-EU perspective and also to help rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.