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Now it’s the Brexit-voting farmers who have buyer’s remorse

As subsidies are cut and pigs are culled, it's unlikely farmers are part of the 18% who believe Brexit is going well.

A worker in the British pig farming sector protests to call on the government to support the sector. Photo: Ben Stansall/AFP via Getty Images

It has been a gloomy week on the sunlit uplands of sovereign Britain, with a new poll revealing that 52% of Britons think Brexit is going badly, and only 18% think it’s going well. To which the only correct response is: “What insanely powerful mindbending substance are the 18 per cent on, and where can I score some of it?”

While the LSD Leavers attempt to communicate with the shifting, pulsing patterns on their wallpaper, those of us not under the influence have picked up on another pattern – the tendency for Brexit to damage most the very people who voted for it. This week Defra is handing farmers the first subsidy payments not based on the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy, and – surprise! – they’re not as generous as before.

One farming couple told The Sunday Times they expected to get £4,000 per year less, “But that’s just the start. By 2024 we will get only 50% of what we received before.” They think the new environmental land management scheme, to be phased in by 2028, will add just 5%, leaving them 45% worse off than when they were in the EU.

The just over 52% (that figure again!) of farmers who voted for Brexit must be experiencing, to coin a popular phrase, buyer’s remorse. The rest of us will soon feel their pain; and it will be in our pockets, as farms increase the cost of their produce to bridge the subsidy gap and that is passed down to consumers as price rises.

Meanwhile, the largest culling of healthy pigs in British history goes on, a result of the 15%-20% drop in migrant labour which happened partly because of the B-word. Thousands of porkers are being killed each week without entering the food chain. They’re then incinerated in what is now known as The Bonfire of the Piggeries.

“I feel angry, I feel upset, I’ve cried, I’ve got cross,” one pig farmer told Sky News. “Just the thought that we’ve had to apply for a licence to be able to kill healthy animals actually makes me feel a bit sick.”

Think she’s in the 18% who reckon Brexit is going well? Yeah, and pigs might fly…

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