No deal is not an option

As Theresa May plays for more time and her chief negotiator suggests it is all going to come down to a game of chicken with Brexiteers at the end of March, it is little surprise that tensions are running high in the farming sector.

The latest issue of Farm Business focuses on one sector of UK farming that stands to lose more than most from a no deal – the Northern Ireland sheep sector. A no deal is simply not an option, farmers are warning.

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Meanwhile, 32 food and farming organisations have written to Defra Secretary Michael Gove informing him that no deal planning is now taking up all their time and resources. They want him to ‘pause’ all non-Brexit-related consultations until the crisis passes (page 1).

Richard Wright explores how Brexit might affect the already tense relationship between farmers and retailers, and Alistair Driver delves into a report asking whether Brexit might unlock the door to new technologies like gene editing in the UK.

Tom Levitt explains how climate change is already having a profound impact on the availability and price of some of the UK’s staple fruit and veg products and finally you can read why the Rothamsted Research institute is offering grants to work with farmers on their ideas to improve on-farm efficiency.

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About The Author

John Swire - Deputy editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer as well as responsibility for the Agronomist and Arable Farmer and Farm Business websites. After 17 years milking cows on the family farm John started writing about agriculture in 1998 and has since written for a variety of publications and has developed a wide circle of contacts within the industry. When not working John is a season ticket holder at Stoke City and also of late has become a fitness freak, listing cycling, swimming and walking as his exercises of choice.