Referendum view from the National Beef Association

Chris Mallon, Chief Executive of the National Beef Association, has made a statement on the EU Referendum

The Minister must now work on preparing agriculture for life out of the EU which is a challenge he must rise to. The government need to commit to securing tariff-free access to the EU for all UK agricultural products, to ensure the sustainability of the rural economy. We need the UK government to replace all trade agreements that currently exist between the EU and other nations before the UK exits, and give immediate reassurances that the level of CAP payments, which farmers are dependent, on will continue through to the end of 2020, with other contracts also being honoured.

There is no precedent for a member state leaving the EU, however, the rules on how to exit were set out in the Treaty of Lisbon. The Prime Minister has stated he will not start the exit procedure before he stands down and once notice has been given to the EU there is a maximum of two years for an agreement to be ratified. The EU budget runs to 2020 including CAP and it is unlikely we will have left before then.

The referendum result has changed nothing immediately concerning the need to comply with regulations that originate at EU level. It may be that once the UK has left the EU, there is a discussion over reducing regulations and red tape, but for now the status quo remains. The UK will remain a member of the EU and the CAP until the exit date and so basic payments will continue until we leave the EU.

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