The Tenant Farmers Association (TFA) has written to Boris Johnson to congratulate him on winning the election to become the leader of the Conservative Party and our next Prime Minister.
TFA chief executive, George Dunn, said “The TFA stands ready to work with the new Prime Minister and his Government on achieving both a successful exit from the European Union and on building a policy framework for a prosperous post-EU Britain. However, taking a ‘do or die’ stance on leaving the EU on the 31 October would be reckless in the extreme. Careful thought must be given to planning our exit rather than simply drawing a line in the sand”.
“We need high levels of both wisdom and diplomacy to negotiate our way through the uncharted waters of leaving the EU and building a new framework for policy development in those areas of previous EU competency. The main TFA focus is, of course, agricultural policy and we believe that the direction of travel established by DEFRA under the leadership of Michael Gove is right, but there is considerable work to be done to ensure that the new framework is fit for purpose, particularly, as it impacts the tenanted sector of agriculture,” said Mr Dunn.
“With agriculture being near the front of the queue of sectors of the economy likely to be most impacted by Brexit, we need an early, bankable assurance from the Prime Minister that he will seek positive outcomes in terms of trade, access to labour and continued, public investment in the agricultural industry,” said Mr Dunn.
“We also need a more deliberate move to join up policy across Government. For example: the Treasury looking at the taxation framework within which agricultural tenancies operate, the Department for International Trade maintaining and developing our food export markets whilst protecting us from imported products produced to lower standards which are illegal in the UK or the Home Office in ensuring that we have access to much-needed seasonal and long-term workers for the agricultural and horticultural sectors,” said Mr Dunn.
“We have urged Mr Johnson to meet with the representative organisations within the farming industry early in his Premiership to discuss these important issues,” said Mr Dunn.