The UK must remain part of the single market to protect Cumbrian farmers, South Lakes MP Tim Farron has insisted. The latest government figures show that dairy farmers have faced a massive slump in income over the last year.
Figures released by the government this week show that dairy farm incomes have crashed by almost 50% in real terms between the year 2014/15 and 2015/16.
Tim has said that the government must provide reassurance to farmers who now face significant uncertainty. In particular, Tim is pushing for the government to secure the future of British farming exports by remaining part of the single market.
However, the figures did show some relief for hill farmers, who saw their income rise by almost 30% over the same period.
Tim said: "These figures show just how difficult life has been for local dairy farmers. The government must now reassure farmers by helping to provide some certainty as farmers look to the future, in particular by committing to keep the UK inside the single market. This is critical for our farming exports, whether they be dairy products or lamb. If we leave the single market, farmers face the devastating prospect of massive tariffs being slapped on their produce.
"Through my 'Not A Penny Less' campaign, I am also pushing the government to continue to provide direct support payments for farmers after 2020. It has not yet committed to do so, but this is vital for farmers to know as they make investment decisions for the future."
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