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MP demands more certainty for Cumbria’s farmers after confidence hits new low

February 4, 2019 3:05 PM

Tim with the NFUSouth Lakes MP Tim Farron is calling on the Government to rule out leaving the European Union with no deal after news that farmers' confidence has slipped to a new low.

A survey of over 700 British farmers conducted by the NFU showed that short-term confidence has turned negative for the first time since April 2016.

Meanwhile mid-term confidence has hit an all-time low, since the survey began in 2010.

As a result, more than 1 in 5 farmers who completed the survey said they were intending to decrease investment over the next 12 months because of the uncertainty surrounding Britain's departure from the EU.

Tim said: "We're just weeks away from the Conservative Government potentially taking us out of the biggest trading block in the world without a deal, so it's little wonder that confidence amongst farmers has hit an all-time low.

"There's a lot of uncertainty about what leaving the European Union would mean for various industries. But one thing we do know for certain is that WTO rules means that tariffs of at least 40% would be slapped on lamb exports to countries in the EU.

"Considering that 90% of British hill farmers' exports go to those countries, there can be no shying away from the fact that a no deal exit would decimate the industry.

"Our hill farmers are absolutely vital to our economy, our environment and our ability to feed ourselves - for their future, the Government must take no deal off the table now."