Farm tenants’ leader calls for ‘co-operation, collaboration and a shared vision’ for Brexit

George Dunn, Tenant Farmers' Association chief executive

George Dunn, Tenant Farmers' Association chief executive - Credit: Archant

A farm tenants’ leaders has called for co-operation, collaboration and a shared vision in the run-up to Brexit.

Tenant Farmers Association (TFA) chief executive George Dunn has urged the UK’s political parties to drop the in-fighting and focus instead on a successful Brexit.

“The TFA will be working hard to build a new consensus for a post Brexit food, farming and environmental policy bringing together the farming community, environmental organisations, consumer groups, the health agenda and with a sense of understanding of our place within the world in relation to trade, aid and development,” he said.

“We must have a policy framework that will last and which will not be subject to the winds of future, short-term, political change. No one organisation or political party has the ability to achieve this on its own. For such a time as this, we need co-operation, collaboration and a shared vision.”

He condemned the general election call as “an unnecessary and unhelpful distraction from the work that was beginning to gather pace to secure Britain’s future in a post Brexit environment”, and warned policies needed to be in place to secure Britain’s future beyond March 2019.

“We really do need to be using all the time at our disposal to negotiate our exit and put in place the necessary policies, governance structures, statutes and frameworks required for beyond March 2019,” he said.

“With effectively nothing achieved towards these goals in the past seven weeks during the election campaign, we cannot afford to waste any further time either from political parties squabbling between themselves or through self-inflicted bloodletting in internecine struggles. For such a time as this there is too much at stake for such luxuries.”

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The TFA has welcomed the appointment of political heavyweight and prominent Brexiter Michael Gove as environment secretary.

“It will be important that he gets up to speed quickly on the challenges faced by the agricultural industry and its determination to play its part in securing a successful future for Britain after we have left the EU,” said Mr Dunn said the task was “arguably bigger than any faced by previous post-war UK Governments”.