More food imports and higher prices on cards if access to migrant labour impeded, MPs warned

Country Land and Business Association deputy president Tim Breitmeyer.

Country Land and Business Association deputy president Tim Breitmeyer. - Credit: Gregg Brown

Farming will face reduced production and growth which could lead to more food imports and higher prices if access to migrant labour is closed down post-Brexit, MPs were warned today.

Landowners’ lobby group the Country Land and Business Association (CLA) told an influential group of MPs looking into labour constraints in agriculture that farmers will fail to feed the nation successfully if migrant workers are excluded from vital jobs across the rural economy.

CLA deputy president and Cambridgeshire farmer Tim Breitmeyer said: “Farms and other rural businesses need to know that after Brexit there will still be a flexible, skilled and secure workforce so they can plan for the future and invest in their business.

“The rural economy is already at risk due to labour shortage. We need certainty that a new seasonal agricultural workers scheme will be introduced immediately and not after the UK leaves the EU.”