NFU urges prime minister Theresa May to put farming ‘front and centre’ of Brexit talks as Article 50 triggered

Prime Minister Theresa May leaves 10 Downing Street, London, ahead of Prime Minister's Questions.

Prime Minister Theresa May leaves 10 Downing Street, London, ahead of Prime Minister's Questions. - Credit: PA

The National Farmers’ Union (NFU) has urged prime minister Theresa May to put farming “front and centre” of her negotiations as Article 50 is triggered to kick-start the official process of Britain leaving the EU.

NFU president Meurig Raymond.

NFU president Meurig Raymond. - Credit: Simon Hadley

NFU president Meurig Raymond said the importance of agriculture must not be underestimated as it underpinned the nation’s food and drink industry, the largest manufacturing sector in the UK which is worth around £108bn.

“Our industry is vital to Britain”, said Mr Raymond.

“Farming and food production plays a crucial role in the life and economy of our country and therefore it is important this government ensures food and farming is at the forefront of their priorities as they negotiate our exit from the EU.”

For every £1 invested in farm support, farming delivers £7.40 back to the UK economy, an NFU report, published at its annual conference last month, says.