A group of seven UK and Irish farm lobby groups have banded together to urge the Government to avoid a 'no-deal' exit from the EU.

Fairness for Farmers in Europe (FFE), an organisation representing several farm organisations across Europe, including the UK and Ireland, said leaving the EU would be "reckless in the extreme".

The statement was been delivered to Michael Gove MP, Andrea Leadsom MP, Theresa May PM, Neil Parish MP, Sir Vince Cable MP, Sir Kier Starmer MP and Anna Soubry MP.

Copies were also sent to the Irish Government, the Isle of Man Government, as well as the devolved Governments in Scotland and Wales, the EU Commission President Jean Claude Juncker, Council of Ministers President Donald Tusk, European Parliament President Antonio Tajani along with MEPs and other politicians.

The statement

The letter from FFE read: "The beef industry, to give one example across these islands is already being devastated due to uncertainty currently with price losses at the farm gate of more than 10%, not to mention the add on costs to consumers from March 29.

"A 'no-deal' on March 29, would by way of UK and EU Customs and Excise administration costs, cause consequential transport waiting times and WTO tariffs where applicable on lamb, milk, milk products, chicken, pork, beef, vegetables, fruit and other at [UK borders].

For the sake of common sense, we ask you to draw back from the brink – ask for more time to achieve a successful outcome if a deal cannot be reached by March 29.

FFE is an open door federation of farm organisations across the UK, Isle of Man and Ireland with the following members supporting the statement:

  • Family Farmers Association;
  • Farmers For Action;
  • Irish Creamery & Milk Suppliers Association;
  • Irish Cattle & Sheep Farmers Association;
  • Manx NFU;
  • National Beef Association;
  • Northern Ireland Agricultural Producers Association.