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Farmers Weekly: Farm businesses urge PM to press ahead with Brexit

Date: 06 12 2016

Farm businesses urge PM to press ahead with Brexit

Farming-related businesses are among 200 signatories to a letter urging Theresa May to press ahead with Brexit as soon as possible.

The letter to Downing Street calls on the prime minister to stick to her stated timeframe and trigger Article 50 no later than 31 March 2017 – if not sooner.

It has been signed by 200 leaders of small, medium and large businesses.

See also: Brexit deal ‘vital’ for food and farming, prime minister warned 

Prominent signatories include Melrose Plc boss David Roper, London-based impresario Sir Cameron Mackintosh, JD Wetherspoon founder Tim Martin and entrepreneur Luke Johnson.

Farming signatories include Jeremy Bagge, owner of the Stradsett Estate in Norfolk; James McCulloch, of nutrient firm Agrimin; and Jeff Colegrave, of flower seed breeder Floranova.

The letter says: “It is now vital that Article 50 is triggered within the government’s timeframe – no later than 31 March 2017, but preferably sooner.”

This would mean that the country can get on with leaving the EU – and businesses and investors can plan accordingly, says the letter.

“Create certainty and confidence, trade and jobs will follow,” it adds.

The letter has been welcomed by Leave Means Leave co-chairman John Longworth. “British businesses want to get on with leaving the EU and making a success of Brexit,” he said.

Change Britain patron Dr Peter Cruddas said: “Business needs certainty. Those trying to delay Article 50 are increasing uncertainty and putting British firms, jobs and investment at risk.”

It comes less than a week after the NFU organised a letter signed by 75 food and farming businesses and organisations calling on the UK to remain within the EU single market.

Supermarkets, agri-food companies and farmer-owned businesses with a combined annual turnover of £92bn joined forces to sign the NFU co-ordinated letter.

Tariff-free access to the EU single market and access to overseas labour were vital for UK food and farming to flourish post-Brexit, it said.

6th December, 2016: Farmers Weekly