Farmer Focus: Is a gold-plated Brexit the answer?

As a Brexiter, I must say I am becoming disillusioned and pretty disgusted at the direction (if any) we are headed.

The first thing we need is no MP holidays this summer and no parliamentary recess, as there are far too many issues that need addressing before March 2019.

Over-regulation was the number one reason for me wanting to leave the EU and Michael Gove said once we left, the amount of rules and regulations would fall. However, it’s now looking like there will be more red tape in every sector.

It’s pretty clear our food standards must remain similar to the EU to continue trade.

See also: Analysis: Hard Brexit best for UK milk prices

I would have been a supporter for a “hard” Brexit and being free from the customs union, but I don’t trust trade minister Liam Fox at all – he would give away anything just to grab a deal.

I have very little faith in the two big Scottish players (Gove and Fox). The Scottish National Party walking out of parliament the way they did is not the way to gain support south of the border. 

Swedish farmers have some of the highest welfare standards in the world, which their consumers seemingly demanded. Sweden became 90% self-sufficient in food.

They were told if they joined the EU, demand for their produce would increase. However, in stark contrast, their own consumers began to enjoy cheaper imported food from other EU countries and now Sweden’s self-sufficiency has dropped to 50%, while no other EU consumers are willing to pay extra.

My fear is, if we open our gates to the rest of the world with zero protection, our self-sufficiency could easily drop from 62% to maybe 40%, which would be a disaster.

Mr Gove – who we met again at this year’s Royal Highland Show – is quoted as saying “over my dead body” when questioned about the threat of low-quality imports – tell me, what’s the average lifespan of a controversial MP?

It’s clear we need clarity now to plan our future. Too many farms are either cutting back or in maintenance mode where investment needs to happen as soon as possible.