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East Anglian farmers to grapple with challenges of Brexit at AHDB/NFU conference in Ipswich

PUBLISHED: 11:01 19 October 2017 | UPDATED: 11:05 19 October 2017

Robert Sheasby, East Anglia regional director at the National Farmers' Union, who is urging farmers to attend a Brexit event on Monday, October 23. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Robert Sheasby, East Anglia regional director at the National Farmers' Union, who is urging farmers to attend a Brexit event on Monday, October 23. Picture: GREGG BROWN

East Anglian farmers will be grappling with the challenges of Brexit as a national roadshow outlining potential impacts arrives in Ipswich next week.

The roadshow, which takes place at Trinity Park from 7pm, is organised by the NFU in association with the Suffolk Agricultural Association, and is one of a series taking place across the country.

NFU regional director Robert Sheasby said the industry was at a pivotal moment and urged farmers to take part.

“This meeting comes at a crucial time for the country, and the countryside, and we urge farmers to attend,” he said.

“The Government is expected to publish a consultation on a draft Agriculture Bill by the end of the year and members will have an opportunity to shape the NFU’s contribution to this by taking part in the meeting and giving feedback on the latest policy position.”

The NFU’s chief EU and international trade adviser Gail Soutar will address the meeting, one of a series of 18 across the country.

The AHDB’s impact assessment work on Brexit was not a prediction of what will happen when we leave the UK, but looks at several potential scenarios, Ms Soutar explained.

“There will inevitably be impacts on farms, depending on Government decisions on support payments and the tariffs that we pay on exports and importers pay.

“The aim is, by understanding the extremes of what is possible, members will be better placed to get their own businesses ready for when we leave the European Union. They can get a good sense of what the potential challenges are and consider what steps they can take to prepare.”

Ms Soutar will set out the NFU’s vision for farming after Brexit and how it is lobbying in the key areas of productivity, volatility and the environment following a presentation from the AHDB.

The meeting is 7pm for 7.30pm on October 23, with a pay bar beforehand. Places can be booked by calling 01638 672100.

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