The Country Land and Business Association reaction to the 2019 General Election Result

The Country Land and Business Association (CLA) have warned that the 2019 elction results does not yet mean that Brexit is done.

Friday, 13th December 2019, 3:00 pm
Updated Friday, 13th December 2019, 3:01 pm
Farmers will be one of the groups keenly watching the Brexit negotiations.

The 30,000 strong organisation, whose members own or manage approximately half the rural land in England and Wales, have been looking after members interests for 112 years.

The CLA supports landowners by advising them on how best to protect and maximise their land, promoting the positive aspects of land ownership, land management and rural business activities

Responding to the General Election result, Country Land and Business Association president Mark Bridgeman said:

“Many will breathe a sigh of relief that this result at least brings a degree of political certainty. But for all the claims of ‘getting Brexit done’ the idea that Brexit ends on January 31 is wrong.

“Assuming we leave the EU later this month, we will have less than a year to negotiate a Free Trade Agreement with Europe or else once again No Deal is back on the table. This time frame is hugely optimistic.

“Never forget though the extent to which European agriculture needs a deal with the UK – the EU runs a £20bn agriculture trade surplus with the UK, and a traded goods surplus of almost £100bn.

"The idea that the EU can shrug off a dramatically reduced trade relationship with the UK is naïve. With a stable government in place, at least the Prime Minister can negotiate with a greater degree of strength than before the election.

“We will do what we can to help Government negotiate comprehensive agreements not just with the EU but across the world. But Government needs to earn the trust of rural communities by guaranteeing that UK farmers will not be undercut by cheap imports produced to lower standards.