British Prime Minister Boris Johnson wasted no time, after officially exiting the European Union last Friday, in courting a bilateral trade deal with America, decrying “hysterical” fears about U.S. food standards such as genetically-modified crops, The Guardian reported. “I look at the …
The "Brexodus" — the British withdrawal from the EU — "is being felt particularly acutely in the agriculture industry, which relies heavily on manual laborers, especially from poor European countries like Romania and Bulgaria," says the New York Times. Thousands of foreign-born workers have left England, or have decided not to return to harvest-time jobs on farms or other industries.
In a joint letter, British farm groups urged the European Union to reauthorize use of the weedkiller glyphosate "for the maximum period possible." The European Commission has proposed a five-year extension of the license for glyphosate, and an EC committee could discuss the future of the herbicide at a meeting expected on Thursday, said news site Farming UK.
Over the past year, UK cropland values have fallen by 9 percent, says Agrimoney, with one land company seeing a continued decline this summer while another says prices are stabilizing after the steepest decline in at least 12 years. Both companies "were sanguine about the effect of a British exit from the EU on land prices," said Agrimoney, based in London.
As Britain votes today on whether to leave the EU or remain a member, "it is no coincidence that food and drink is at the heart of so much of the debate," says the Guardian. On one hand, food and drink is the largest manufacturing sector in the nation and on the other, the EU's Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) "swallows up nearly 40 percent of the total EU budget."
Dairy farmer Rob Warnock says he'll vote for Britain to leave the EU despite the likely loss of $60,000 a year in EU subsidies, says The Associated Press. While Warnock believes the referendum will be a wake-up call to the national government on the matter of better agricultural policies, his father is skeptical that will happen, so he says he will vote to stay.