Guy Smith, of the National Farmers Union (NFU), fears the UK’s divorce from the bloc could lead to an increase of food being imported from abroad.
He argued the industry could be straddled with an increase of regulation outside of the Brussels club if the UK Government’s post-Brexit relationship “is not thought through”.
The National Farmers Union is warning of the potential impact of a Brexit bad deal
We want the Government to be aware of the impacts of the decision they make
Guy Smith, National Farmers Union
Mr Smith said: “The Government is stretched by the Brexit challenge and we are going to get a lot of lift and shift of regulation straight from Brussels into Whitehall.
“As somebody who represents farmers, we’re particularly concerned as a consequence of this we must not start importing more food from abroad.”
The NFU’s vice president, whose organisation supported Britain remaining within the EU last year, fears the two-year negotiation period will lead to policies being “rushed through”.
He also warned food standards in the UK could drop once Britain’s speedy divorce from the bloc has been completed.
He added: "If you constrain or curtail food production through badly designed regulation, you merely suck in more imports.
“We argue that [the imports] may come from parts of the world where environmental standards are lower.
Get Quotes on Home Insurance
“We want the Government to be aware of the impacts of the decision they make over the next two or three years, which we realised will be rushed because of the sheer burden of work that has to be done.”
Brexit Negotiations: Britain's sternest enemies Tue, April 4, 2017
According to a new index, the EU27 countries fall into three groups: hard-core, hard and soft. These are the countries with the highest scores which indicate a fairly strong opposition to Britain’s position
AFP/Getty Images 1 of 7
France has the highest score in the index at 32.5
Britain is expected to overhaul its agricultural policy after the country’s historic divorce process from the EU is finished.
For the first time in years, the UK’s farmers will have to compete for Government funds, as subsidies from the continent look set to end.
European farmers will also be affected by Britain’s departure, as British taxpayers currently put more into the bloc’s Common Agricultural Policy than it takes out.
It means the remaining 27 nations will have to stump up extra cash in order to plug the funding gap the UK leaves behind.