Labour MEPs: NFU backing for EU welcome but no surprise given farmers and consumers reap huge benefits from UK membership

Commenting on today´s decision by the NFU to back the campaign for Britain to stay in the EU Neena Gill MEP said: "I am pleased that British farmers have decided to call for Britain to remain in the EU.

"The decision by the National Farmers Union for England and Wales to point out to their members and the wider public that "the interests of farmers are best served by our continuing membership of the European Union" puts them in the same position as NFU Scotland who backed the Remain campaign last year.

"According to Agra Europe, a UK-based agricultural consultancy, only 10 per cent of the most efficient UK farmers would survive in their current form if we left the EU.  This is because EU subsidies provide 50-60% of UK farm income. These subsidies form part of the Common Agricultural Policy of the EU that provides £2.4 billion a year in direct support to UK farmers, topped up with £4.1bn in rural development funds for investments and rural jobs up to 2020.

"The NFU decision to back remaining in the EU is also the right decision for customers who would surges in the price of food in the supermarket if we were to leave the EU.  Without the subsidies provided by the CAP food prices would have to rise by 5 to 8%, which would be bad news for most customers.

"British farmers also enjoy the benefits of trade and the free flow of labour. UK agriculture is dependent on the EU single market to sell its produce. Almost two-thirds of UK agricultural exports goes to the EU.