A group of 14 farming organisations have united to produce a joint statement asking the UK government to provide short-term certainty for the industry, as the time for the UK to leave the EU and its Common Agricultural Policy approaches.

The bodies say that all the UK governments should work with farmers and land managers to formulate a new long-standing free trade agreement that will retain and grow opportunities for food trade with the EU and the rest of the world. They are also asking for the UK to remain in the customs union until a full free trade agreement with the EU is in place.

Organisations signing the statement include the British Poultry Council, CLA (Country Land and Business Association), National Beef Association, National Farmers Union, National Farmers Union of Wales, National Farmers Union of Scotland, the Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers, Scottish Land and Estates, the Soil Association, the Tenant Farmers Association and the Ulster Farmers Union.

Tim Breitmeyer, deputy president of the CLA, said: “Farmers and land managers will benefit from new opportunities in trade and agricultural policy. However, we must take the necessary time to put in place the right trade agreements and to develop and robustly test a new policy that will support farming and the environment for the long term.

“We need a period of certainty in which this work can be done and we will continue to work with fellow farming organisations to achieve this.”