THREE-QUARTERS of farmers think Brexit has had a negative impact on the UK economy, according to a survey conducted by an industry magazine.

Farmers Weekly’s poll of more than 900 people in the farming industry further found that 69% of them said leaving the EU had negatively impacted their business.

In analysis of its poll, which was run from late May to early June ahead of the seven-year anniversary of the Brexit referendum on June 23, the magazine said that both animal and arable farmers took a very negative view of leaving the EU.

The sentiment was strongest among vegetable farmers (81% had a negative view) and pig farmers (79%).

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Both of these sectors were hit hard by staffing problems after Brexit. In August 2022, the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) said that as much as £60 million worth of crop had been left to rot in the field for lack of workers to harvest it.

And in late 2021 reports focused on a crisis in pig farming, with hundreds of thousands of animals sitting on farms long after they should have gone to slaughter, again due to labour shortages.

But in other farming sectors, the view of Brexit was also overwhelmingly negative. Farmers Weekly reported 70% of cereal farmers, 76% of oilseed rape farmers, and 68% of cow and sheep farmers said leaving the EU had negatively impacted their business.

However, among Leave-voting farmers, the magazine reported a more positive view of the impact of Brexit.

Among this subset, just 36% reported a negative impact on their business from leaving the EU. One-third (30%) of them said Brexit had actually proven “fairly” or “very positive”, against just 12% who took this view among farmers as a whole.

Patricia Gibson, the SNP’s rural affairs spokesperson at Westminster, said a return to the European Union was “essential to securing long-term economic prosperity for Scottish farmers”.

She went on: “The impact of Brexit is being felt in every sector across Scotland, but arguably none more so than in our farming communities.

“Like many, ahead of the EU referendum, farmers were misled and lied to by the likes of Boris Johnson, Rishi Sunak, and Nigel Farage.

“However, what they were left with was mountains of red tape and bucket-loads of Brexit bureaucracy.

“What Brexit has done, though, is underline how threadbare the case for continued Westminster control has become for Scotland.

“Only the SNP are offering a real alternative through independence at the next general election – which is essential to securing long-term economic prosperity for Scottish farmers.”