A former Conservative farming minister concurred with the majority of the industry yesterday when he insisted a no-deal Brexit would be a disaster for agriculture.
Jim Paice, Defra farming minister between 2010-12, made the comments at the Highland cattle breed show in Oban.
“No deal would be a disaster for agriculture but it has to be part of the negotiating stance,” he said.
Mr Paice, who has 20 Highland cows on his Cambridgeshire farm, was attending the event in his role as vice-president of the breed society.
He predicted Highland cattle would benefit from changes in agricultural policy, which will lay greater emphasis on the environment.
“Highland cattle are very economical to keep and mine are grazing SSSIs,” he said.
Looking ahead, he said Highland cattle breeders needed to focus more on genetic improvement as they had fallen behind many other breeds.
Mr Paice added: “We will be introducing tissue testing tags next year which will open the door to more effective selection based on genetics, something which many other breeds have been doing for years.”