Sheep might have to be killed if the UK leaves the EU without a deal, Boris Johnson has been warned.
Minette Batters, the president of the National Farmers Union president (NFU), said on Sunday said if Brexit had to happen then it must to be done in an “orderly manner” with an agreement.
“If you can’t get your lamb into the European Market that puts you into oversupply,” she told Sky News on Sunday morning,
“That means that you will have many farmers going out of business and indeed you would have to look at slaughtering quite a large percentage of the national sheep flock.”
Batters added that she had written to Johnson outlining her concerns about a no-deal exit, but the NFU “haven’t heard anything” back from him.
Johnson, the frontrunner in the Tory leadership contest, has said he will take the UK out of the EU on October 31 with or without a deal “do or die”.
Sue Hayman MP, Labour’s shadow environment secretary, said the prospect of British farmers being forced to “needlessly destroy sheep due to not being able to sell to European markets in the event of no deal is a truly depressing and utterly appalling scenario”.
“Labour is calling on both Tory leadership candidates to categorically rule out the prospect of a no deal Brexit that stands to destroy British farming and seriously undermine British food and agriculture standards,” she added.
In an interview with the Sunday Telegraph, Johnson has insisted he is not bluffing over his commitment.
He said the EU had to “look deep into our eyes” and realise that the UK was prepared to walk away.
Hunt also insisted he was not bluffing about being willing to walk away without a deal.
But he told the same newspaper it was “not the most secure way of guaranteeing Brexit” because MPs would try to block it.
Former Conservative leadership contender Sam Gyimah warned both Johnson and Hunt this morning that “30 plus” Conservative MPs would vote to block a no deal Brexit if given a chance.