Tim Farron visited a farm in Somerset to highlight the importance of the EU to British farming.
British farmers receive £2.5-£3bn a year in subsidies from the EU and export £11.4bn in produce to our European neighbours.
Brexit is a real threat to our farming industry, and the many families that rely on exports for their livelihoods,” the Liberal Democrat leader said while visiting Bakers of Haselbury Plucknett, a large scale dairy farm near Yeovil.
“Our free access to 500m customers is invaluable, with 73% of UK agricultural and food exports going to the EU. Leaving would hit jobs and devastate rural communities.
“The survival of rural businesses – and the precious environment they protect – is a fragile thing, and should not be put at risk by leaving.”
A recent study by the NFU showed that if we left, food prices for households would rise.
The EU protects fine regional products against false imitations – eg Welsh lamb, Melton Mowbray Pork Pie and the Cornish pasty. This enables producers to sell abroad for a higher price.
Analysis by the independent Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) shows that over 76,000 jobs in British agriculture are linked to trade with the EU.