UK farmers drive tractors into central London (VIDEO)

The slow-motion convoy of more than 150 vehicles arrived to protest against cheap agricultural imports

Over 150 tractors descended on Britain’s Parliament on Monday evening in a noisy protest against post-Brexit regulations and trade agreements that they say are expected to endanger livelihoods and undermine food security.

Farm vehicles flying UK flags made their way across London and through Westminster, carrying signs with slogans such as ‘Save British farming’ and ‘No farming, no food, no future’. The tractor rally became the largest among the latest protests launched by farmers across the country.

According to the campaign groups Save British Farming and Fairness for Farmers of Kent that organized the march, cheap food imports and unsupportive policies are putting food security in the country at major risk.

UK farmers in tractors head to Parliament to protest rules they say threaten livelihoods. LONDON (AP)-Farmers drove dozens of tractors in a slow-motion convoy towards Britain’s Parliament on Monday to protest post- Brexit rules and trade deals that they say are endangering…

— Some Guy (@in_bloke) March 25, 2024

Campaigners have decried the UK government’s agricultural plans as well as the Environmental Land Management farm payments scheme, saying that together with weak trade deals, “non-existent” import controls and misleading labeling, they all are inevitably undermining farming businesses in the country.

Farmers making their presence felt outside parliament tonight 🚜 🚜

— FarmingUK (@FarmingUK) March 25, 2024

The organizers have pointed to trade agreements clinched with New Zealand and Australia after the UK officially left the European Union, as well as the CPTPP deal with 11 countries including Canada, Japan and Mexico. These were a blow to the British agricultural sector, which were once on a level playing field with European farmers. The campaigners have stressed that their peers in the EU still receive government subsidies, and can export their goods across the Channel.

Uk 🇬🇧 farmers protesting outside parliament now 🙏❤️🇬🇧

— rf (@fussell_richard) March 25, 2024

Moreover, protesting farmers highlighted a lack of proper import checks, which allow sub-standard food to enter the country, saying that some products are being labeled with a Union flag despite not having been grown or reared in the UK.

“We need a radical change of policy and an urgent exit from these appalling trade deals, which will decimate British food,” Liz Webster, founder of Save British Farming told the BBC, adding that polling shows that the public backs British farming and are willing to maintain “high food standards and support local producers.”

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