British farmers vow to copy the French and shut UK down with tractors | UK | News

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British farmers vow to copy the French and shut UK down with tractors | UK | News

British farmers have vowed to copy the French and stage mass tractor protests over supermarket prices and food imports.

It comes after a group of around 40 tractors staged a protest around Dover earlier this week.

It was reported that a group of Kent farmers are due to meet soon to discuss whether further action will be taken.

There are concerns they may copy the French and attempt to shut the country down with mass tractor blockades, even though one farmer says it may not be possible to target London.

Speaking to the Guardian, organiser of Friday’s protest in Dover Andrew Gibson said: “We’ve had support from all around the country.

“There will be other groups like us and they will make their presence felt – around the docks, around supermarket distribution centres.

“I don’t think we’re getting into London, because we’d get shooed out pretty quickly, but I think we’d like to do that.”

Friday’s protest near one of the UK’s key ports was brought about because farmers were angry about lamb from New Zealand and tariff-free wheat entering the UK from Ukraine.

The possibility of a mass protest by farmers has raised fears that the UK may see its own version of the tractor blockade that threatened Paris. The protest, over working conditions and red tape, involved the disruption of motorways.

What’s more, farmers from the Confederation Paysanne Union also blocked the entrances to distribution hubs from Aldi and Lidl.

Speaking about the tactics, an unnamed spokesperson told French news network BFM TV: “We want to blockade the logistics platforms to demand a better sharing of added value, as supermarkets made big profits in the last half of the year, and we never saw any of it.

“We’re asking them to increase our prices without passing them on to the consumer, to reduce their margins in fact. We will stay as long as necessary.”

President of the National Farming Union Minette Batters said of the protests: “British farmers have the greatest sympathy for our farming colleagues across Europe who are facing huge challenges and uncertainty.

“Here in the UK, we share their concern. Two years of unsustainably high production costs are putting farming families under mounting pressure. At the same time, recent flooding has devastated farmland meaning that thousands of pounds have simply been washed away as crops are destroyed.”

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