THE recent days and weeks have seen many headlines about the impact of Brexit on the UK’s automotive manufacturing industry, from the decision of Nissan to relocate production of its X-trail from Sunderland to Japan, to this week’s news that Honda is to close its Swindon plant with the loss of 3,500 jobs.

It is quite right that these stories are at the top of the news agenda with the scale of the workforce involved. However another industry has just as many worries but attracts far less attention – agriculture.

Yesterday Minette Batters, president of the National Farmers’ Union, told its annual conference that a no-deal Brexit would be the “stuff of nightmares” for British farmers, adding: “I make no apology for saying that leaving the EU without a deal would be a catastrophe for British farming.”

She said high tariffs for exporting to Europe could effectively mean there is no market for four-and-a-half million lambs, decimating farms from the uplands to the lowlands.

Next week ships will set sail from Britain with cargo including food exports that will arrive in their destinations after March 29. Farmers need to make a decision now on whether to load British produce on to ships which will set sail on February 28, said Ms Batters.

These are the real, practical problems now facing farmers exporting their goods to overseas markets, and while MPs argue amongst themselves and Theresa May tries to talk tough in Brussels, the clock ticks down yet further.