BBC should be ashamed!’ Countryfile backlash as viewers blast Brexit coverage

Adam Henson says he’s staying with Countryfile

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Tom Heap spoke with farmers in Northern Ireland in the latest edition of Countryfile to find out the impact Brexit has had on the industry. However, some BBC viewers weren’t happy as Tom investigated how some farmers had benefited from the Northern Ireland protocol while others had been detrimentally impacted. 

Countryfile introduced: “As the UK and EU continue discussions over trade agreements, many of our farmers are finding themselves caught in the crossfire.”

Tom shared: “For its size, Northern Ireland is a farming powerhouse worth £2.4billion per year.”

The Countryfile presenter spoke with dairy farmer Charlie from County Down.

Tom explained Charlie exports milk to the Republic of Ireland in the EU and has benefited from the Northern Ireland protocol.

Read more: BBC’s Countryfile faces review following complaints

Charlie expressed concerns about the future of his farm after inheriting it from his father.

He said: “Hopefully if the milk price stays up and things work out [my son] will be the fifth generation to run the farm.”

Tom noted: “When we left the European Union in 2020, we left the free trade area so any goods now need to go through a customs system.

“But there were fears checks on goods between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland could stoke historical political tensions. 

“So the UK and the EU agreed to leave Northern Ireland in the free trade area.”

Tom explained the Northern Ireland protocol put a customs border between Britain and Northern Ireland. 

The Countryfile presenter pointed out the protocol has had a massive impact on farmers that have built up their businesses trading across the Irish Sea with Great Britain. 

Farmer Sam shared: “The protocol, Brexit, Ukraine it’s nearly a perfect storm.

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“Our food has increased by £100 a tonne, our fertiliser is up from £250 to £400 a tonne, our fuel is up 60p a litre. These are all costs we have absorbed at present, we’re selling cattle at last year’s prices at present. 

“Going forward into 2023 it will become evident to a lot of farmers that they can’t make ends meet.”

BBC viewers weren’t impressed with the Brexit coverage and took to Twitter to comment. 

@drink_the_wind tweeted: “#countryfile Another party political broadcast courtesy of Countryfile.”

@scottishlass71 wrote: “@BBCCountryfile here we go ago again #TomHeap and his anti Brexit. 

“He always does it in the guise of ‘agriculture’. Both BBC & COUNTRYFILE should be ashamed of themselves.”

“Standby for usual #FBPE [follow back, Pro-European Union] on #Brexit #countryfile #NIprotocol,” @Outspok03350812 said.

However, @phil_space took an opposing view and said: “More Brexit home truths on #countryfile for any Gammon wanting to watch.”

Countryfile continues on BBC One on Sunday at 7pm.

follow back, Pro-European Union

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