FARMERS FOR Action has thrown its weight behind calls for a fresh referendum on the Brexit options facing the UK.

FFA's Northern Ireland co-ordinator William Taylor said that the UK's political failure to agree a workable Brexit deal was now 'causing hardship and stress for many businesses and people', and the 'commonsense' route out of the current mess was to go back to the people, now that the realities of severing the ties between the UK and the EU were more widely known.

He added that it was the FFA's understanding that the EU may only extend the current Article 50 deadline of March 29 if the UK's request for more time was combined with a new Brexit referendum.

Mr Taylor suggested such a second referendum should have only two questions – 'Do you wish to remain in the EU with present and future UK Governments tied to pushing for reform of it?' and 'Do you wish to leave the EU and remain only in the single market, customs union and EU security zone with no seat at the EU table?'

"The much hyped third option of completely severing ties with the EU cannot be an option because two years plus of debate has failed to validate this route as it would clearly devastate not only the farming and food industry alike as well as thousands of other businesses, it would make life difficult for many UK citizens who have European family and friends," said Mr Taylor. "It would increase costs for those who wish to remain and those who wish to leave with no ties.

"The leavers need to consider what make of tractor, what make of car they drive and what make of household appliances they us,e as those goods would rise in price substantially and particularly the spare parts to give but one example," he said.

"Lastly, we must never forget why close ties with mainland Europe were forged after the Second World War and respect the wishes of those who fought for freedom – that hard won freedom whereby a complete severance from the EU would make no sense by automatically re-erecting borders and strife yet again," warned Mr Taylor.

"Any borders that could be created as a result of Brexit would denote complete political failure, whereby the politicians responsible should never again receive votes for achieving such a disaster. Time to vote for commonsense and progress!"