Maybe most of the readers of The Scottish Farmer haven’t heard of Matthew Lynn. Mr Lynn is a very influential columnist in the ‘Daily Telegraph’ and the right-wing Tory magazine ‘The Spectator’.

Mr Lynn wrote an major article in the Daily Telegraph this week (March 5) entitled ‘It’s the worst possible time to protect the farmers’. Now Mr Lynn is a very, very enthusiastic Brexiteer, and widely read and followed.

His article, which was all about why all agricultural subsidies should be abolished immediately, has some real insights into the real thoughts of Brexiteers; it just illustrates how farmers, particularly the livestock farmers of Britain, have been misled by the Brexiteer leaders.

Mr Lynn writes that subsidies "never made much sense at the best of times, raising prices for consumers and creating a wasteful and inefficient industry hooked on" them.

He sees a future where we "do not need livestock farming… the technology behind lab-grown meat has the potential to turn protein production upside down…freeing up land for leisure or development". He tells us that "bioengineering, despite the scaremongering of the green fanatics, is still making rapid progress, producing new kinds of crops, and potentially animals, which can dramatically reduce the cost of growing food". This he claims would be "more environmentally friendly…with less transport, and using fewer chemicals".

But he says "the trouble is, protection will stop all that in its tracks. It will stop new technologies being developed, and prevent them from being used effectively once they are created". He tells us that "some farmers might face a challenging time if we rip up tariffs and quotas but it always has been really dumb to protect agriculture, because it raises prices and wastes resources. But right now it is more stupid than ever – because it will prevent a technological step forward as well".

The simple truth, your readers would be wise to understand, even better than they now do, is that Brexit will cause massive disruption to British Agriculture as subsidies are abolished (as they surely will be).

Brexit will cause the end of the family farm. It will cause significant bankruptcies and anguish. It will decimate rural communities and a rural way of life. That must be why 53% of your readers now demand a second referendum. I find it astonishing that this number isn’t closer to 100%.

This isn’t ‘fake news’, it is the prediction of a leading Brexiteer columnist in the leading Tory Brexiteer newspaper, writing a few days before we are supposed to be leaving the EU.

Yours etc

Adrian Hill