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‘Protests Could Escalate to Level of Those Seen In Paris and Brussels,’ Warn UK Farmers

Drawing inspiration from their French counterparts, who recently secured government concessions after blockading motorways into Paris, UK farmers have initiated similar actions to voice their grievances, a situation they attribute to post-Brexit trade deals.

On a chilly Friday evening, the roads around Dover's port witnessed an unusual traffic jam; not of lorries or holidaymakers, but of around 40 tractors and other farm vehicles. These slow-moving protests, adorned with signs aimed to highlight the plight of the British farming community.

The demonstration at Dover is just the beginning, with farmers across Kent and potentially the UK planning further actions. Last week, approximately 3,000 farmers in Carmarthen, Wales, gathered to protest, symbolically carrying a mock coffin inscribed with "In memory of Welsh farming."

The heart of the farmers' discontent lies in the perceived unfairness of the current agricultural market. Tariff-free wheat from Ukraine and cheap lamb from New Zealand are cited as examples of how post-Brexit trade deals have disadvantaged UK farmers.

Farmer Jeffrey Gibson said protests could escalate to the level of those seen in Paris and Brussels.

"We don't want to cause disruption," he said. "We want to get the message across."

The government, for its part, insists that British farming remains "at the heart of British trade," with a spokesperson highlighting the maintenance of the £2.4 billion annual farming budget and efforts to ensure fairness in the supply chain.

However, many farmers argue that these measures fall short of providing the level playing field they demand.

The protest in Dover, though spontaneous and quickly dispersed by police, serves as a stark reminder of the farmers' resolve.

As British farmers brace for more demonstrations, their message is clear: only significant government action will quell their rising discontent.

With the spectre of further blockades looming, the issues they now challenge are set to remain at the forefront of the national conversation.

Sources: BBC News and The Guardian

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