The UK farming unions have come together to state approval of the proposed Brexit withdrawal deal announced by prime minister Theresa May.

Last week's deal will now go to parliament in the coming weeks and the four heads of the farming unions in the UK believes it is an opportunity to be taken.

In a statement, they said: "Following the publication of the draft Brexit Withdrawal Agreement and the outline Political Declaration on the future relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union, the presidents of the four UK farming unions have issued a joint statement.

“Farmers want clarity on the future trading relationship with Europe. We have argued for free and frictionless trade with the EU to continue, with no tariffs or non-tariff barriers.

“The default of trading with the EU under WTO rules alone is unacceptable and would decimate our industry.

“The draft Brexit Withdrawal Agreement, while not perfect, will ensure that there are no hard barriers on the day we leave the European Union, and will allow trade in agricultural goods and UK food and drink to continue throughout the transition period largely as before. This opportunity needs to be taken.

“British farmers produce food to some of the highest production and animal welfare standards. The food and farming industry continue to urge government to protect these standards and maintain high levels of trade in agricultural goods between the UK and EU, our largest export market.”