NFU president Meurig Raymond has announced he will step down as the union’s president.
His decision could pave the way for his deputy, Wiltshire farmer Minette Batters, to become the NFU’s first female president.
In an email to council members, Mr Raymond, who has spent the last 14 years as a national office holder and two, two-year terms as president, said it had been ‘a very difficult’ decision but that the NFU was well-equipped going forward.
“This has been a very difficult decision for me, but it has become increasingly clear that the complex negotiations for the UK to leave the EU will go well beyond the next two years,” he said.
“I had always been clear that I would not want to serve as an officeholder beyond 2020 and so, for the sake of continuity and consistency throughout this critical period for British farming, I believe it is right that I should step back now rather than in 2020.