The continuing political chaos around Brexit must not distract MPs from making sure that arrangements for agricultural support after the UK leaves the European Union are fit for purpose.

Somerset’s farming leaders have called on ministers to make sure that they do not neglect to consider the fate of the Agriculture Bill, which was first published last September and got as far as its committee stages but has not been seen on the Parliamentary timetable since.

NFU Somerset chairman Haydn Garrett said: “What we desperately need is certainty and at the moment we just do not have it. The political drama of the last few days is making the headlines, but ultimately we are no nearer to knowing on what basis we are to leave the European Union than we were three years ago.

“Whoever the next Prime Minister may be, politicians of all parties need to work together to make sure the Brexit deadlock is broken and we can move ahead to whatever the new arrangements are.”

The Government pledged that the same amount of money as was spent under the Common Agricultural Policy would be available for farm support until the end of this Parliament, which is scheduled to continue until 2022. But with the odds on a general election rapidly shortening, that deadline could be much nearer.

Research conducted by think tank Development Economics for the NFU indicates a £7.40 return for every pound invested in farming, and with climate change also high on the political agenda farmers could be at the forefront of helping the Government achieve its environmental targets.

“What MPs need to remember is that investing in farming is very good value for money indeed,” said Mr Garrett, who runs a dairy farm in North Somerset.

“Farms like mine support a host of other businesses and are the bedrock of rural communities and although farmers are often characterised as being part of the problem, when it comes to climate change in fact we are part of the solution.

“Farmers are in a unique position, in that we can not only help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by creating renewable energy through wind and solar energy, but we can also do something to help deal with the emissions that are produced both within our sector and the wider economy, as our grassland can also store carbon and can be used to create nectar sources for pollinators such as bees.”

NFU President Minette Batters said: “It is frustrating that the Agriculture Bill’s progress remains at a stalemate in Parliament and it is unlikely to make any progress during a Conservative leadership contest. These delays simply further compound the uncertainty facing farmers. Our members will be expecting any future Prime Minister to address this as a priority, recognising the strategic importance of food and farming to the nation.

“Farmers and growers are still facing many pressing, practical issues on a daily basis, from broadband and rural crime to plant health and climate change and we look to a future Prime Minister to show leadership in these areas to ensure British farming remains productive and resilient.”