I attended a reception in Westminster yesterday where the NFU stressed the importance of food security and the need to back British farming following the EU referendum result.
The NFU event in parliament was a great opportunity to talk about the future of farming outside the EU. Farmers in Lancaster and Fleetwood work incredibly hard to produce high-quality food and manage our beautiful countryside and they need assurances that the UK government will provide them with the support they need to increase their competitiveness, profitability and productivity as we move forward.
I was very happy to sign the NFU’s post-referendum pledge to Back British Farming and I will do all I can to ensure that we build a domestic agricultural policy which is adapted to our needs, easy to understand and simple to administer.
The NFU is engaging with Government to ensure a strong basis of support for the farming sector – the bedrock of the UK’s largest manufacturing industry, food and drink, which is worth £108billion. NFU President, Meurig Raymond, said it is important that agriculture is part of the political conversation right from the start of talks on new domestic policies.
Mr Raymond said: “This event was the perfect opportunity to urge MPs across the political spectrum not to let the Government ignore the economic importance of the agricultural sector – we want to see action being taken to ensure farming in this country has a thriving future outside of the EU.
“Food security is not a party-political issue. MPs of all colours should be taking the farming sector very seriously – farmers’ ability to feed the nation, and play a part in feeding the world, depends on it.
“The impact of Brexit on the farming sector is huge; trade agreements, access to labour, farm support and regulation are all crucial to agriculture’s future. We’re now presented with a blank canvas for a domestic agricultural policy which is an opportunity for parliament to shape a prosperous future for farming in this country.”