During International Trade Questions this week I quizzed the Secretary of State on the assurances he could give to sheep farmers in Delyn that they will still be able to trade with Europe following 29 March 2019.
As it stands we only have confusion. Over 90% of our sheep products are exported to Europe and beyond and the lack of clarity is putting one of our most important industries at risk.
The Secretary of State only provided a glib response. The Government’s Withdrawal Agreement does not give the guarantees we need for the rural economy. Indeed, it is reported that even the Secretary of State has doubts and wants their to be a free vote to allow members of the Government to vote against it. If he doesn’t have faith in his own policy I cannot see why I should.
Labour secured an emergency debate today noting our anger that the UK Government unilaterally pulled the vote that should have taken place tonight on their UK-EU Withdrawal Agreement.
I was able to intervene in the Deputy Prime Minister to put to him we could have moved a step closer to sorting Brexit if we were allowed the vote today, and noted how I have been inundated with correspondence from constituents putting forward their concerns on the UK Government’s handling of this.
It is an utter shambles which is harming our businesses – like the important agriculture sector – in Delyn. The UK Government may have saved themselves from tonight’s vote, but they are prolonging the pain for everyone else.
I have shown mysupport for Welsh farming at Back British Farming Day in Westminster, recognising the crucial role farmers play in producing food and caring for the countryside.
The National Farmers’ Union (NFU) provided MPs with a Back British Farming wheat-pin badge to publicly display their support for the sector during Brexit negotiations.
Farming is the bedrock of the UK’s largest manufacturing sector – food and drink – which contributes over £100 billion to the economy and employs 3.8 million people. Read more “Supporting Welsh Farming”
It was a pleasure to meet people from the farming community in Parliament this week. We were able to discuss their concerns over Brexit and what will replace the Common Agricultural Policy when we leave the EU – this is the mechanism that gives farmers financial support keeping prices at the till down.
We also talked about how we can become a leader of the world when it comes to sustainable farming. We need to make sure that the intensive farming techniques that we have developed do not undermine the natural environment long-term so that we can protect habitats for struggling species – such as bees.