Michael Fabricant met local farmers at Curborough Hall Farm near Lichfield on Friday (28th October) to discuss their concerns following the Brexit vote on June 23rd. The meeting was arranged by the NFU (National Farmers’ Union).
“No business likes uncertainty and I was keen to explain what the Government aims to do and how it will implement it post Brexit in a couple or so years’ time” says Michael.
“While local farmers naturally have their concerns, I was very encouraged to hear that the NFU see Brexit as a wonderful opportunity for British farming. And they are right!
“Farmers will be free of many burdensome EU restrictions which have nothing to do with hygiene, health, or safety. So, for example, I told the meeting that I am keen that we introduce highly prominent ‘Sourced in England’ labelling for products like milk and beef which are currently banned under EU rules.
“I reassured the meeting that the Chancellor of the Exchequer has said that the Government will take over and pay all the grants for farmers and other organisations that the EU does now once we leave and we will still have over £10bn in the kitty which we would have previously been passed over to Brussels.
“We discussed when we would trigger Article 50 and why and what our immigration policy would be. I reassured the meeting that we would still allow foreign workers into the UK, but it would be under the strict control of the United Kingdom Immigration Service rather than the open door policy demanded by the EU.
“We also discussed planning policy. I am keen that farmers who are encouraged to diversify by the Government should not be restricted from doing so by over-tight home grown regulation; I will be taking this up with Government Planning Ministers.
“Finally, I signed the NFU pledge to back British Farming post Brexit. Farming and food production is of strategic national importance and it is essential that farmers, as well as manufacturers and financiers, have the support of Government so they can compete in a global market.”
Michael with David Lane who chaired the meeting holding the NFU Pledge along with other farmers and The NFU Pledge post Brexit